Dorothy Bergold (Wheelock’74, SSW’81) has had a relationship with the School of Social Work since graduation: as a member and then president of the school’s Alumni Association Board, as the leader of a study trip to Cuba, and now as a field advisor for the school’s online program.
“I may be the only person they meet from BU until graduation,” she says of her advisees. “It’s a privilege to be able to be that person.”
Bergold feels privileged, too, to have had many meaningful jobs, in settings ranging from an inpatient psychiatric unit to pediatrics to hospice, in what she describes as a great career. She currently works part time in primary care at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I feel like I’m making a difference,” she says.
Bergold recently found another way to make a difference: by planning a bequest that will endow a scholarship at SSW.
“I know the school has very limited resources for scholarships,” she says, “and the fact that it can be endowed and last forever is really moving.”
Ever the social worker, Bergold discusses her gift in terms she learned at BU, when a class on human behavior covered Erik Erikson’s developmental theory.
“When you think about life stages, at the end of life, it’s integrity vs. despair—that’s the Eriksonian stage,” Bergold says. Aging isn’t always easy, as she notes, but there are ways to meet it with grace.
“I try to cope by being grateful, and giving to BU is adding to that,” Bergold says. “This is going to last forever.”