FOR TUFTS UNIVERSITY | FALL 2010
“the very best students”
$30 million COMMITMENT TO ESTABLISH MERRIN-BACOW SCHOLARSHIPS Future classes to benefit from generosity of Ed and Vivian Merrin, A50, page 2
to stand against inhumanity Cummings gift to endow Hillel program challenges us to do more than remember, page 5
The Class of 2014 attends Matriculation
focus on: graduate students Blueprint celebrates the “fuel of our academic engine” by meeting three award-winning members of the graduate student community, page 7
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An enduring gift of opportunity “There may be someone out there now with a child who would never go to college without
Trustee emeritus Edward Merrin,
A50, and his wife, Vivian, have committed $30 million to support financial aid at the university. The gift was made on the occasion of Mr. Merrin’s 60th reunion this year and will come to Tufts from the Merrins’ estate. When received, the gift will create the Merrin-Bacow Fellows Scholarship Fund in honor of Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. The Merrins, parents of three Tufts graduates, Jeremy, A80, Univer sity Trustee Seth, A82, and Samuel, A85, are longtime benefactors whose past gifts in support of students and faculty total nearly $9 million.
President Bacow says, “I am moved beyond words that Ed and Vivian would make such a gift in my honor. That their gift supports financial aid, my highest priority as president, makes it that much more meaningful. Countless future students will have the opportunity to study at Tufts because of the Merrins’ generosity.” Mr. Merrin, founder of the Merrin Gallery in New York, says, “My wife and I have always wanted to make gifts that could change the world in some way, even save lives. “President Bacow has said that great universities are made up of great
people. If we are to be a truly great university, then we should support the very best students. There may be someone out there now with a child who would never go to college without this aid.” Edward Merrin served on Tufts’ Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1991. He also served as chair of the Board of Overseers for the Arts, playing an instrumental role in securing funding for the Aidekman Arts Center on the Medford/Somerville campus. The Merrins are not only Tufts parents, but also Tufts grandparents, and Mr. Merrin’s late brother, Seymour, A52, and cousin, Michael, A64, also graduated from Tufts. Five years ago, on the occasion of Mr. Merrin’s 55th reunion, he and his wife gave $3 million to endow the Seth Merrin Chair in the Humanities, named for their son, and held by the noted theoretical linguist Ray Jackendoff.
Meet the undergraduate Class of 2014 Nearly 40 percent of the Class of 2014 qualified for need-based financial aid, and socioeconomic diversity is a defining hallmark of these students. Because the quality of the student body and the availability of financial aid go hand in hand, Beyond Boundaries has no higher goal than to ensure that every student admitted to Tufts can attend regardless of his or her family’s ability to pay. Like its predecessors, the Class of 2014 is distinguished by excellence as it enrolls with an academic profile that matches record highs. Of these 1,315 students, 85
ercent graduated in the top 10 percent of their high p school class with mean SAT scores at or above the 95th percentile. The class includes 70 high school valedictorians and 37 National Merit Scholars. Ninety-six are the sons and daughters of Tufts graduates. Tufts’ 155th class arrives from 886 high schools in 45 American states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 35 nations. Twenty-six percent are Americans of color, 17 percent speak a language other than English at home and nearly 11 percent are first-generation college bound.
The School of Engineering today notes with pride the remarkable achievements of the man who chaired the electrical engineering department from 1941 to 1970.
