BGW honored for 35 years of service to UMass & CIE

At the UMass Founders Day Breakfast in spring 2018, Barbara Gravin Wilbur (universally known as BGW) was one of the UMass staff members honored for their long service.   BGW has been employed at UMass for 35 years, the last 32 years of which she has been the financial manager for the Center for International Education.


BGW has made a difference almost literally to every person who has ever been in contact with CIE.  While her official role is as finance manager where she oversees the financial affairs of projects ranging in size from a few hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions, she plays many other roles.


BGW is a friend to all, never too busy to help someone with a question or a problem, often having nothing to do with finance.  She is a consummate problem solver, helping students and faculty alike navigate the murky waters of the university bureaucracy.


BGW is, in a word, the house mother for CIE, taking care of the people, our home in Montague House, and always looking out for the best interests of everyone.  She is the baker-in-chief for CIE, regularly providing cookies, brownies, cakes, and other goodies for events, no matter how late she has to stay up the night before to bake.


She always has a cheerful, upbeat greeting for everyone – setting positive, can-do tone for all who work with her. No matter how daunting the challenge or the problem, she finds a way to see a positive aspect and has suggestions for how to move forward. 


She hasn’t changed in all her years at CIE.  The picture (left) shows her receiving a certificate in 2003 for 20 years of service.  Now, 15 years later, she is still as active as ever.


All of us a CIE are indebted to her in so many ways.  And, no, this is not a retirement announcement; rather, it is a note of gratitude.  She is the proverbial energizer bunny, still running regularly even when she is standing at her computer, in the office on Saturday mornings to work, answering questions from students, faculty members, and graduates, and taking care of all who come into contact with CIE.