Luminaries, A - L

A - L | M - Z

Dr. Raymond W. Bliss, A1909, M1910, H43
1888 - 1965; Former Army Surgeon General who instituted many reforms within the Army Medical Service that led to an increased survival rate and dramatically better care.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: M.D. 1910; HSc.D., 1943

Other Degrees: Army Medical College, 1913; Harvard Medical School, 1920-21; HLL.D., University of Louisville, 1948

Awards & Honors: Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Legion of Honor (France); Cross of Knight Office of the Italian Crown; Hosea Ballou Medal

Biography: Dr. Raymond W. Bliss's extensive experience in surgery and his success in administrative roles in the army during World War I, led to his promotion to the position of Surgeon General of the Army in 1947. This position gave him the responsibility of standardizing military medical care, a task made difficult by the widely spread areas of US military influence post World War II. Dr. Bliss succeeded in forming a standard design for military hospitals around the world while still ensuring efficient management of people and supplies, thereby creating a unified supply chain and delivery system and assuring that all military hospitals would be well equipped and prepared to treat patients at all times. He retired from active service in 1951. He was an honorary fellow of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia. He was a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Bliss died in 1965 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

return to top

Dr. Vannevar Bush, E1913, AG1913, H32
1890 - 1974; American engineer and founder of the National Science Foundation who believed that advancements in technology could lead away from warfare and toward peace and unity.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: B.S. and M.S., Mathematics, 1913, HSc.D., 1932

Other Degrees: Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, MIT and Harvard, 1917; received 24 honorary degrees including ones from Princeton, Yale and Columbia

Awards & Honors: Life Member of the Board of Trustees, Tufts University, 1933; Trustee Emeritus, Tufts University, 1962; Ballou Medal, Tufts University, 1941; Distinguished Service Award, Tufts Alumni Council, 1947; Louis Edward Levy Medal of the Franklin Institute-1928; Holley Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers-1943; Roosevelt Memorial Association's Distinguished Service Medal-1945; Marcellus Hartley Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences-1945; Hoover Medal-1946; Medal for Merit (awarded by President Truman--1948); Edison Medal, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1943; dubbed "Knight Commander of the civilian division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” - 1948; Medal of the Industrial Research Institute-1949; National Medal of Science -1963; Founders Medal of the National Academy of Engineering - 1966 ; Atomic Pioneer Award by the Atomic Energy Commission - 1970 ; Vannevar Bush Award established in his name by the National Science Board in 1980.

Biography: Dr. Vannevar Bush had a significant impact on the evolution of scientific research methods in the United States. He was a co-inventor of the S-tube, a new piece of hardware for radios that allows them to be run by electricity rather than batteries. The S-tube was invented in 1925 in Halligan Hall on the Medford campus. Dr. Bush taught at both Tufts and MIT, where he was appointed the Vice President and Dean of the School of Engineering in 1932. During this time, he aided the war effort by inventing a device for submarine detection and also a “differential analyzer", which assisted in the calculation of ballistics. Dr. Bush also played a role in the early stages of the Manhattan project, which was responsible for developing the first nuclear bomb.

Dr. Bush was appointed President of the Carnegie Institution in 1938, a post that allowed him to advise the government on a variety of scientific matters. His appointment as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's scientific advisor was the first ever position of its kind.

Dr. Bush's relentless pursuit of scientific advancement and research led him to establish the National Science Foundation in 1950. He also developed a machine for the automation of human thinking, called a “memex”, which is considered the first personal information processor. Although Dr. Bush was not directly involved with the development of the Internet, his ideas regarding the memex laid the groundwork for the creation of the global network.

Dr. Bush was the Chairman of the Joint Research and Development Board of the War and Navy Departments (1946) as well as the Chairman of the Development Board of the National Military Establishment (1947-1948). He served as Chairman of the MIT Corporation (1957-1959) and then as Honorary Chairman until 1971.

return to top

Olive Dame Campbell, J1903, H28
1882 - 1954; American folklorist who traveled throughout Appalachia to study and collect local music as well as reform the region’s educational system.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: J1903, H1928

Biography: In 1909, Olive Dame Campbell and her husband John Charles Campbell received a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to research the living conditions of working people in the Southern Appalachians. They became interested in studying and collecting the music of the region, later publishing English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians. This collection was important to the folk revival of the 1960s and served as the basis for the 2000 film Songcatcher.

