Murphy graduated from the University in 1987 with a double-major in English and Communications before working in finance for many years at Goldman Sachs in the U.S. and Investcorp in Europe. She described her time on Grounds as “traditional
and happy,” with involvement in a number of organizations, including a secret society. Murphy said she felt “confident and familiar” with the University before she matriculated because she was the third generation
of her family to come to the University — her paternal grandfather, father and brother all attended as well.
What stood out to many who knew her was Murphy’s ability and willingness to take on leadership roles during her time on Grounds. In a letter to the editor published in The Cavalier Daily in February 1986, then-fourth-year College
student Janet Schwitzer endorsed Murphy during her run for vice president of the College, a position which, at the time, also acted as vice chair of the Honor Committee.
“Of all the highly-qualified candidates, she stands out in my mind,” Schwitzer wrote. “She has the experience in working with the honor system and with people: she’s an honor advisor, peer stress educator, and
a Madison House volunteer.”
Schwitzer went on to say that Murphy’s “people skills” were “more impressive,” highlighting the fact that she listened to everyone’s concerns. Murphy ultimately won the election and worked closely
with Alex Arriaga — a Class of 1987 alumnus who served as president of the College and vice chair of the Honor Committee — who, like Schwitzer, attributed Murphy’s leadership partly to her listening skills.
“She’s a great leader because she listens to people — she really tries to hone in on what they key issues are, she’s a great friend, and a really loyal, strong advocate,” Arriaga said in a recent interview
with The Cavalier Daily. “I think, really, she’s a really great listener but she’s a do-er as well.”
In her role on the Honor Committee, Murphy oversaw the Honor Advisors, now known as Honor Support Officers. Arriaga said Murphy’s intelligence and kindness, as well as her ability to be strategic and collaborative, helped her
ensure everyone’s experience with the Honor system ran smoothly.
“It can be a very tough experience, extremely tough, for all sides,” Arriaga said. “Tammy really did a great job in making sure the Honor Advisors not only knew the process well, but really knew how to support individuals
and also to do it both responsibly and in a way that would be supportive for other students.”
Outside of her contributions to the University community, Murphy said she had many great memories from her time on Grounds — too many to count. One of those memories includes the day a huge snowstorm occurred in January 1987
and classes were cancelled — the same day she first met her husband, although they would meet again while working at Goldman Sachs years later.
“Although I was slated for a callback interview that morning, I was told that it would be rescheduled to a later date,” Murphy said. “Accordingly, some of my best pals and I threw on some blue jeans and headed for
the Lawn to play football in the snow. About an hour later, I found out that my callback interview was actually happening at that moment! I had the audacity to venture into the Career Counseling Office in ripped up jeans, a U.Va.
sweatshirt and hair in a ponytail, which is how I had my interview.”
However, Murphy’s memories on Grounds didn’t stop there — as a current member of the Board of Visitors, Murphy remains an active part of the University community.