Fall 2016

Civic Life Rising

Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch invest $15 million to help Tufts graduates shape a better future

As the nation continues to engage in increasingly fractious political discourse, it’s more important than ever to develop a community of leaders who are able to rise above the fray and bring positive change to the public sphere. Fostering such change has been a cornerstone of Tisch College. Now, with a $15 million gift from Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, A76, and a new name that more clearly describes its mission, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life is poised to extend its reach, both on campus and in the world.

The Tisches’ gift will endow professorships in the emerging field of civic studies, which examines why people get involved in causes and what happens when they do; support ongoing research on youth voting and political engagement; and expand opportunities for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in service-learning and leadership-development programs.

Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch. Photo: Alonso Nichols

“Lizzie and I believe in the evolution of Tisch College and wanted to help ensure that it has a bright future, offering even more to the students at Tufts for decades to come,” says Tisch, vice chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. “What we’re seeing here at Tufts is that young people today want to be engaged. They want to make a difference.”

Tufts takes seriously its role as an engine for social good. “We believe that higher education has a responsibility to act to help young people become agents for thoughtful advocacy, action and positive change,” says Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco. “Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch share this belief. Their generous support will enable us to help prepare every student for this important role, whether they’re studying to be a dentist or a diplomat, an actor or an engineer.”

Jonathan Tisch, cochairman of the board and a member of the office of the president of Loews Corp. and chairman of its subsidiary, Loews Hotels, has been a longtime champion for addressing society’s problems via the civic engagement of individuals and corporations. Ten years ago, he made a $40 million gift to Tufts to endow the first institution-wide college of its kind, the University College of Citizenship and Public Service, as the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

In the decade since Tisch’s initial investment, the college has emerged as a leader in education, research and practice and has gained recognition as the foremost authority on youth voting patterns and civic engagement in the U.S. –Taylor McNeil

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