The couple worked to promote community organization among the mountain workers. They opened the Southern Highland Division of the Russel Sage Foundation in Asheville, North Carolina in order to be closer to the people they were studying.

After her husband’s death, Mrs. Campbell wrote "The Southern Highlander and His Homeland", which was published under her husband’s name. In 1925, she founded the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, which forged a connection between the townspeople and their rural heritage by building a community around southern folk traditions.

Mrs. Campbell continued to collect ballads and handicrafts until her death in 1954. The legacy of her work lives on today. In 2008, Revels Repertory Company created a tribute to her and the music she collected, entitled Voices of the Mountain, which was performed throughout eastern Massachusetts.

return to top

Dr. Leonard Carmichael, A21, H37
1898 - 1973; Former President of Tufts University whose appetite for exploration, education and adventure inspired future generations of students to emulate his admirable example.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: B.S., 1921, HDCommSc, 1937

Other Degrees: Ph.D. Harvard University, 1924, 23 other honorary degrees

Awards & Honors: Tufts’ Carmichael Hall and Leonard Carmichael Society were both named in his honor; the lunar crater Carmichael is named in his honor; Public Welfare Medal, National Academy of Sciences, 1972; Vice-President for Research and Exploration for National Geographic (1964)

Biography: Tufts’ Carmichael Hall and Leonard Carmichael Society were both named in his honor; the lunar crater Carmichael is named in his honor; Public Welfare Medal, National Academy of Sciences, 1972; Vice-President for Research and Exploration for National Geographic (1964)

Dr. Leonard Carmichael became an instructor at Princeton University's Department of Psychology in 1924, which marked the beginning of a life devoted to teaching. He moved to Brown University in 1927 as one of the youngest full professors ever appointed at the university.

In 1938, Dr. Carmichael became the seventh president of Tufts University, a position he held from for 14 years. During his presidency, the college expanded both financially and spiritually. He also contributed his skills to the war effort and took great pride in his role as director of the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel.

In 1953, Dr. Carmichael stepped down from his position as president of Tufts to become the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He left in 1964 and was elected Vice President for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society, which granted him the opportunity to indulge his long-time interest in primate research.

Dr. Carmichael also served on a number of federal advisory committees and boards. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1932 and to the American Philosophical Society in 1942. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1943 and served as the chairman of its Section on Psychology from 1950 to 1953. He was chairman of the American Council on Education from 1947-1948. He was president of the American Philosophical Society from 1970 to 1973. For almost a quarter of a century, he was a member, and for much of the time chairman, of the Board of Scientific Directors of the Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology. Later he served on a similar board for the Delta Regional Primate Research Center and for many years was on the Board of Scientific Overseers of the Jackson Memorial Laboratory at Bar Harbor.

Dr. Carmichael passed away in 1971 after suffering from a severe heart attack. Upon his death, Dr. Melvin M. Payne, president of the National Geographic Society, remarked, “We have lost a brave man of Renaissance proportion…All those who were fortunate enough to have been associated with this kindly and gentle man have lost a beloved friend.”

return to top

Charles Ernest Fay, A68
1846 - 1931; Noted professor and alpinist whose 60 year position at Tufts and dedication to students was paralleled only by his ardent love for the great outdoors.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: B.A., 1868; M.A., 1872; HLittD, 1900; HLLD, 1928

Awards & Honors: President of the New England Modern Language Association in 1905; President of the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1878, 1881, 1893, and 1905; co-founder and the first president of the American Alpine Club, 1902-1904; honorary membership in the English. French, and Italian Mountain Clubs; honorary membership Centro Excursionista de Catalune (Spain); honorary member of the Italian Alpine Club; knighted and made an officer of the Order of St. Charles by Prince Albert of Monaco in 1920; Mount Fay in the Bow Rage, Alberta, Canada named in Fay's honor; Fay Hut in Kootenay National Park was named by the Alpine Club of Canada in honor of Fay

Biography: Charles Ernest Fay was considered a "Rennaissance man" thanks to his involvement in a wide variety of avocations. Although he was a respected educator and linguist, it was Mr. Fay's reputation as an alpinist that earned him international recognition. Before the age of 50, Fay had climbed the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondacks, the Rockies, and the Sierra Madre. He made his 19th visit to the Selkirk Range of the Canadian Rockies at age 75.

