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At 81, She's a Model TC Graduate

All right, maybe Naomi Campbell, the supermodel, doesn't have anything to worry about -- yet.

But Josephine Buck-Jones, a member of the Teachers College Alumni Council, is finding success as a model -- at the age of 81.

She has appeared in a print advertisement for Avon and she is featured in a consumer-information brochure produced by NYNEX. She even had a line in a movie -- "He's going to charge us for all these packages," she said of a cabdriver -- but the low-budget independent film never came out.

Still, Buck-Jones is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and goes on casting calls regularly.

Her modeling career began in earnest two years ago, when her daughter took some photographs of her and sent them around to some agents. "I started getting calls," Buck-Jones said. "One man told me I had the kind of face that people were always looking for."

A native of St. Louis, Buck-Jones made her career as a professional singer for more than a quarter of a century. She had solo concerts at New York's Town Hall in 1957 and 1958 and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1962. She sang German lieder and arias, and some people said she was going to be the next Marian Anderson.

"That didn't happen," Buck-Jones says now, "but I had a nice career." When she retired from singing in 1977, she began to research the work of the Black classical composers. With her sister, she wrote books on the history of Black music and she lectured at colleges and universities around the nation.

She also came to TC as a student and earned a Master of Education degree in music education in 1988.

A resident of Yonkers, New York, Buck-Jones recently retired as a trustee of Westchester Community College. But she's not retiring from the modeling business.

"Someone told me that it takes some people 10 years to get their first job," Buck-Jones said. "I've been very lucky to get the work I have gotten, but I am always looking forward to getting something else."

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