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A Year of Opportunity and Achievements

July 13, 2017

Dear alumni, parents, and friends,

This academic year was full of opportunity and achievements across the university, demonstrating why Tufts is a unique environment for learning, research and active citizenship. I am pleased to share with you the highlights through a collection of photos below. You can also view my full spring semester update to the community.

Thank you all for making this another productive and successful year. I look forward to another year of accomplishment ahead.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco, President

Tony Monaco



Tufts Commencement 2017

The high point of the academic year came on an especially beautiful Commencement day, when the university awarded more than 3500 undergraduate and graduate degrees and bestowed emeritus status on a number of long-time Tufts faculty including Sol Gittleman, the Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor and former provost.

Kenya Barris

In his Commencement address, Kenya Barris urged graduates to remain true to themselves. We were also glad to welcome back to campus thousands of alumni for a series of outstanding reunion programs.

Cyclorama art show

Graduating M.F.A. students learn the art of creating exhibitions and put it to use for a show at the Cyclorama in Boston in May.

Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup

Our athletics teams finished the year with a best-ever third place in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.

Student Updates

  • Annual events ranging from the $100k New Ventures Business Plan Competition and Bates-Andrew Day to the Presidential Awards for Civic Life demonstrated the diversity and depth of talent, research, innovation and commitment to service of students across the university.
  • During spring semester, the Student Life Review Committee conducted an assessment of the culture of undergraduate student life at Tufts and offered recommendations for enhancing residential and social life in ways that will support our students’ well-being, personal growth, and sense of community.
  • The university-wide Task Force on Student Mental Health began its review and assessment of student mental health among undergraduate and graduate and professional students.
  • We are monitoring the evolving immigration landscape and supporting our valued international students, faculty and staff. We have also continued to support our DACA and undocumented students, and are pleased to see the Administration in Washington recently announce its intention not to terminate the DACA program, which has benefited thousands of students across the country.

Academics and Research

Tufts research grants

This year, Tufts received 38 research grants greater than $1 million, which combined with the more than 500 other sponsored awards received in FY17 have a tremendous impact on local and global communities through applied and basic projects.

Tufts research strategic plan

In an effort to support, identify and pursue emerging research areas, Simin Meydani, Vice Provost for Research, has begun a strategic planning effort focused on Tufts’ research and scholarship enterprise. Learn more about the research and scholarship strategic plan.

Cummings School 2020 Strategic Plan

In February, the Cummings School released its 2020 Strategic Plan, which will energize the School’s students, faculty, and staff to fulfill its mission of healing animals, helping people, and transforming global health.

Cross-School Initiatives

Susan Landau

In September, we will welcome our newest Bridge Professor, Dr. Susan Landau; her dual appointment in the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy focuses on the technical and policy areas related to cybersecurity.

Data-Intensive Studies Center

We are taking the next steps toward the creation of a Data-Intensive Studies Center (DISC) to foster education, training, and research in statistics, computational science, and data science across university Tufts. DISC will ensure that our students and faculty can play leading roles in the myriad fields in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities that depend increasingly on applied data science.

Additional Cross-School Initiative update:

  • As a partner in cross-school initiatives, a university-wide faculty senate was formed. The group was elected by the faculty of each of our schools, and held its first meeting in April.

Events and Honored Guests

Incoming Vice Provost for Research Simin Nikbin Meydani

In February, we welcomed Marian Wright Edelman, founder of Children’s Defense Fund, who urged the audience to be a voice for the voiceless.

Governor Charlie Baker

Governor Charlie Baker stressed the importance of listening at the Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series in February.

Other Events and Honored Guests

  • We honored the late Professor Gerald R. Gill during the African American Freedom Trail Symposium
  • As Steering Committee Chair, President Monaco was honored to welcome colleagues from around the world to Veracruz, Mexico, for the fourth global conference of the Talloires Network, whose base at Tufts reflects our leading role in university civic engagement.


Incoming Vice Provost for Research Simin Nikbin Meydani

In Grafton, the renovation and expansion of the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals is already benefiting patients and the veterinary faculty, interns, residents, staff, and students who provide care.

Science and Engineering Complex

On the Medford/Somerville campus, the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) was completed in June, adding to the vibrant Tufts Science and Technology Corridor.

Solar installations in Grafton

Projects reflecting the university’s commitment to sustainability also moved forward: new solar installations in Grafton are now operational, reflecting the university’s commitment to sustainability.

Central Energy Plant on the Medford/Somerville campus

Cogeneration operations will begin later this summer at the Central Energy Plant on the Medford/Somerville campus.