Tufts has completed its $1.2 billion Beyond Boundaries campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the university’s 159-year history. The goal was achieved during the most challenging economic environment in decades.
Successful completion of the campaign comes as Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow prepares to step down later this summer after leading the university for a decade.
Nearly 140,000 donors—including half of Tufts’ alumni—contributed $434 million for scholarships and other support to enhance the student experience; their philanthropy established more than 630 new endowed and term scholarships. Donors also gave $386 million for faculty recruitment and research and $137 million for new facilities. The remaining funds will be directed to other priorities such as new academic and research programs.
“The Light on the Hill now shines brightly and will continue to do so for years to come. The best is yet to come for Tufts,” Bacow wrote in an email to the Tufts community on June 29.
In the final year of his presidency, alumni and friends contributed more than $41 million in honor of Bacow to support financial aid and the completion of athletics facilities started during his tenure.
Beyond Boundaries garnered the six largest gifts in Tufts’ history, including two donations exceeding $100 million. The campaign added $609 million to the university’s endowment.
“The goals of Beyond Boundaries were thoughtfully developed with Tufts’ academic leadership to support our core priorities as a top teaching and research university,” said Jonathan Tisch, A76, a university trustee and co-chair of the campaign. “Fifty percent of all alumni supported the campaign and these priorities. To be able to garner this kind of support, particularly in this economy, is not only a good story for Tufts, it’s a great story.”
Numbers tell just part of that story. The real success of the campaign is reflected in the experiences of students and faculty throughout the university.
“Larry Bacow always said that a great university is comprised of great students and great faculty,” said James A. Stern, E72, A07P, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Tufts has come into its own under his leadership … by attracting the most talented and worthy students and recruiting prominent scholars in virtually every discipline across the university.”
The campaign made possible the creation of 23 new named professorships that have helped Tufts retain world-class researchers like Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability at the School of Engineering. Her research into producing clean energy through catalysis has won recognition from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Beyond Boundaries has also enabled Tufts to attract new talent, including the neuroscientist Phil Haydon, the first appointee to the Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professorship in Neuroscience. Haydon was previously vice chair of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. He and collaborator Stephen Moss came to Tufts School of Medicine holding eight grants from the National Institutes of Health for research that could lead to new treatments for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
The many other faculty benefitting from development and research funds raised during the campaign range from the political scientist Kelly Greenhill, who studies humanitarian crises resulting from proxy wars—those fought by surrogates for larger off-screen powers—to the veterinary scientist Sam Telford III, whose studies of tick-borne infections like Lyme disease are laying the groundwork for interventions to reduce human health risks.
Innovations in Financial Aid
Supporting student access and affordability was another campaign priority, and Beyond Boundaries enabled Tufts to create innovative financial aid programs. These include scholarships for needy undergraduates to attend summer school; the elimination of loans for students from families with modest incomes; paid summer internships at nonprofits; and a first-of-a-kind university-wide loan repayment assistance program that helps alumni working in public service or nonprofit jobs repay a portion of their education loans.
The Tufts Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) helped Sarah Driscoll, A09, pursue a public service career that includes grassroots efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. “Less college debt has enabled me to do a job I believe in, not just one that pays a lot,” said Driscoll.
Increased opportunity for students has gone hand in hand with excellence, said Bacow. “At the same time that we have more than doubled undergraduate financial aid and enrolled 35 percent more students whose families qualify for federal Pell Grants, we have reached new academic heights,” he said.
The combined average SAT score of Tufts undergraduates increased 111 points, to 1420 in math and verbal, while competitive initiatives allowed the university to make significant investments to recruit the very best students to its graduate and professional degree programs.
Benefits Far and Wide
Funds raised through Beyond Boundaries also have made a difference in Tufts’ host communities and the larger world.
A five-story addition to the School of Dental Medicine includes 73 new treatment areas where faculty and students care for the nearly 20,000 patients seen in the school clinics each year, many of whom have limited or no dental insurance. A new community music program is providing music education to elementary school students in Medford and Somerville.
At the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, New Balance Fellowships are supporting the life-changing work of doctoral students. One of those fellows, Erin Hennessy, J99, N03, MPH03, N10, traveled rural America to explore the determinants of childhood obesity. Her research has aided obesity-prevention efforts in impoverished communities with Save the Children.
Richard Opio, F11, one of more than 100 beneficiaries of scholarships at the Fletcher School, lived through a suicide bombing in his native Uganda while on his Tufts summer internship. He plans to return to Uganda with the hope of being elected to parliament.
New construction and renovation projects have improved life at Tufts for students, faculty and staff on all three campuses, including:
- The “green dorm” Sophia Gordon Hall; the Perry and Marty Granoff Music Center and the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center on the Medford/Somerville campus;
- On the health sciences campus in Boston, a new student center and clinical skills and simulation center at the School of Medicine as well as the dental school expansion;
- The Agnes Varis Campus Center and Auditorium; a regional biosafety laboratory and an isolation unit for large animals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton.
Tufts publicly announced the Beyond Boundaries campaign in November 2006, with a target completion date of 2011. Beyond Boundaries raised twice as much as the university’s previous fundraising campaign, completed in 2002. For more information about how Beyond Boundaries has transformed Tufts, visit giving.tufts.edu.