Launching Most Ambitious Fundraising Campaign In Its History, Tufts University Seeks to Raise $1.5 Billion

Funds will increase resources for financial aid, support teaching, advance research making real-world impact
A cappella groups sing at the launch of the university's fundraising campaign.
Tufts a cappella groups, including the Jackson Jills, Beelzebubs and the Amalgamates, performed at the official launch of the university's "Brighter World" fundraising campaign at the Museum of Fine Arts Saturday. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)
November 6, 2017

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Patrick Collins

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2017) – Tufts University has launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, seeking to raise $1.5 billion to strengthen the university’s core mission, increase access to higher education by boosting resources for financial aid, and advance research and programs that are helping to solve real-world problems.

The university officially launched the public phase of Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts with a Nov. 4 celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston that drew an estimated 400 alumni and friends. Alumna and campaign co-chair Meredith Vieira, a 14-time Emmy Award winner, former longtime co-anchor of Today, and special correspondent for NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, emceed the event.

The campaign’s quiet phase has already raised more than $566 million, including $148 million for financial aid. A worldwide community of campaign volunteers, the largest in Tufts’ history, will work to broaden participation among alumni and to encourage giving at all levels. The campaign name reflects Charles Tufts’ vision of Tufts as a “light on a hill” as well as Tufts’ motto Pax et Lux, which means “Peace and Light.”

“Our campaign will accelerate Tufts’ upward trajectory as a student-centered research university that fosters a global perspective and nurtures leadership,” said President Anthony P. Monaco. “Our graduates go out into the world with the knowledge and inspiration to make a positive difference. With the support of alumni and others, the Brighter World campaign will enable our remarkable faculty and students to fulfill their aspirations and rise to meet the significant challenges of our time.”

Founded in 1852, Tufts is a private teaching- and research-focused university featuring eight schools, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. The university serves approximately 5,500 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students.

The campaign, taking direction from priorities identified in the university’s ten-year strategic plan, will raise funds to support three core areas: 

  • Transformative experiences that enable personal and intellectual growth. The campaign will strengthen the university’s academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs, encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration, and advance teaching and knowledge in the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. It also will prioritize financial aid and fellowship support in the spirit of making higher education accessible to students from all economic backgrounds.
  • Research and innovation propelled by faculty and students working in spaces designed specifically to encourage interdisciplinary teaching and research that addresses a wide range of human, animal and environmental concerns. Among these new spaces is the Science and Engineering Complex, which will foster innovation, collaboration, and discovery among Tufts researchers. The Data-Intensive Studies Center (DISC) will facilitate the compilation and analysis of enormous volumes of data, enabling researchers and students to explore new areas of study and discovery.
  • Local and global impact, giving faculty and students the resources they need to continue to advance their research toward the goal of developing practical applications to challenges such as treating Alzheimer’s disease, curbing the obesity epidemic, pioneering a more nuanced approach to cybersecurity, and preventing the devastation of infectious diseases. 

“The university’s ascending reputation reflects an extraordinary breadth of excellence in our classrooms and laboratories that is matched by deep engagement with complex problems well beyond our campuses,” said Peter Dolan, a Tufts alumnus and chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The critical role that Tufts can play in helping to secure the future of our planet has never been clearer or more urgent.”

As part of the campaign, donors will have opportunities to support causes being advanced by the university’s research and programs, such as disease prevention, global security, environmental health, and animal health and welfare, among others.

In addition to Vieira, campaign co-chairs include:

  • Neal B. Shapiro, a member of the Board of Trustees and president and CEO of WNET in New York City, the largest public media station in the United States.
  • Jonathan M. Tisch, a vice chair of the Board of Trustees and naming benefactor of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. He is co-chairman of the board of Loews Corporation, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, co-owner of the New York Giants, and the author of three bestselling books on corporate leadership and civic responsibility.
  • Sol Gittleman, the Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor Emeritus and Tufts provost from 1981 to 2001. He is a noted scholar of Yiddish literature and culture, immigration, and higher education.

For more information on Brighter World: the Campaign for Tufts, visit brighterworld.tufts.edu.

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About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.