LGBT Center names new director

Hope Denese Freeman is the new director of the LGBT center. (Courtesy Gregory Victory).

Tufts has appointed Hope Denese Freeman the new director of the LGBT Center. Freeman will begin her role as director on March 13, according to an announcement to the Tufts community.

“I am looking forward to learning from everyone on how I can be a strong resource in the LGBT Center,” Freeman said in the announcement. “I also look forward to continuing the ground work of fostering an inclusive and supportive culture for students, faculty and staff here on The Hill.”

Freeman is an alumna of Smith College, as well as Simmons College’s School of Management. She has worked in aiding LGBTQ youth of color, HIV counseling and LGBTQ advocacy, particularly in cultural competency training, according to the announcement.

“Hope has an extensive array of experience ensuring youth are not only able to access quality and necessary care, but are equipped with the tools needed to thrive, strive and succeed,” the release read.

Dean of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon said in the announcement that Freeman was hired from a competitive pool of applicants, assembled after a nationwide search.

“We are delighted that she will be joining the Tufts community and adding her experience and enthusiasm to our continued work on diversity, pluralism and inclusion,” she wrote.

According to McMahon, the search committee was led by Career Center Executive Director Gregory Victory.

“Many students, staff and faculty who care deeply about the LGBT center and LGBT issues at Tufts served on the committee, interviewed candidates and helped inform our search process,” McMahon told the Daily in an email.

Freeman’s hiring comes after previous LGBT Center Director Nino Testa (G’13) left Tufts last semester in order to move to Texas, according to a November 2016 Daily article. Testa, the article notes, worked to make the LGBT Center a space that supports students’ needs, and his advocacy efforts extended to the larger Tufts community.

People come to the center with all of [these] different needs and experiences; there isn’t just one reason you want to go to the LGBT Center, and I want it to be a place that’s mindful of all the intersectional identities at Tufts,” Testa said in a 2014 Daily article.