Mr. Fay also enjoyed giving lectures and gave a series of speeches in Washington, D.C. that was sponsored by National Geographic. He was a prolific writer and the author of hundreds of articles.

Throughout his life, Mr. Fay was involved in a vast array of organizations. He was one of the founders of the Modern Language Association (MLA); a life member of the American Philological Association; president of the New England Modern Language Association; and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Fay was also a member of the Boston and Cambridge Shakespeare Clubs; the Boston Browning Society; the American Folk Lore Society; the Metropolitan Improvement League of Boston; and the Massachusetts Forestry Association.

Mr. Fay completed his final climb just six months before his death at the age of 84.

return to top

Dr. Dorothy Ferebee, M24
Major leader in delivering health care to poor African Americans and former president of National Council of Negro Women
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: M.D., Tufts Medical Center, 1924

Other Degrees: B.A., Simmons College

Biography: Dr. Dorothy Ferebee was a tireless advocate for racial equality and women's health care. In 1925, she established Southeast Neighborhood House in a derelict section of Capitol Hill, with the aim to provide health care to impoverished African Americans. She also set up the Southeast Neighborhood Society with a playground and day care for children of working mothers. That same year, she joined the faculty of Howard University Medical School as the Director of Health Services and became the founding president of the Women's Institute, an educational and philanthropic organization. In 1934, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African-American sorority, sponsored a health project to bring primary medical care to Mississippi’s rural black population, which struggled to receive even the most basic health care. Dr. Ferebee, who was a long-term member of the sorority, served as the project’s medical director from 1935 to 1942. An active member of the National Council of Negro Women, she served as its second president from 1949 to 1953 and expanded the organization's efforts to eliminate discrimination against minorities in housing, health care, education, and the armed forces. In the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the Council for Food for Peace. In this role, she toured Africa for five months, lecturing on preventive medicine.

return to top


Richard Frenkiel, E63
World-renowned engineer known for his pioneering contributions to the first cell phone networks
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: B.S.M.E., 1963

Other Degrees: M.S.M.E., Rutgers University, 1965

Awards & Honors: National Academy of Engineering Charles Stark Draper Prize, 2013; Rutgers University School of Engineering Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012; Mayor of Manalapan Township in New Jersey, 1999; National Medal of Technology, 1994; Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award, 1992; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Alexander Graham Bell Medal, 1987

Biography: Richard Frenkiel is a senior consultant at Rutgers University’s Wireless Information Networks Laboratory (WINLAB). He began his work on cellular systems at Bell Labs in 1966 and quickly became a leader in his field. Mr. Frenkiel co-authored AT&T’s cellular proposal presented to the FCC in 1971 and served on the Electronic Industries Alliance committee that drafted the standard for cellular operation in the United States. Mr. Frenkiel’s invention of a method for splitting cells to include additional towers for high volume areas greatly simplified the logistics of increasing cellular communication and reduced cellular system costs by more than half. During his 30-year tenure at Bell Labs, Mr. Frenkiel served as the head of Mobile Systems Engineering and later as the head of Research and Development for AT&T’s cordless telephone business unit. Since his retirement from Bell Labs in 1993, Mr. Frenkiel has served as a consultant and teacher at Rutgers University. He is a fellow of Bell Labs and of the IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

return to top

Dr. Leonard Gottlieb, M50
1927 - 2006; Pathologist who helped to establish the colonoscopy as a life-saving test and who worked to stimulate the minds of young medical students by founding a well renowned exchange program that still exists today.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: MD, 1950

Other Degrees: B.A., Biology, Bowdoin College, 1946, MPH, Harvard

Awards & Honors: Lewis H. Millender Community of Excellence Award, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, 2005; Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Friends of Hebrew University, 2000

Biography: Dr. Leonard Gottlieb started his medical career with an internship at Boston City Hospital. In 1957, after serving a two year tour of duty in the medical corps of the US Naval Reserve, Dr. Gottlieb joined the staff of the Mallory Institute of Pathology, a position that cemented his devotion to conducting cancer research. He was appointed Director in 1972, a position he held for for 31 years. Dr. Gottlieb was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine in 1980, succeeding his mentor, Dr. Stanley L. Robbins. He was responsible for integrating the services of the Boston City Hospital with those of the University Hospital and served as a member of the senior leadership of this establishment for several decades.

