The storyteller

By Jeff Gire

In retirement, Anne Middleton '71 follows her passion.

“What would you do if you could do anything?”

Anne Middleton ’71 heard that question first from her father, as her career went from teaching to journalism to university fundraising. When Middleton retired, she asked it once more of herself.

Both as a journalist and in working for the University of California, San Diego, she always told stories. Some of her most rewarding years were writing in-depth, personal profiles for newspapers. Middleton wanted to tell those kinds of stories again.

“That’s what I do now, I teach people how to write autobiographies,” she says. “When I wrote my dad’s memoirs a year before he passed away at nearly 87, it was the best thing I’d ever done. I discovered that it’s good for people, no matter what age, to tell their stories.”

As part of Middleton’s training to become a guided autobiographer, she wrote about a turning point in her life. She immediately thought of Santa Clara University.

At Santa Clara, Middleton met “the best friends I’m ever going to have.” Middleton and her classmates still travel together, celebrate birthdays, and keep their “Santa Clara connection” alive at reunions and frequent get-togethers.

This is why Middleton made a bequest to Santa Clara for scholarships. Now that she helps craft autobiographies, she knows just how important those first chapters of a life story can be and that “there’s no greater gift you can get than a first-class education.”

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