e was a pioneer that nobody heard of. Alvin Howell was a Tufts engineering professor who led the first team to send an unmanned balloon around the world. Yet when the 400-foot-tall balloon made its round-the-world flight in 1957, no one could say anything publicly: the flight, funded by the Air Force to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union, was strictly hush-hush. “I had a top-secret clearance, and you kept your trap shut,” Howell, who died six years ago at the age of 96, told a newspaper in 2002. Tufts’ School of Engineering today notes with pride the remarkable achievements of the man who chaired the electrical engineering department from 1941 to 1970, and in whose memory the Alvin H. Howell Endowed Professorship in Electrical Engineering has been established. Recently named the inaugural Howell Professor in Electrical Engineering is Aleksandar Stankovic´,
whose research on electric energy processing has applications for power systems. He recently received an award from the National Science Foundation to improve the containment of complex systemwide events such as blackouts. Stankovic´, formerly Distin guished Professor at Northeastern University, is the author of more than 200 refereed journals and conference papers, and holds seven patents. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT after earning his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. “Professor Stankovic´’s reputation and leadership will be a tremendous asset to the school’s strategic focus on energy and environmental sustainability,” says Linda M. Abriola, dean of the School of Engineering. “Creating sustainable solutions to global problems, such as the world’s energy crisis, requires leaders who
Inaugural Howell Professor Aleksandar Stankovic´ photos above courtesy of tufts university digital collections and archives
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FIRST ALVIN H. HOWELL PROFESSOR OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING TO CONTINUE WORK ON ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY
can develop collaborative research programs that cross traditional boundaries.” “I was particularly attracted to Tufts engineering because of the many interdisciplinary research and education opportunities afforded by the school’s close connection with the School of Arts and Sciences and The Fletcher School,” says Stankovic´. “I’m eager to begin research programs with my colleagues in sustainability and to develop new courses that will educate the next generation of energy-conscious engineers.” The Alvin H. Howell Endowed Professorship in Electrical Engineering was established with support from a charitable gift by the late Frank Doble, E1911, founder of Doble Engineering. Professor Howell helped foster a longstanding relationship between the university and Doble Engineering, which he served for many years as a director and chairman of the board. Doble’s estate plan yielded $136 million to Tufts, the largest individual gift in university history.
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The Sarleses at their New Hampshire home
“We’re attracted to institutions that get the science right. A partnership with the Cummings School made sense.”
CONSERVATION MEDICINE PROGRAM ON THE HORIZON Marilyn and Jay Sarles first traveled together to the American West as young newlyweds. The trip was to prove life-changing: the majesty of the national parks imprinted a respect for nature that they would pass onto their children; vacations always included hiking in the wilderness. Later, it would frame the family’s support of organizations protecting fragile ecosystems and the global health of animals and people. These values have found fertile ground at Tufts. The Sarleses’ generous gift of $100,000 will help establish a Master of Science in Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Starting next fall, students from diverse disciplines will explore
the links between animal, human, and ecosystem health, and become prepared to bring solutions to problems always complex and often controversial. The Center for Conservation Medicine, as well as the school’s expertise in wildlife medicine, international fieldwork, and public health, position Tufts to be a leader in this emerging field. “We are grateful for a gift that raises our potential to make a difference for humans and animals,” said Deborah Kochevar, dean of the Cummings School. “This program promises to attract wide interest from veterinarians, biologists, physicians, and researchers, among others, who are already frontline responders to emerging diseases.”
Jay Sarles said education factors strongly in the philanthropic choices he and his wife make. “Scientific literacy is very important in moving forward conservation medicine,” he said. “We’re attracted to institutions that get the science right. A partnership with the Cummings School made sense, and we look forward to having a relationship with Tufts.” Marilyn, a Cummings School overseer and physician by training, stressed that the concept of “one health” is also critical to shifting the conservation dialogue. While issues may pit rancher against park ranger, or developer against outdoor enthusiasts, conservation medicine professionals can demonstrate that what wildlife requires for survival is also what promotes human health and well-being.
Blueprint for Tufts University Chair, Board of Trustees James A. Stern, E72, A07P President Lawrence S. Bacow, Ph.D. Provost Jamshed J. Bharucha, Ph.D.
Pamela K. Omidyar, J89 Pierre M. Omidyar, A88 Jonathan M. Tisch, A76 Honorary Chairs William S. Cummings, A58, M97P, J97P Dr. Bernard M. Gordon, H92 Daniel F. Pritzker, A81, A12P Karen M. Pritzker, J83, A12P
Executive Committee Kathryn C. Chenault, Esq., J77 Steven B. Epstein, Esq., A65, A96P, A01P, A07P, AG04P Nathan Gantcher, A62, H04 Martin J. Granoff, A91P Daniel A. Kraft, A87 Joseph E. Neubauer, E63, J90P Agnes Varis, H03
University Advancement Tufts University 80 George Street, 200-3 Medford, MA 02155 617.627.3200 firstname.lastname@example.org
As more professionals bring together the varied elements of conservation medicine, she hopes the controversial issues will become less divided, less politicized. “Definitive research can help set policy,” she said. “The organizations we support are pragmatic and focused on building coalitions,” she said. “We believe Tufts can help us develop balanced solutions that address the need for human activity, but with a respectful understanding of the environment. From that equilibrium, we can create a sustainable, healthy world.” Find out more about the Master of Science in Conservation Medicine at www.tufts.edu/ vet/mcm, and about the Center for Conservation Medicine at www.tufts.edu/vet/ccm.
