History of Tufts University
In the 1840s, the Universalist church wanted to open a college in New England, and in 1852, Charles Tufts donated 20 acres to the church to help them achieve this goal. Charles Tufts had inherited the land, a barren hill which was one of the highest points in the Boston area, called Walnut Hill, and when asked by a family member what he intended to do with the land, he said "I will put a light on it." His 20-acre donation (then valued at $20,000) is still at the heart of Tufts' now 150 acre campus, straddling Somerville and Medford. It was also in 1852 that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts chartered Tufts College, noting the college should promote "virtue and piety and learning in such of the languages and liberal and useful arts as shall be recommended." During his tenure, Ballou spent a year travelling and studying in the United Kingdom. The methods of instruction which he initiated were based on the tutorials that were conducted in the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. Now more than 160 years old, Tufts is the third oldest college in the Boston area.
Having been one of the biggest influences in the establishment of the College, Hosea Ballou II became the first president in 1853, and College Hall, the first building on campus, was completed the following year. That building now bears Ballou's name. The campus opened in August 1854. President Ballou died in 1861 and was succeeded by Alonzo Ames Miner. Though not a college graduate, his presidency was marked by several advances. These include the establishment of preparatory schools for Tufts which include Goddard Seminary, Westbrook Seminary, and Dean Academy. During the Civil War the college actively supported the Union cause. The mansion of Major George L. Stearns which stood on part of the campus was a station on the Underground Railroad. In addition to having the largest classes spring up, 63 graduates served in the Union army. The first course of a three-year program leading to a degree in civil engineering was established in 1865, the same year MIT was founded. By 1869, the Crane Theological Schoolwas organized.
Miner's successor, Elmer Capen was the first president to be a Tufts alumnus. During his time, one of the earliest innovators was Amos Dolbear. In 1875, as chair of the physics department, he installed a working telephone which connected his lab in Ballou Hall to his home on Professors Row. Two years later Alexander Graham Bell would receive the patent. Dolbear's work in Tufts was later continued by Marconi and Tesla. Other famous scholars include William Leslie Hooper who in addition to serving as acting president, designed the first slotted armature for dynamos. His student at the college, Frederick Stark Pearson would eventually become one of America's pioneers of the electrical power industry. He became responsible for the development of the electric power and electric street car systems which many cities in South America and Europe used. Another notable figure is Stephen M. Babcock who developed the first practical test to determine the amount of butterfat in milk. Since its development in the college, the Babcock Test has hardly been modified. Expansion of the chemistry and biology departments were largely led by scholars Arthur Michael, who was one of the first organic chemists in the U.S., and John Sterling Kingsley who was one of the first scholars of comparative anatomy.
P. T. Barnum was one of the earliest benefactors of Tufts College, and the Barnum Museum of Natural History (Barnum Hall) was constructed in 1884 with funds donated by him to house his collection of animal specimens and the stuffed hide of Jumbo the elephant, who would become the university's mascot. The building stood until April 14, 1975, when fire gutted Barnum Hall, destroying the entire collection.
On July 15, 1892, the Tufts Board of Trustees voted "that the College be opened to women in the undergraduate departments on the same terms and conditions as men." Metcalf Hall opened in 1893 and served as the dormitory for women. At the same meeting, the trustees voted to create a graduate school faculty and to offer the Ph.D. degree in biology and chemistry. In 1893 the Medical School opened and in 1899 the Boston Dental College was integrated into the university. In 1890, the Department of Electrical Engineering was created, and in 1892 - 1893 the course of three-year program in civil engineering was extended to four years. With the advent of the four-year program the degrees granted were bachelor of civil or electrical engineering. Tufts College added the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1894 and 1898, respectively. In 1898, the trustees voted to formally establish an undergraduate College of Engineering.
