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Gaye L. Vorkink

Instructor in Modern Languages
Gaye Vorkink

I am thrilled to be able to teach the language I love, which has been so much a part of my heritage.


B.A. University of Denver


Although born in Brooklyn, New York, Señora Vorkink (Gaye) and her family moved to Mexico City when she was not yet 2 years old. She spent her formative years immersed in life in Mexico, and although she also lived as a child in Brazil and Cuba, Mexico was her real home until she left for college; she has always considered herself half-Mexican at heart. After graduating from the University of Denver, she left the United States to spend two years in Bogota, Colombia, with the Peace Corps, doing urban community development. It was there that she met her future father-in-law, eventually returning to the U.S. and marrying his son, Peter Vorkink. With her husband, she lived in Tübingen, Germany, for one year before returning to the U.S.

Señora Vorkink taught elementary school in Massachusetts, and then in 1972, when her husband joined Exeter’s Religion Department, they moved to Exeter, where they have lived ever since. For 35 years she was a kindergarten teacher/administrator in a local private preschool, and then in 2003-2004, while she and her husband were on sabbatical in Japan, she had a chance to teach Spanish in an international school. Upon returning to Exeter, she became a part-time Spanish tutor to Academy students, which led to a part-time position teaching Spanish in the Modern Languages Department. Señora Vorkink teaches mainly first- and second-year Spanish courses. She and Mr. Vorkink lived for 17 years in dormitories, but they now live in their own house very close to campus.

Travel has been an integral part of her life. Her son once calculated how many countries she had traveled to, and it was more than 100. With her husband, she lived for two different sabbatical years in Japan, and for one year in England; they have also traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, southern Africa, and all over Latin America. In that sense, her travels have been her personal classroom. At home, she likes to cook, garden, read, knit and spend time with her friends.