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11.03.06 Campaign launch captures the spirit of Tufts

The Wang Center provided a stunning backdrop on November 3 for Tufts to launch the most ambitious capital campaign in the university's history.

Nearly 700 people came together at the Boston landmark for an evening that kicked off Beyond Boundaries: The Campaign for Tufts, which aims to raise $1.2 billion over the next four years, double the amount raised during Tufts' last campaign.

In an appropriate nod to a global component of the campaign, the program began with guests toasting Tufts after viewing a video comprised of clips from Tufts World Day, where alumni around the world had honored the legacy and future of alma mater.

It was, in fact, an evening that paid generous tribute to what Tufts is and can become.  Student performing arts enlivened the stage with dance and song, and special guests representing students, faculty, and Tufts leadership, shared inspiring personal perspectives about what Tufts means to them. In addition, guests were the first to view a campaign film Tufts is... and the debut of a photographic exhibition, "Tufts24."

During the evening’s special program, President Lawrence S. Bacow underscored how Beyond Boundaries “will dramatically strengthen its foundation of intellectual excellence, building on our enduring faith in the liberal arts, and our unique combination of seven schools.

“We will open our doors wider than ever to worthy undergraduates from every background, through an aggressive move toward need-blind admissions. And we will enhance our distinctive strengths -- strengths that the world needs intensely right now: our global perspective; our unquestioned strength in the life sciences, engineering and environmental studies, and perhaps above all, our profound dedication to preparing students for lives of active citizenship.”

He also announced that the 300 members of the Tufts University Alumni Council have pledged a joint gift of $20 million.

“This $20 million pledge now brings the campaign progress tonight to $615 million,” he said. “This is an exciting benchmark for many reasons. The Council has never made a gift like this before: this is truly unprecedented. One can only hope it will become precedent-setting.”

In closing, Bacow noted that "In political campaigns, they say that every vote matters - and in this grand referendum on the future of Tufts, every gift matters as well. Think about those wonderful a cappella groups we heard a few moments ago. Surely some of those students have beautiful solo voices. But there is something uniquely powerful about hearing them together - many different voices contributing to one glorious sound. That, in my view, is the true spirit of this institution.

"Because of that spirit, I am profoundly confident that Tufts will succeed in this campaign -- and much more important, Tufts will succeed in defining a future even more impressive than its past.

Campaign co-chair Trustee Alan Solomont, A70, said that "Tufts will push past the boundaries of its past expectations -- and in the process, we will dramatically enhance our ability to serve the world...For me, helping Tufts raise the resources it needs isn't just about paying back. It means seizing the chance to help Tufts realize its full potential...just as Tufts did for me."

Rick Hauck, A62, retired captain Navy captain and former NASA astronaut, contributed his own call to action. He recollected how when he stood on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, "I marveled that I could actually be embarking on this incredible adventure. I was going to ride on a rocket into space at a speed of 17,500 mph. I would look down on Earth from a 300-mile vantage point that only a few people had been privileged to see before, experiencing 16 sunrises and sunsets each day. I was going to realize a dream I had nurtured since I was a teenager.

"Tonight and forever you will be the giants upon whose shoulders the Tufts of the future will stand. The boundaries that Tufts will break will be broken because of what you have and will contribute, in time, energy, and wealth, and because of the extraordinary leadership and vision of our President Larry Bacow, campaign volunteers, and the Board of Trustees. You will be the enablers of Tufts' future."