Winter 2018

Introducing Brighter World

With the launch of the largest fund-raising initiative in its history, Tufts University is enhancing its ability to tackle the globe’s toughest challenges.

By Laura Ferguson

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Photo: Anna Miller

Tufts University on November 4 launched a $1.5 billion campaign that will strengthen teaching and research, support a distinctive culture of collaboration and innovation, and advance the university’s capacity to translate brilliant ideas into practical solutions for global problems.

More than 400 alumni and friends celebrated the start of the public phase of Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Commitments leading up to the launch have contributed more than $566 million, helping bolster Tufts’ longstanding research efforts and providing more than $148 million to support financial aid. The comprehensive campaign, the largest in the university’s history, will accelerate Tufts’ “upward trajectory as a student-centered research university that fosters a global perspective and nurtures leadership,” said President Anthony Monaco.

“Tufts continues to attract among the very best and brightest scholars and students, united by a passion for learning and discovery,” he said. “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.”

The campaign will advance the efforts of Tufts faculty and students working toward solutions on critical issues, such as disease prevention, human and animal welfare, global security, obesity and malnutrition, civic engagement, and environmental protection.

For the Friedman School and the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), surpassing a $100 million campaign goal will provide critical support for education, research, and public service. Along with sustaining annual gifts, the HNRCA’s funding priorities fall under three themes: Discover (nutrition-and-aging research-innovation funds); Develop (stipends and other support for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows); and Deliver (funding for community education and other outreach actvities).

The Friedman School seeks annual and capital support aligned with its strategic plan (see page 30) and targeted at bolstering its mission of trusted science, creation of new leaders, and public impact. Priority areas range from Food Entrepreneurship and Innovation to Sustainable Food Environments. Learn more at

These efforts combine to “put Tufts in a league of its own,” said Peter Dolan, A78, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The university’s ascending reputation reflects the extraordinary breadth of excellence in our classrooms and laboratories that is matched by deep engagement with complex problems well beyond our campuses. The critical role that Tufts can play in securing the future of our planet has never been clearer or more urgent.”

Brighter World and its co-chairs will inspire a worldwide community of campaign volunteers, the largest in Tufts’ history, who will emphasize the importance of broad participation across all gift levels, whether it be annual fund donors, those who make planned gifts, or those who make major gifts toward specific scholarship, research, or program needs. Gifts of all sizes will create a stronger Friedman School and HNRCA, helping people worldwide lead healtheir lives. Because, as campaign leaders say, “Every Gift is Jumbo.”

Meet the Co-Chairs

Launching and leading an effort of this size requires the commitment and support of many. The campaign co-chairs for the Friedman School and the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) talk about why they are taking part.

Elizabeth Cochary Gross, N82, NG88,
Friedman School campaign co-chair

Tufts University trustee; University Campaign Executive Committee member; Friedman School adviser, adjunct associate professor, and former director of admissions and recruitment

I have been deeply involved with the school since 1980, first as a graduate student and later as a staff and faculty member. I have seen the school mature, and I realize what it can become with a successful campaign. In order to have the best faculty at our school, we need to have endowed professorships. To recruit the very best students, we must have endowed scholarship funds for financial aid. This is what our campaign is all about.

Irwin M. Heller, A67, A98P,
Friedman School campaign co-chair

Member of the legal firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo; Tufts University trustee emeritus; Friedman School adviser

While Congress wrestles over who gets coverage, the real issue is how we bring down health-care costs. Tufts can provide leadership by both scientific research to determine what foods and lifestyle choices bring healthier living and by influencing public policy to encourage healthy choices. The Friedman School is the only school of nutrition that has the capacity to lead from cell to society.

Ronenn Roubenoff, HNRCA campaign co-chair

Global head of translational medicine at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research; former chief of the HNRCA’s Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory

As funding from government grants has shrunk, I think now is the time for private support to step up. And because of a general assault on truth and facts in today’s society, we need trusted research and education more than ever. For me, the most influential lever is to support the training of young scientists. If I can help make it easier for young people to develop as nutritional scientists without being overwhelmed by debt, we will all benefit.

Robert M. Russell, HNRCA campaign co-chair

Professor emeritus of medicine and nutrition at Tufts; former director of the HNRCA

Tufts is in a very exciting position. It has recently experienced remarkable growth in international ranking, and is now regarded as a truly world-class educational and research institution. Now is the time to not only consolidate that position, but to increase its momentum toward excellence.

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