Back to news

Launching a New Academic Year at Tufts

September 23, 2016

Dear alumni, parents, and friends,

As we begin the academic year, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the undergraduate Class of 2020, incoming graduate and professional students, and our outstanding new faculty members across the university. I'm inspired by the energy, talent, intellect, passion, and diversity of perspectives and experiences of the newest members of our vibrant community.

I invite you to experience a snapshot of what's been happening at Tufts this past summer through a collection of photos below from across our campuses. You can read more about the busy past few months in my full beginning-of-the-year message to the campus community, which includes updates on campus renovations, cross-school initiatives, and active citizenship participation.

We are tremendously grateful to the many alumni, parents, and friends whose generous contributions play a critical role in allowing us to better support our students and faculty. Fundraising achievement for the fiscal year totaled $151 million, the highest it has been since 2008 and well ahead of our $125 million goal. The Financial Aid Initiative came to an end, surpassing its goals and raising more than $95 million for endowed financial aid across the university. Support for scholarships and fellowships will continue to be a fundraising priority for Tufts.

I look forward to the achievements of the entire Tufts family this academic year and the progress we will make on these exciting ventures.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco

Tony Monaco


Members of the Class of 2020

The Class of 2020 gets to know each other in their new home on the Hill.

A detail from Isabella Montoya, A20,'s work, Lantanas

We're also excited to get to know the students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts now that the SMFA has become part of Tufts. The image above is a detail from "Lantanas" by Isabella "Izzi" Montoya, A20.

Students participating in a group exercise

The JumboVote initiative through Tisch College will facilitate registration and voting so that eligible members of the university community can cast their ballots and get engaged in the electoral process.

Dr. Paul Summergrad

Dr. Paul Summergrad, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine and Tufts Medical Center, and a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, will serve as co-chair of a new university-wide task force dedicated to student mental health, which will engage students, faculty, and staff. President Monaco will launch and chair the group, which will assess policies and services in light of evolving needs to make sure that we are providing the resources and support that our undergraduates and graduate and professional students need.


Tufts students learning

As a major initiative of our university-wide T10 Strategic Plan, we are focused on identifying and supporting cross-school initiatives such as the Bridge Professorships, spanning disciplines, departments, and schools.

Recent progress on cross-school initiatives:

  • Dr. Jan P. de Ruiter, whose work in cognitive science spans the psychology and computer science departments, joined us this summer.
  • The search process for a Bridge Professor in Cyber Security and Policy between the Department of Computer Science and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is under way this fall.
  • Next steps are being taken toward the creation of a Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Research to foster education, training, and research in statistics, computational science, and data science university-wide.

Facilities and Operations

New reception area for the expanded Foster Hospital for Small Animals

In Grafton, the new waiting/reception area of the expanded Foster Hospital for Small Animals will be available for clients in September, and the whole project will be completed in December.

New Equine Sports Medicine Complex

We have broken ground on the new Equine Sports Medicine Complex, with completion expected in early 2017.

More Facilities and Operations Updates:

  • On the Medford/Somerville campus, the annual cycle of residence hall upgrades continued as well as classroom upgrades.
  • Work proceeded on the Central Energy Plant, scheduled to be complete in spring 2017.
  • The Science and Engineering Complex will be ready for occupancy next summer.
  • The university's planned budget for the fiscal year that ended in June was essentially breakeven. Over the course of the year, we saw improvement in operating results thanks to the responsible budgeting and spending of schools and departments. The resulting overall surplus was still modest in relation to our total operating budget and the need for continued investment in academic programs and facilities, and we will continue to focus on careful management of our financial resources.

Administrative Updates

Incoming Vice Provost for Research Simin Nikbin Meydani

Simin Nikbin Meydani, director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), began her new responsibilities as vice provost for research on a part-time basis on August 15, and will assume the office fully on October 1.

Diana Chigas

Diana Chigas, professor of the practice of international negotiation and conflict resolution at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, is now associate provost and senior international officer. She will be responsible for engaging leaders across the schools to enhance Tufts’ outreach, impact, and visibility internationally.