| by Eva Gudbergsdottir

Jeff Wood

When Jeff wood arrived at the Mon­terey Institute in 1985, he recalls, “some faculty offices were literally in clos­ets.” He felt like he was taking a bit of a chance on a school with an uncertain reputation, but he believed in the presi­dent and the job that came with the op­portunity to move to Carmel Valley with his family.

Jeff made the leap from Occidental College, where he was director of alum­ni and careers, and technically count­ed a young man named Barack Obama as one of his advisees, although he does not remember meeting him. Among oth­er things, Jeff says he was drawn to the “start-up spirit” of the Institute.

Jeff had known then-president Bill Craig from when they were both work­ing in Vermont in the 1970s. A graduate of Middlebury College, Craig is often re­membered as the captain of a legendary football team from 1936.

“Everyone at the Institute called the president ‘Bill,’ but the head of facilities was ‘Mr. Campbell,’” says Jeff with a chuckle. Jeff saw that President Craig was in the process of “revitalizing the Insti­tute” and clear­ly believed Jeff would be an important ad­dition to his team.

It turns out he was right, and for thirty years Jeff has had immense impact on the lives of countless students and alumni through his solid guidance and counseling. That includes several of his coworkers and half the faculty now teaching in the translation and interpre­tation program. “I still vividly remember them as students,” says Jeff.

He stays in touch with many of his former advisees and is an irreplaceable resource for alumni information and con­nections. A member of the Legacy Soci­ety, Jeff intends to stay connected to the Institute and says he might now finally have time to attend more events. “The interactions with people are what makes this place,” he says, and we could not agree more.

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Eva Gudbergsdottir