The Year in Photos 2021

Tufts photographers capture campus life and share their favorite images
A singer with microphone, with additional singers in the background. Tufts University photographers capture campus life and share their favorite images from 2021.
Harrison Clark, A22, performs with Tufts a cappella group S-Factor during the O Show on September 3. Photo: Alonso Nichols
December 17, 2021


This was the year we gradually increased our sense of pandemic normalcy, as the university vaccines became available.

Early in the year, I covered the first in-person concert in Distler Auditorium, after a year of Zoom performances; it was incredibly moving. A month later, a staycation replaced our typical spring break on a sunny and warm day, with everyone breathing a collective sigh of relief at being able to get outside and have some fun.

After a summer of access to vaccines, students and faculty seemed relieved to return to in-person classes for the fall semester. The energy on campus changed as first-year students came for in-person pre-orientation and joined upper-class students to pack the Academic Quad for the O-Show.

This fall, too, sports competition returned to our athletics fields, providing more excitement. Finally, Joyce Cummings Center opened its doors with its bright colors, bold design, and fresh vistas of the venerable campus on the hill above.

It felt like 2021 was a year of renewal and rebirth. This year in pictures is once again a humbling exercise in appreciating our community’s perseverance and strength.

John McDonald, professor of music, and Annie Kim, AG21, share a moment on stage during the Tufts Composers—How to Be Remembered concert on February 26. Photo: Alonso NicholsDavis Kurepa-Peers, A24, and Suzune M. Montag, A24, add to a community chalk mural during the spring break staycation activities sponsored by the Tufts University Social Collective on March 27. Photo: Alonso NicholsFletcher student Mitchell Collins, F22, studies on the third floor of the Ginn Library on April 14. Photo: Alonso NicholsJillian DeStone, associate director of instruction at The Fletcher School, receives a COVID-19 vaccination in Gantcher Center on April 28. Photo: Alonso NicholsTufts medical students Jocelyn Vuong, M24, Anna Tao, M23, join Tufts dental students Peter Ong, D24, and Salam Awamleh, D24, in planting flowers at the Josiah Quincy School on April 30. The student volunteers took part in Love Your Block to pick up trash and plant flowers in Boston’s Chinatown. Photo: Alonso NicholsOlivia Talbert, A24, and Ryan Botsaris, A24, on the Tisch Library roof on April 12. The two connected through the Tufts Chaplaincy’s “Be-Friend” initiative. Spring COVID-19 protocols required some creative photographic solutions for group portraits. In this composite image, Olivia and Ryan were photographed unmasked and separately; the portraits are then composited together, the black line in the center serving as a visual cue that these two were not sitting next to one another. In this way, we hoped to create the sense of connectedness while also indicating that our community was abiding by university protocols. Photos: Alonso Nichols  Class of 2021 members Eylul Akman, Annika Witt, and Samar Shaqour poses for a photo on Commencement eve near Bendetson Hall on May 22. Photo: Alonso NicholsMaycon Cesar de Paula Santos, A22, poses for a FaceTime portrait from his home in Brazil on June 4. How do you photograph a student in Brazil from Medford? I photographed my tablet screen after talking over the set up and lighting so that Maycon and I could create something that we were both happy with. Photo: Alonso Nichols  Jasmine “Jazzy” Wu, A25, tries to unravel a human knot during the Amazing Race with Global Orientation during pre-orientation on August 30. Photo: Alonso NicholsStudents pose for a group photo on Memorial Steps before taking part in the Jumbo Amazing Race during FIT pre-orientation on August 31. Photo: Anna MillerHarrison Clark, A22, performs with Tufts a cappella group S-Factor during the O Show on September 3. Photo: Alonso NicholsStudents eat lunch near Bessie the Rhino in the courtyard of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts on the first day of class on September 8. Photo: Alonso NicholsJumbo running back Tyler Johnson, A23, grabs for a pass in a game against Bates on October 9. Photo: Alonso NicholsA student sits on an Adirondack chair beneath the fall foliage on October 13. Photo: Alonso NicholsLucy the Llama in her pen at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, eating along with her sheep companions on October 28. Photo: Jenna SchadA two-floor high atrium in the new Joyce Cummings Center shows a view of the power plant and The Hill on Boston Avenue on November 5. Photo: Alonso Nichols

For a feature in Tufts Magazine, we celebrated many of the workers on all of our campuses who made the continuation of on-campus teaching and living possible during 2020. Photos: Alonso Nichols

Alonso Nichols can be reached at