Dr. Gottlieb was committed to furthering medical research, specifically in the area of colorectal cancer. He was a founding member of the National Polyp Study Workgroup, which had a leading role in establishing a test that is now responsible for saving countless lives.

Continuing his dedication to medical research and education, Dr. Gottlieb helped establish the Louis and Charlotte Kaitz Boston University School of Medicine-Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School student exchange program in 1986. The program is still in existence today and has hosted over 130 students from both medical schools. Dr. Gottlieb was honored for his services to medicine in Israel with a lifetime achievement award from the American Friends of Hebrew University and the Louis H. Millender Community of Excellence Award by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Dr. Gottlieb also taught at several medical schools in the Boston area and penned nearly 200 articles and abstracts, and 14 book chapters about diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract.

return to top

Jester Hairston, A29, H72
1901 - 2000; Beloved film actor, radio star and composer who devoted himself to preserving the music of slaves and ensuring that that period of American history would not be forgotten.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: B.A., 1929; Hon., 1972

Other Degrees: Julliard, 1929-1931; HD.Mus., University of the Pacific; HA, Massachusettes Agriculture College, 1972

Awards & Honors: Distinguished Service, Tufts, 1990; Distinguished Alumnus Award (Dpt Music & Dance), Massachusetts Agriculture College, 1992; Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Biography: In the summer of 1926, Jester Hairston auditioned for Tufts music professor Leo Lewis on the front porch of Lewis' Professors Row home and was immediately accepted into Tufts. After graduating in 1929, Mr. Hairston joined the Howell Johnson Negro Choir. He was appointed assistant director of the choir and led the group on a trip to Hollywood to search out film roles. Mr. Hairston was hired to arrange the music and conduct the choir for the soundtrack of Dmitri Tiomkin's film Lost Horizons, which jumpstarted his career. He went on to write scores for numerous films, such as Lilies of the Field. In that film, Mr. Hairston's dubbed voice can be heard singing his song "Amen" while Sidney Poitier lip synchs. His Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child," was a top-ten hit in 1956 for Harry Belafonte and is a standard holiday song today. By the end of his career, Mr. Hairston had written and arranged more than 300 spirituals.

Mr. Hairston is also known for his acting roles. For sixteen years, he was the voice of Leroy on Amos 'N' Andy, and he played a native in eight of the ten Tarzan films. Mr. Hairston also played Brock Peters' father in the classic film To Kill a Mockingbird, and acted in a number of John Wayne films. More recently, Mr. Hairston appeared in the critically acclaimed film Being John Malkovich.

Mr. Hairston was very proud of the work he did with the African American community. He traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa directing choirs. One of his greatest achievements was directing Hollywood’s first integrated choir.

return to top

Dr. William J. Harrington, M47
1923-1992; Internationally known blood specialist whose landmark experiment led to increased research and advancements in the field of hematology.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: M.D., 1947, Ph.D., 1974

Other Degrees: HM.D., HD.Sc., Boston College, 1975

Awards & Honors: Mastership in the American College of Physicians

Biography: Dr. William J. Harrington began his career by focusing on the blood disorder idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura. While completing a fellowship at Washington University Medical School in 1950, Dr. Harrington decided to conduct an experiment on himself in order to better understand the disease. He injected himself with a pint of blood from a patient with I.T.P. This experiment showed Dr. Harrington that an unknown substance was present in the patient's blood that attacked platelets. Consequently, I.T.P. was classified as the first autoimmune disease and new interest was generated in the study of blood disorders. The success of the landmark experiment also resulted in Dr. Harrington becoming the youngest member ever elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation (he was 28).

Dr. Harrington became the Director of the Hematology Division at Washington University in 1954. In 1964, he founded the Center for Blood Diseases at the University of Miami and also became the Chairman of the Department of Medicine. He also founded the school’s Ph.D.-M.D. program. The center was later named for him.