Erratum In the spring 2010 edition of Blueprint, the name of the Laszlo N. Tauber, M.D., Fitness Center was misspelled. The editors sincerely regret the error.
Cummings gift sows seeds of hope, resolve D.C.; a film or lecture series with a scholar-in-residence; and international trips for students of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to learn more about the legacy of the Holocaust or other acts of genocide. This is not the first time the founders of Cummings Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in New England, have enriched Tufts with their philanthropy. Mr. and Mrs. Cummings made the naming gift for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. In 1998, they endowed the Cummings Chair in Entrepreneurship and Business Economics. Mr. Cummings has been an overseer at the School of Medicine as well as a trustee of the university. “We believe in giving back,” he said. “Fifty-six years ago, I was fortunate Tufts recognized that I had more potential than my high-school grades suggested. Tufts provided me many of the important tools I needed to start a real career.” Last May, the Cummingses sponsored 20 undergraduates on a service trip to Rwanda to study the recent genocide there and volunteer at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village. Tufts Hillel led the trip to the village where children orphaned in the Rwandan genocide could “dry their tears” (agahozo) and “live in peace” (shalom). The Cummingses indicated they received many moving letters from the students upon their return from Rwanda, expressing thanks for the opportunity and describing the profound effects on them of their experience. In reply the couple wrote to the students: “Certainly we can have no tolerance whatsoever for injustices arising out of race and religion, or from hatred of any sort. Agahozo Shalom Youth Village and the spirit created there provide a superb example of the great good that can come from a committed few working selflessly to help many in desperate need.”
“I hope our philanthropy fosters an attitude in students that they can shape the future—that while we all face enormous problems in our world today, they are part of the solution.” Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel, said, “We are tremendously grateful to the Cummings family for supporting Tufts’ mission of active citizenship and Tufts Hillel’s commitment to tikkun olam—repairing the world.” To learn how you can contribute to this initiative, please contact Judi Canter, director, Hillel Develop ment, at email@example.com or 617.627.2863; or Jo Wellins, deputy director of development for University Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.627.5906.
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has been said that the shortest distance between people is a story. Eliezer Ayalon of Poland was imprisoned in five different Nazi concentration camps before he was liberated, near death, in May 1945. His harrowing description of his experiences during the Holocaust greatly moved Trustee Emeritus Bill Cummings, A58, H06, M97P, J97P, and his wife, Joyce, M97P, J97P, when they met Ayalon in Israel this past fall. The Cummingses were inspired to think broadly about how education might help prevent such horrors from occurring again. As a result the couple has committed to a gift of $1 million to endow a new program at Tufts Hillel to raise awareness of both the Holocaust and contemporary genocides. The gift is contingent on another $1 million being raised from other friends of Tufts. “Tufts University, with its focus on civic engagement, social justice, and student leadership, seemed the natural choice for such a program,” said Mr. Cummings, of Winchester, Mass., a successful entrepreneur in commercial real-estate development. Mrs. Cummings said, “Our Tufts Travel-Learn trip to Israel and Jordan gave us a new understanding of history and how injustice corrodes the most cherished values of society. We wanted to channel that experience into something positive. I hope our philanthropy fosters an attitude in students that they can shape the future—that while we all face enormous problems in our world today, they are part of the solution.” It is envisioned the program might include a guest lecture by a firsthand witness of the Holocaust or a contemporary genocide; a traveling exhibit on the history and causes of the Holocaust; a seminar at the Holocaust Memorial in Washington,
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Philanthropy inspired by leadership at School of Dental Medicine
“We wanted to acknowledge Dean Norris’s achievements and honor his tenure.”
