Lamont Donor Profile: Terry Galpin-Plattner
by Keith Ward
We have all found Lamont in different ways and for different reasons. Some of us are attracted to work here. Students come seeking an education that will support their unique paths. Friends and donors find us, and their presence enriches us all. Terry Galpin-Plattner came to Lamont in her own special way: as Michael McGoldrick’s partner. Michael will be forever remembered at Lamont, thanks to the historic matching gift challenge this year. Terry has her own story to tell as someone who enjoyed and relished many wonderful concerts and events with us. She has gotten to know students, faculty, and friends in the Lamont Society over the past quarter century. She has her own presence in the Lamont community.
Terry has a lifelong devotion to social activities for peace and justice. “I’m wired that way,” she says. “It’s my core, my heart, my soul. It’s a testimony. When something hits you, it hits you, and you have to do it.” Heading overseas at 19, she thought she would become an au pair in France. Life, however, took a different direction: through various turns, she instead landed in Uganda, doing community development through Operation Crossroads Africa. “I loved every second I was there,” says Terry. Her future work in social justice took her to many places, from Selma, Alabama, where she marched and helped register voters, and ten years of anti-apartheid work overseas.
Coming back from abroad, Terry worked for eight years for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker-based peace and justice organization, where she focused for eight years upon U.S. policy in the Middle East. It was the AFSC that took her first to St. Louis, Missouri and then to Colorado. For many years, Terry enjoyed making a difference through her work in non-profits, supporting and fighting for peace and justice.
How did she become part of Lamont’s community? Music has long been a part of her and her family’s life – a grandfather was a music teacher, her father played the violin, and Terry learned the piano. On occasions, she would perform with her father. The natural inclination toward music, then, was already there, but it was through Michael McGoldrick, her partner for twenty-two years, that she came to know Lamont.
Terry describes Michael as someone with a voracious appetite for the arts, which included being a supernumerary in Opera Colorado for half a dozen years. “He was constantly looking for satisfying cultural activities,” she recalls. “On our first date he took me to a chamber concert at Museo de las Americas. It was the classic example of how he would find unique events.” Concerts at Lamont factored into that equation, beginning before and continuing after it moved to the Newman Center. Of the many events at Lamont, Terry especially enjoyed the annual Showcase concert, which features some of Lamont’s most accomplished student performers. “Those are to die for,” says Terry, speaking about the breadth of repertoire and quality of the performances.
While Michael became deeply involved in the Lamont Council, eventually serving as its President, and while the relationship Terry had with Lamont is tied to him, she also feels she has her own relationship with us. She enjoyed special friendships with faculty, noting in particular Ricardo Iznaola (Emeritus Professor, Guitar), Sarah Morelli (Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology), and Tom Miller (Adjunct Faculty, Steel Drums). But when I asked her what is most special about Lamont for her, she said the students are first and foremost. “I love to see young adults thriving. Students at Lamont seem to thrive within their own choice of whatever it is they do. It’s like watching a flower unfold.” Terry’s presence and support over the years, continuing to this day, has played its own role in encouraging students and enabling Lamont to flourish.