One of the things I love about the Fletcher community is how full it is of doers as well as thinkers. This has really been on display over the past few weeks in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Members of Fletcher’s military veteran population have sprung into action to provide logistical support to Tufts Medical Center, in an effort to create military-style hospital facilities on the Tufts campus. Other Fletcher students have been spearheading a crowdsourcing campaign within the larger Boston area university community, and have successfully coordinated a group of MIT engineers to produce plans for homemade surgical masks, as well as volunteers to gather supplies from local craft and fabric stores to allow for mass production. Weeks before the pandemic reached its current proportions in the United States, these students were sending out Social List posts to organize a Fletcher pandemic response volunteer group, and we can see their foresight and proactivity paying off at a time when it’s greatly needed. You can read more about these student-led efforts here.
Tufts’ leadership in the higher ed response to the crisis is visible at the top, too. President Tony Monaco, an early advocate of contributing university facilities and expertise to the national fight against the coronavirus, recently took his message to Amanpour & Co. in a conversation with Walter Isaacson, discussing university-wide coordination of medical resources, the transition to online learning, and Tufts’ support of its global student community. It’s heartening to see both Fletcher and Tufts so responsive to local, regional, and national needs in a time of crisis.