Dental Class of 2010 sets a record 96 percent participation honors Dean Mark Gonthier Meghann Dombroski, D10, says there are 174 reasons why her class achieved an astonishing 96 percent participation with their class gift. “Each student in our class made this possible,” says Dombroski, class president and co-chair of the drive. “This gift represents each member of our class—our unity and legacy. We wanted to ‘pay it forward’ for future students.” Recognizing this achievement, the gift will be matched by the Tufts University
Dental Alumni Association and the Dean’s Office. The class dedicated the gift in honor of Mark Gonthier, associate dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, who they agreed epitomizes a critical bridge between students and staff. One half of the gift will be a scholarship to a Class of 2014 student, and the other a gift to a staff member who exhibits the characteristics of Gonthier, including diligence to occupation, leadership, and community.
s a former CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts, the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, Robert Hunter, D.M.D., D63, has met and worked with many dental school deans. “By far the best and most impressive leader,” he says, is Lonnie Norris of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). That is why, when Hunter and his wife, Constance, decided to include a $500,000 gift to benefit the School of Dental Medicine in their estate plans, they did so in honor of Dean Norris. “We wanted to acknowledge his achievements and honor his tenure,” says Hunter, a member of the school’s Board of Overseers. “Dean Norris is a marvelous leader who has infused TUSDM with a strong sense of purpose. We’re so proud of him and his contributions to the profession of dental medicine.” Norris, who in 1995 became dean of the nation’s second-largest dental school, is a tenured professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and has been a member of the Tufts faculty since 1980. As dean, he has overseen a period of remarkable achievement at the school. The Vertical Expansion Initiative that added five stories and 95,000 square feet to the dental school’s building at One Kneeland Street opens up opportunities to enhance educational programs, research, and clinical care. Exceptional clinical education has remained the school’s primary focus, while a full-scale clinical and basic science research program has been launched, with tissue engineering as a centerpiece. Under Norris’s leadership, the dental school also has become a model for active citizenship, increasing access to care for underserved populations, promoting public health, and delivering high-quality health care to city schoolchildren, and the poor and disabled. Hunter’s distinguished career included 21 years in private practice in Norwood, Mass., where he prided himself on bringing pain-free care to his patients. As president and CEO of Delta Dental from 1988 to 2002, he saw the plan become one of the nation’s largest providers and administrators of dental benefits. He went on to head DentaQuest Ventures, a for-profit subsidiary of Delta Dental, until his retirement in 2007. Hunter also served as a clinical instructor of prosthetics at Harvard University. Regarding his donation, Hunter says, “Connie and I share the philosophy that people need to share the gifts they’ve been given. We’ve both benefited greatly from our association with the School of Dental Medicine, and we’re delighted to give back in a meaningful way.” “Bob and Connie’s gift is a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the school,” notes Dean Norris. “Given Bob’s distinguished career accomplishments and unique perspective on our profession, his support is especially meaningful to Tufts and to me personally. I am very grateful for his support and I feel truly honored by his consideration.”
A message from President Bacow “Graduate and professional school students are central to our mission at Tufts, not only contributing new knowledge to the world, but also sharing that knowledge as teachers and mentors to our undergraduates.” One of the happiest moments at Commencement comes when a faculty advisor presents a candidate with the traditional doctoral hood. It is a time for collective pride, because the Doctorate of Philosophy represents the completion of a challenging course of study lasting years and is conferred only on a scholar who has made an “original contribution to knowledge.” The same spirit is felt at the White Coat Ceremony at the School of Medicine or the Clinical Advancement Ceremony at the School of Dental Medicine —any occasion we have to salute the achievements of Tufts students pursuing the doctoral degree in their discipline. That of course is what we are here for as a university. Graduate and professional school students are central to our mission at Tufts, not only contributing new knowledge to the world, but also sharing that knowledge as
teachers and mentors to our undergraduates. And the strength of our graduate programs is central to our scholarly reputation as a leading research university. The ethos of “active citizenship” is strong in graduate education at Tufts. This past spring, for example, four of our graduate students won prizes in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge for researching solutions to some of the world’s most urgent social, economic and environmental challenges. Their projects included developing safe drinking water in Honduras and El Salvador; protecting rural villagers in Ghana from tropical disease transmitted by polluted water; and promoting collaboration between fishermen and farmers to preserve shared natural resources in Maine.
