Another Light on the Hill Black Students at Tufts

Ancy Verdier

Ancy Verdier A96 D03 DG06 served as TSU President from 1995 to 1996, 1996

Ancy Verdier A96 D03 DG06 grew up in Rye, New York, where he excelled at Rye County Day School and served as class president all four years of high school. Verdier brought that same level of interest in student government and service to Tufts. In his freshman year, Verdier represented Carmichael Hall in the Residence Hall Association and spoke in favor of affinity housing, participated in the Student of Color Outreach Program-encourage (S.C.O.P.E.), and ran for and became a Senate representative for the class of 1996. Verdier won the most votes in the spring election. In his first campaign, he promised a focus on increasing diversity on campus and making student computer labs more responsive to scheduling needs. He also was a member of the track and field team, where he participated in throwing events.

During his first term in the TCU Senate, Verdier quickly became a leader, as he chaired the Special Projects Committee and organized the always-popular Halloween on the Hill, hosting over 300 students from 24 local elementary schools for activities like a haunted house, pumpkin carving, and carnival-style games. By the spring of 1994, student computer labs expanded their hours indefinitely, with the hope of eventual 24-hour access. He was also nominated to server as the TCU Senate vice president. The Tufts Daily described Verdier as having experience and making meaningful quality-of-life changes for Tufts students as vice president. Due to his successes on the TCU Senate, Verdier made the decision to run for TCU Senate President in April 1995. Verdier centered his platform around improving financial aid, especially need-blind financial assistance, constitutional reforms, and increasing TCU representation for minority groups on campus. Verdier won support from his classmates and many current and former members of the TCU Senate, and won in a sweeping 783-320 vote victory in the election.

Verdier’s tenure as president was not without its controversies. The proposed constitutional amendment to give voting rights to certain affinity housing representatives divided the student body and the Senate itself. Following a close Senate vote to remove the affinity housing representatives, Black and Asian students organized a sit-in of the Senate. Verdier clashed with the protesters and reportedly threatened to involve campus police. Eventually, the Senate agreed to bring the representative question to the student body as a ballot measure. Verdier was criticized for his actions, both by students who thought he could have done a better job controlling the meeting and by members of the Tufts Black community for not supporting them more. The proposed constitutional changes did end up passing the Senate unanimously. However, the change did not pass in a student body referendum.

As a senior, Verdier won the prestigious Wendell Phillips award and graduated with a BA in psychology. However, that was not the end of Verdier’s academic career at Tufts. He received a Doctor in Dental Medicine from the Tufts Dental School in 2003 and a second degree that focused on periodontology in 2006. Following his time at Tufts Dental School, Verdier worked in a practice on Long Island before opening his own periodontology practice in Worcester, Massachusetts. Verdier has remained active within the Tufts Dental Alumni Association and currently serves on the Tufts Board of Trustees.

Biography written and researched by Cat Rosch.