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Profiles in Giving

Debra Smith Knez, J82

About her

Through the Knez Family Charitable Foundation, Debra and her husband, Brian, have made a gift that establishes two three-year term junior faculty professorships in the School of Arts and Sciences. This support helps Tufts attract and keep the best young faculty members by supplementing their research funding at the outset of their careers -- a key goal of the Beyond Boundaries campaign. Debra and Brian also are generous supporters of the Tufts Fund as members of the Trustees' Circle.

Her cause: Supporting excellent teaching

"My aim is to help young people who haven't had the opportunities I had growing up. I'm trying to level the playing field where I can."

"My husband and I had a few opportunities to talk with President Bacow about the campaign's focus. One of the prime areas that came up was faculty development, giving department heads the leverage to attract the best and most promising junior faculty."

"As a Tufts graduate I always have valued the caliber of the professors I had. President Bacow believes in creating a great environment for his professors, an environment in which they are passionate about their teaching and research and feel supported by the university in their work. Who benefits? The students!"

Why she gives to Tufts

"Tufts is a unique school, urban, with wonderful affiliations with graduate schools that undergrads can take advantage of, and 'worldly' for a small university. Kids who go to Tufts want to be worldly citizens."