As a graduate of the Class of '99, a 6-year faculty member in English, Admissions, and Marketing, and a dorm parent and Crew coach, Erika Ferlins Mills '99 has seen campus from many angles. Hung on the third floor of Eliot Hall, perhaps one of the only hallways Erika doesn't frequent for her job, is her plaque, which features a delicate carving of a tree and a child. Her advisee, Alumni Ambassador Arushi Ray '14, chose to interview Erika about her plaque.
Arushi: Why did you carve a scene from The Giving Tree?
Erika: My mother used to read that book to me as a child. She had given it to my dad as an anniversary gift, and on the inside of the book she inscribed, "may we always give of ourselves to each other." That message always resonated with me, and I've always loved the book.
Arushi: Rumor has it that you made sure not a single plaque in the whole school was similar. Care to validate this intriguing rumor?
Erika: True. I wanted to do a scene from the book that no one had ever done before, so I walked around the entire school and checked every single plaque. It may not be unique forever, but it was the only one of its kind in 1999!
Arushi: Do you ever wish that you had picked something else for your plaque?
Erika: Not at all. Spoiler alert, I give this book to every one of my advisees who graduates from Middlesex. I love the symbolism of what MX gives you, what faculty and peers give you, and how much Middlesex gave to me. Middlesex is all about giving: as a person, as a student, as an athlete, and as a friend, students and faculty give of their time and talents in myriad ways. We "give of ourselves to each other" at Middlesex.