40 under 40 — Luke Metcalf

Kappa, 2012 — Recognized in: 2018

Luke MetcalfAs an undergraduate at Tufts, Luke Metcalf studied engineering with an enthusiastic vigor which his peers still note to this day. Upon graduating, Luke decided to take his engineering background to Nepal, where he would embark on a selfless journey to construct a carbon-neutral high school for an organization that provides schooling to impoverished children. Working with the non-profit organization BlinkNow, Luke continues to dedicate himself to the Kopila school and other projects.

“After graduating from Tufts, I decided to do a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. I never could have imagined it would indirectly turn into a five-year experience in Nepal working as a project manager in a school construction project for an NGO called the BlinkNow Foundation. The challenges I faced in this work were beyond my imagination – an ever-expanding scope, corrupt government and contractors, daily electricity load-shedding, illiterate workers and a significant language barrier, to name a few. I could never have fathomed how a five-month stint turned into a five-year career choice, but I am proud of the fact I have stuck with it and am now a year from completing this project. I’ve had to draw on a toughness I didn’t know I have in order to weather the relentless storms of working in such a difficult environment. I do think I’ve come out stronger for it and I know with certainty that the challenges I faced as a pledge and as Phi of my Zeta Psi chapter have served me immeasurably during the last few years. I would encourage all young graduates to aim adventurously upon graduation and challenge themselves to perform in a difficult environment – it doesn’t have to be five years, but even a few months will give you a new perspective and teach you things about yourself you never knew!

I made my way to Tufts as a transfer student after two full years at another college, and within a few days there found myself invited to a rush event at Zeta Psi. I was unsure what to initially expect, but the sense of brotherhood and inclusiveness was immediately palpable. After just a few hours I was all in. The reward was phenomenal – an amazing group of lifelong friends I could lean on for amiable company and advice when I needed it. Even greater though, was the experience of becoming Phi of my chapter and the challenges and learning opportunities it presented; the conventions – one in New Orleans and several others on Tufts’ campus – were helpful, but most of all was the development of my leadership skills, patience and financial planning that all came with being the president of the fraternity chapter. I will always look back on my time at Zeta Psi with great fondness – as a pledge, as a brother, as Phi, and now as an elder.”

Check out his travel blog

  • Share this story!