Dr. Harrington also worked to develop successful medical education programs in many Latin American countries, including Chile, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Columbia, and Panama. For over 40 years, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has offered a wide range of opportunities to international medical students and physicians from Latin America and the Caribbean through the William J. Harrington Medical Training Programs.

return to top

John Albert Holmes, A29, H62
1904 – 1962; Poet, author and professor who was deeply devoted to sparking an interest in writing amongst his peers and pupils.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: BA, 1929; HLittD, 1962

Awards & Honors: Golden Rose Award, New England Poetry Club, 1938; William Rose Benet Prize, The Saturday Review, 1958; Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard, Tufts, Brown, College of William and Mary; American Academy of Arts and Sciences member, 1962

Biography: In 1925, then-Tufts president John Cousens gave a commencement address at John A. Holmes’ high school graduation and was deeply impressed by the young man’s reading of a poem he wrote for his class. Cousens urged Mr. Holmes to come to Tufts, and he enrolled at the university that fall. Some of the poetry Mr. Holmes wrote at Tufts, which documented his experiences there, was printed by the college as Along the Row, 1929. In 1934, Mr. Holmes took a job at The American Poetry Journal as a contributing editor and was later promoted to Assistant Editor. He was also a poetry editor for the Boston Evening Transcript from 1935-42. Later on, he reviewed books for the Saturday Review and the New York Times Book Review. By that time, his own poems were appearing frequently in the Atlantic, New Yorker, Poetry, Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other magazines. Mr. Holmes achieved commendable success as a poet and author during his lifetime. He published seven collections of poetry and two books about the writing of poetry, in addition to many essays and book reviews. Mr. Holmes was committed to cultivating the development of young and budding poets. While teaching at Tufts, he taught a night course for poets at the Boston Center for Adult Education, had a poetry program on WGBH-TV, participated in the University of New Hampshire Writers Conference, was Director of the Chautauqua Writers Workshop from 1947-52, and was in charge of the Tufts University Writers Workshop, to which he brought several accomplished poets; one of the most popular of these visitors was his friend Robert Frost. Among Mr. Holmes’ students were poets John Ciardi, Maxine Kumin, Anne Sexton, and George Starbuck.

return to top

Dr. Marion Edwina Kenworthy, M1913
1891-1980; One of the first female psychiatrists in the country, she focused on adolescent mental health and blended her medical and teaching skills to reform the country’s psychiatric education curriculum.
Read full bio >>

Tufts Degrees: M.D., 1913

Other Degrees: HM.D.,Women's Medical College in Philadelphia, 1968; HSc.D., Columbia University, 1973

Awards & Honors: APA Agnes Purcell McGavin Award, 1971; Marion E. Kenworthy Chair in Psychiatry professorship was established at the School of Social Work in her honor, the Columbia School of Social Work, 1956; the APA dedicated the Marion E. Kenworthy Learning Center in the Library, D.C. headquarters, 1988

Biography: Dr. Marion Edwina Kenworthy spent six years working at several hospitals in Massachusetts after graduation, including the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, Garden State Hospital, Foxboro State Hospital and the Judge Baker Guidance Clinic. She then moved to New York City and worked as an assistant in the Vanderbilt Clinic and Neurology Institute. Dr. Kenworthy eventually became the director of the Bureau of Child Guidance. Disgruntled with the state of psychiatric education in the U.S., Dr. Kenworthy took a teaching position at the New York School of Social Work and introduced a comprehensive and successful curriculum that still exists today.

Dr. Kenworthy worked to ensure the health of Americans fighting and working for World War II. She helped to establish criteria used for selective service, traveled all over the world for the Women's Army Corp to report on psychiatric problems, and fought for the institution of mental hygiene clinics in the military.

Dr. Kenworthy was very active in her field and had affiliations with the National Association for Mental Health, N. Y. State Charities Aid Association, National Conference of Social Workers, and the Menninger Foundation Board. She also established the Wiltwych School for Boys, as well as the psychiatric clinic in the New York City Family Court. She was a charter member of the American Orthopsychiatric Association, a life fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and an associate member of the World Federation for Mental Health. She also worked with the Children's Court in New York. She served as the first woman vice president of the American Psychological Association (1955-1956) and the first woman president of the American Psychoanalytic Association (1958-1959), the American Academy of Child Psychiatry (1959-1961) and Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (1959-1960).

return to top

A - L | M - Z
Notables Home