The Jackson College for Women was established in 1910 as a coordinate college adjacent to the Tufts campus. In 1980 it was integrated with the College of Liberal Arts but is still recognized in the formal name of the undergraduate arts and sciences division, the "College of Liberal Arts and Jackson College." Undergraduate women in arts and sciences continued to receive their diplomas from Jackson College until 2002.
Tufts expanded in the 1933 with the opening of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the first graduate school of international affairs in the United States. The Fletcher School began as a joint effort between Tufts and Harvard University, funded by an endowment from longtime Tufts benefactor and alumnus Dr. Austin Barclay Fletcher. Tufts assumed full administration of the Fletcher School in 1935, and strong linkages between the two schools remain.
During World War II, Tufts College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
Due to travel restrictions imposed by World War II, the Boston Red Sox conducted spring training for the 1943 Major League season at Tufts College. In 1955, continued expansion was reflected in the change of the school's name to Tufts University.
The university experienced some growth during the presidency of Jean Mayer (1976–1992). Mayer established Tufts' veterinary, nutrition, and biomedical schools and acquired the Grafton and Talloires campuses, at the same time lifting the university out of its dire financial situation by increasing the size of the endowment by a factor of 15.
The College of Engineering added graduate study to its curriculum beginning in 1961, with master's degrees available in four departments. It added Ph.D. programs in mechanical engineering in 1963, electrical engineering in 1964, engineering design in 1981, and civil engineering in 1985. In 1984 CEO and chairman of Analogic Corporation and NeuroLogica Corp Bernard Marshall Gordon founded the Tufts Gordon Institute as the first educational institution created to foster entrepreneurship in the engineering fields. In 1991 the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredited the institute to confer the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Management and in 1992 the Gordon Institute became part of the College of Engineering. In 1999, the College of Engineering became the School of Engineering, when oversight of graduate engineering programs was transferred from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. As part of the same reorganization the Faculty of Arts and Science became the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (AS&E).
Under President Larry Bacow, Tufts started a capital campaign in 2006 with the goal of raising $1.2 billion to implement full need-blind admission by 2011. As of December 10, 2010 the campaign raised $1.14 billion. Tufts received the largest donations in its history since 2005, including a $136 million bequest to its endowment upon the dissolution of a charitable trust set up by 1911 alumnus Frank C. Doble, a $100 million gift from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to establish the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund,and a number of $40 million-plus gifts to specific schools.
In 2008, Hines Interests and TUDC, a subsidiary of the University, planned to break ground on the South Station Tower. Tufts had acquired the air rights from South Station in 1990, with former President Jean Meyer envisioning a tower that would be the center of medical research. Preliminary design was done by Cesar Pelli, with construction now scheduled to start in 2017. However, Tufts withdrew from the project in 2009.
On November 30, 2010, the university announced that Anthony P. Monaco, formerly of Oxford, would become its thirteenth president. Monaco's inauguration took place on October 21, 2011.
As of October 15, 2015, Computer Science surpassed International Relations as the largest major at the university, with 466 declared majors.
On December 22, 2015, the University announced that it would run the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The merger was completed on June 30, 2016.
On December 2015, the University completed a reconstruction of the Memorial Stairs. A new Central Energy Plant is currently under construction and is set to finish in the summer of 2016. It will replace an aging 60 year old plant and provide new efficiency boilers which in addition to providing the University directly with electricity, heated and chilled water, will help the University cut emissions. The University is also constructing a new science and engineering complex (SEC). The SEC will feature state of the art laboratories and foster interdisciplinary research between the neuroscience and environmental science departments. The new building will be finished by the summer of 2017 and will join the newly rehabilitated 574 Boston Avenue in the expansion of classroom and laboratory facilities for the engineering school.
In 2016, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pledged a $100 million donation over four years for the creation of the Allen Discovery Centers at Tufts and Stanford. The centers would fund research that would read and write the morphogenetic code. Tufts biologist Michael Levin will lead the center with research focusing on communications between cells and the causation of birth defects, cancer, traumatic injuries and degenerative diseases.