Life, like the roll of a dice, can be unpredictable. But, Gayle Cameron, ’78, knows firsthand how a Bridgewater State education pays dividends wherever a graduate ends up.
As a student, she never imagined she’d one day sit at the head of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, tasked with licensing and overseeing casinos and slots parlors in the Bay State. She views her position as an opportunity to “stand up for what’s right on behalf of the commonwealth.”
After all, she says: “There’s a lot of money in the casino industry.” It’s an industry that has been closely scrutinized by lawmakers and the media as it has grown since 2011, thanks to the expansion of the state’s gaming laws.
Cameron, who has served on the commission since 2012 and became interim chair in September, studied health and physical education at Bridgewater. She initially thought she’d become a teacher and coach. With job opportunities in education scarce back when she received her degree, she followed the advice of a friend and became a New Jersey State Police trooper.
“The field I entered was the people business, and one that required leadership and required physical skills, as well as an ability to understand the law,” said Cameron. “Both my (Bridgewater) athletics and undergraduate work led me to be successful in that field.”
She spent most of her law enforcement career in New Jersey, leading the agency’s investigations branch, whose authority included casino regulation. She also vetted people and companies as part of awarding licenses for Atlantic City’s casinos, and spent time undercover. Cameron retired with the second-highest rank of deputy superintendent.
At Bridgewater, she played volleyball, basketball and softball. She credited teammates, coaches and professors with teaching her about time management, having a strong work ethic and being a humble leader.
“A lot of those lessons that started as an undergraduate really serve me well now,” she said.
Cameron’s work on the commission, where she has served with Ivy League graduates and former state judges, shows that a Bridgewater education can take you anywhere.
She has some advice for today’s BSU students: “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t, your degree isn’t good enough, or you’re not prepared to do more. I think you’re every bit as prepared coming from Bridgewater.”
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