Alumni Service Award – Reunion 2010

Michelle Hampton’s dreams for college came true, and she has spent her life helping others achieve their own dreams.

As a child, Michelle was fascinated by Drew’s stone wall when her family passed through Madison every year during their summer vacation.  When the time came, she applied nowhere else.  She has wonderful memories of staging and acting in theatre productions under the tutelage of Buzz McLaughlin and Dan LaPenta, of psychology classes with Phil Jensen and Jim Mills, of the smell of autumn leaves late at night on the campus, of bandit squirrels raiding the bookstore’s nut-laden candy bars.

Michelle went into retail sales after graduation, but a vacancy in Drew’s Admissions Office lured her back to campus in 1987.  She spent four years here before moving on to increasingly responsible positions in admissions at Catawba College, Rider University, and Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, interrupted by a two-year stint as college counselor at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School.  All her counseling work was driven by her desire that all students, no matter  what college they chose, would feel the way she did about Drew:  that their college was the right one for them, and that it was a wonderful experience.

In 2003 she looked for a job closer to home in Ewing, New Jersey, and joined the Educational Testing Service.  After three years as client service coordinator for the Advanced Placement, PSAT/NMSQT, CLEP, and SAT tests, she moved to her current work with the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  As associate director of client relations, she helps educational institutions understand the TOEFL and keep up with changes in the test.

Because Michelle had earned a Gold D for her involvement in Drew’s student life, she was quickly recruited by Alumni Relations.  Over the years she has been invaluable to many of Drew’s alumni efforts.  She served a long stint as Class Secretary, and she has been very active in CAA as a member of the Board, the Reunion Committee, and the Alumni College Advisory Board, and as chair of the Admissions/DART (Drew Alumni Recruitment Team) Committee.  Inevitably, perhaps, she has found her work with prospective students the most rewarding.

One would think that work and Drew would leave Michelle with no leisure time whatever.  On the contrary, the extensive travel involved in her job gives her great opportunities to enjoy her favorite activities – theatre, museums, galleries, shopping – around the world.  At home, she enjoys staying in close touch with family and friends.