Students in our graduate and professional programs are drawn to Tufts by the quality, diversity, and depth of our programs and by the opportunity to study with and work alongside faculty who are among the leaders in their fields. These remarkably talented students depend on financial aid, stipends, and research support in order to make their important contributions to the university’s teaching and research. Your support for Tufts enables us to enrich our strengths and broaden our programs in ways that will attract top scholars for decades to come. We greatly appreciate your generosity. Sincerely, Lawrence S. Bacow
FOCUS ON GRADUATE STUDENTS Each year, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering honor their graduate students through the Graduate Student Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding graduate student achievement in areas such as academic performance, research, student leadership, community service and citizenship, and contributions to undergraduate education. Three of this year’s winners spoke with Blueprint….
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“By the end of each semester I was able to see my students walk out of that classroom with a new perspective on themselves, society, and the environment.”
“It is possible to design structures that can withstand earthquakes.
8 From left: Scott, Kaklamanos, Gayton
The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
Dallase Scott AG10, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning For excellence as a teaching assistant or in other roles such as mentoring undergraduates for students in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, or social sciences
I was very much honored to receive the graduate scholarship. I put my heart and soul into that class, and it felt great for that work to be recognized. My teaching experience at Tufts was incredibly rewarding. By the end of each semester I was able to see my students walk out of that classroom with a new perspective on themselves, society, and the environment. Students in my classes made
waves on campus. As a result of hard work by those students last fall, Tufts has begun implementing trayless dining this fall. Trayless dining will save a considerable amount of energy and food waste. Also, Tufts has set its print centers to default double-sided printing thanks to the persistence of the students from the spring 2010 semester class. I truly believe that the students in Environmental Action: Shifting from Saying to Doing will continue to be the environmental change agents that they were during their time in class. I was once told that one should “seize control of his or her education.” Tufts provided me with the resources to allow me to seize control of my graduate education, and because of that I far exceeded my initial graduate school expectations.
Outstanding Graduate Contributor to Engineering Education
Jim Kaklamanos E08, EG10, Civil and Environmental Engineering For enhancing significantly the education programs of the department through teaching-assistant work, voluntary service, or other activities
My primary area of research is in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering; in particular, I study the behavior of earthquake ground motions, methods of predicting the amount of ground shaking during an earthquake, and how seismic waves are amplified by near-surface geologic materials. The recent catastrophe in Haiti has reminded the world just how powerful and devastating earthquakes can be. Humans
ATE STUDENTS “The first time that you remove any ancient artifact from the trench everything comes into perspective and it makes it all worthwhile.”
That’s where my research comes in.”
will likely never be able to prevent earthquakes from occurring, but it is possible to design structures that can withstand earthquakes. That’s where my research comes in—I hope that someday my research contributions will influence our understanding of these earthquake phenomena and ultimately help save lives. I have served as a teaching assistant in introductory engineering courses for the past two years. Most engineering students take the twocourse sequence in their first year at Tufts, and it’s the first time they are introduced to the fundamental tools used in engineering. Learning to think like an engineer is not an easy task, but it’s so satisfying to have a positive impact and help students achieve this goal. Tufts’ graduate students are trained to be great teachers as well as great researchers.
Sarah Plummer Memorial Prize
Molly Gayton AG10, Classics For deep commitment to the field of classical archaeology or classical studies, to the Tufts Department of Classics and to the broader community
I think any archaeologist would say that after years of studying Latin and Greek, art and history, the first time that you remove any ancient artifact from the trench everything comes into perspective and it makes it all worthwhile. There is an instant connection between the ancient who used the object and you. Nothing is greater in the classroom than enabling students to make this same ancient connection through the Latin language.
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I am drawn to the areas of our discipline that are rarely explored. My main focus has been on the culture and history of Early Imperial Roman women, those married and related to the early emperors of Rome. Over the past several years I also have been working on understanding the relationship and influence on Roman society of the pre-Roman tribes of the geographic area that today we call Italy. The Classics Department at Tufts is a great place to be a grad student because of its generosity and support. Professors take the time to advise and listen, and the department functions very much like a family. One always feels comfortable and cozy.
