Jane Smalley, BB’63, doesn’t let anything hold her back once an idea takes shape and percolates. Whether hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections, which took her 11 years, or skiing in France after a hip replacement, she knows what she can take on and runs with it. After all, she is a physical therapist and persistence is second nature.
Jane studied at the Boston Bouvé School of Physical Therapy and Physical Education when it was located at Tufts University. She didn’t know much about Northeastern after the Bouvé School moved to the university in 1964. While attending her Bouvé alumni reunion, hosted by Northeastern in 1998, Jane learned that a permanent archive to showcase the history of Bouvé was being planned.
Legacy is important to Jane, and the idea that Northeastern was building a physical space to honor the Bouvé School for its alumni and future students resonated strongly with her. “We’ll have a place and we won’t be forgotten,” she thought at the time.
The Behrakis Health Sciences Center opened in 2004, and the Bouvé Founders Room at Behrakis was dedicated in 2010. Jane attended the ceremony and was inspired by Northeastern’s commitment to maintain the legacy of the Bouvé School. With each event she attended, her pride in Bouvé grew, and she began considering how she might give back to make an impact on the program that gave her so much. “I’ve been a physical therapist for 50 years, and I got my start at Bouvé. Why wouldn’t I want to give back?” asks Jane.
As a career physical therapist, Jane has helped countless adults and children recover their mobility in clinical and home settings. She changed lives and now aspires to do the same for physical therapy education. Moved by Northeastern’s mission to give Bouvé a permanent home and motivated to ensure that students have the opportunity to attend, Jane established the Jane Clow Smalley Physical Therapy Scholarship.
Jane established an endowed scholarship, the Jane Clow Smalley Physical Therapy Scholarship, through qualified charitable distributions from her IRA, providing a tax efficient way to contribute. She gives directly from her IRA to Northeastern without having to pay income tax, a benefit she receives even if she does not itemize her taxes. Northeastern is then able to use her gift immediately to help students. “It’s a win-win situation for me and the students,” she says.
Each year, Jane returns to campus for the scholarship awards ceremony and enjoys reading letters of appreciation from the students who receive her award. When scholarship recipients tell her about finding their passion—especially students who are studying women’s health—she is very gratified to know that the legacy of Bouvé continues. “It really touches me to read their letters,” Jane says, “They understand why I gave this award and why it’s so important to me.”
The Bouvé Founders Room: Where Legacy Lives
For more on the history of Bouvé School please visit A Proud Past.