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Fletcher School researchers promote literacy, prosperity
The professorship will be awarded to young faculty members at work on such vital world issues as malnutrition, food insecurity, and famine.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Haynes and Aker
10 Chances are you’ve never thought of your cell phone as a tool for social improvement. Jenny Aker, F97, and Joshua Haynes, F10, have seen the possibilities. Aker, an assistant professor of development economics at The Fletcher School, and former research assistant Haynes collaborated on a two-year study called Project ABC on the use of cell phones to improve literacy among farmers and traders in Niger. Haynes, who graduated from Fletcher this spring with a master’s degree in international business, participated in the research project with support from a Blakely Fellowship. He spent the summer of 2009 in Niger working with participating farmers to build a market information system they can query via texting. The idea—to use cell phones as a literacy tool—was developed while Aker was doing her dissertation in Niger on cell phones and grain markets. She
and a colleague noticed that illiterate grain traders were teaching themselves how to send simple text messages. Project ABC trained farmers to use texting to obtain daily information about grain markets. “In order to adopt literacy, you need to be motivated to use it,” Aker says. She worked on the project in partnership with Catholic Relief Services in Niger, the University of Oxford, and the University of California at Berkeley. Niger is among the world’s poorest countries, with an illiteracy rate of more than 80 percent. Before cell phones were introduced, grain farmers, whose crops supply the desert nation with its staple foods, had to spend a great deal of time traveling from market to market just to obtain pricing information. Learning to read, write, and send text messages builds literacy at the same time it enables farmers to quickly gain crop-market information.
heir house will help make Tufts a healthier home for active students. Tufts parents David and Marilyn O’Toole, A12P, of San Marino, Calif., wanted to make a gift toward health and fitness to help other students have the rewarding college experience their daughter, Megan, A12, has enjoyed. The O’Tooles decided to donate a house in Mesa, Ariz., that had been in their family but had recently become vacant. Proceeds from its sale will go to the Tufts Fund for Arts, Sciences & Engineering to buy treadmills for Cousens Gym. “Our choice was either to sell the house in a difficult real estate market or donate it to Tufts, thereby obtaining the tax benefits and allowing the university to sell at a more appropriate time,” said Mr. O’Toole. “Tufts made the decision easy and painless.” The O’Tooles are active on the Parents Committee and have generously supported Tufts in the past few years. Their most recent donation provides an example of the way a gift of real estate can benefit the university. “Giving real estate to us may save you thousands of dollars in income taxes,” says Rebecca Scott, director of gift planning. “If you have property that is too big, too far away, or too demanding on your resources, consider making a charitable gift. Let us put it to good use.” Tufts accepts gifts of residential, commercial, and undeveloped real estate. Your property can generate income for you or your beneficiaries and provide valuable support for the mission of the university.
Global nutrition professorship to honor trustee emerita Joan Bergstrom
Since Dr. Bergstrom’s passing, an outpouring of support has
been received for a professorship that is part of her legacy at the Friedman School. More than 50 contributions in her memory have been made toward the Bergstrom Foundation Professorship in Global Nutrition, a junior professorship for rising young faculty members who are addressing such vital world issues as malnutrition, food insecurity, and famine. “Joan was passionate about helping people,” said Dean Kennedy. “It is fitting that part of her legacy will be supporting young faculty
ith Tufts neuroscientists advancing the fight against Alzheimer’s disease as part of a growing effort at the School of Medicine to shed light on the workings of the human brain, philanthropic support is being sought for a new Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience that will expand the breadth and impact of this research. Recent rankings placed Tufts’ neuroscience department among the Top 10 at U.S. medical schools. Research being done at Tufts is expected to have significant impact on the treatment of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. For example, a research team led by Giuseppina Tesco, assistant professor of neuroscience, has zeroed in on a protein that may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s, potentially leading to new treatments for the neurodegenerative disease. The findings were published in May in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Another assistant professor of neuroscience, Leon Reijmers, has been named an Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator for his research into cognitive impairments during the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Reijmers’ research into the way memories are stored in the brain recently led him to receive the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, which supports early-career scientists who take innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research and provides $1.5 million over five years. The university has made a major commitment to what is regarded as one of the great unexplored frontiers of science. Philip Haydon, Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and chair of neuroscience, has set an ambitious goal for the program. “We are going to become the best,” he says. Philanthropy is seen as key to realizing that goal. The envisioned Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience will fuel research into the causes and treatments of seri-
who aim to lessen the suffering and improve the health of people across the globe.” Dr. Bergstrom, received her Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and was affiliated with Wheelock College for more than 40 years. She was founder and director of Wheelock’s Center for International Education, Leadership, and Innovation. “I will miss her wise counsel as well as the thoughtful and passionate leadership she offered the Friedman School,” Kennedy said.
Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow said, “Joan Bergstrom was an incredibly loyal alumna. She found so many different ways to contribute to the life of an insti tution that she loved and that loved her back.” To learn how you might join the efforts to honor Dr. Bergstrom’s memory, please contact Brian Lee, vice president of university advancement, at email@example.com or Cindy Briggs Tobin, director of devel opment and alumni relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The late Joan Bergstrom, J62, educator and author, sought to improve the lives of children worldwide. “She was a true Renaissance woman whose tremendous grace and intelligence made a deep and lasting impact,” Eileen Kennedy, dean of the Friedman School, said of the former chair of the Friedman School’s Board of Overseers and Tufts trustee emerita, who died April 6.
The fund will support research by awardwinning investigators like Leon Reijmers.
ous neurological disorders. The hope is to raise more than $15 million to support faculty recruitment, graduate and postdoctoral research, and laboratory renovation. Professors Barbara Talamo and John Kauer, the two pioneering neuroscientists who built the foundation for neuroscience research at Tufts, were honored at a reception as part of a Neuroscience Ambassadors Day hosted by the department on May 12 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. The event featured discussions by Tufts neuroscientists on depression, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, and brain cancer. To learn how to support the Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience at Tufts, please contact Leslie Kolterman, senior director of development at the School of Medicine, at 617.636.2777 or email@example.com.
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Jumbos become part of something bigger
More than 500 alumni answer the Everyone Counts Challenge
new scholarships of $25,000 each were created this spring through the generosity of one anonymous benefactor—and hundreds of reunion alumni. The Everyone Counts Challenge was aimed at Tufts undergraduate alumni returning for their class reunions. An anonymous donor pledged to fund a $25,000 term scholarship in the name of each reunion class that secured 50 new donors to Tufts in the 30 days leading up to Alumni Weekend, held May 21–23. Seven classes (1955, 1965, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2005) met the challenge, and now seven students are receiving scholarships this fall in honor of each of these classes. “When we found out there was a $25,000 scholarship involved, a lot of members of our class reunion committee started making phone calls,” says David Harrison, A55, of Gloucester, Mass., a retired presiding justice of the Gloucester District Court, whose class rounded up 52 new donors. “Al Nardini, Jack Heneghan, and I made 40 calls the first night, and within a week we had got the donations we needed,” Harrison says. “I would call the Tufts Fund every day and ask, ‘How many today?’ On the night of the Pops celebration we made our number. We must have called every athlete in our four years at Tufts, everyone we knew who would be willing to come through for us. Some gave for the first time in 55 years.” The Class of 2005 secured 58 new donors. “Many of us who are just a
few years out of school can’t afford to give a lot of money, and sometimes it’s hard to see what a small contribution can do at a big institution like Tufts,” says reunion class gift officer Gina Kessler, A05, of Philadelphia, a stewardship writer at the Wharton School. “The Everyone Counts Challenge made it clear how even a tiny gift can make a real impact. Though we all remember our time at Tufts fondly, with so many causes and responsibilities competing for our attention, it can be hard to remember to regularly give back. The challenge provided an extra incentive to take immediate action. I was truly touched by the way our class came together and, in partnership with a generous alumnus, enabled the creation of a scholarship for a deserving Tufts student.” In all, more than 500 alumni supported the reunion participation challenge. “This is a story about the impact that members of the Tufts community can have when they join forces,” offers Melissa White, director of the Tufts Fund for Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “There is a strong tradition at Tufts of one generation coming together to help the next— this is yet another illustration of that generous Tufts spirit. The students who receive these scholarships will know that their scholarship was made possible by alumni who came before them. I believe that these students will continue Tufts’ tradition of giving back on their own one day.”
Future classes to benefit from generosity of Ed and Vivian Merrin, A50, page 2 to stand against inhumanity focus on: graduate students Bluep...