Tufts University Logo

Address:

419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155‎

(617) 628-5000

www.tufts.edu 

Tufts University

Tufts University

Tufts is a leader in American higher education, distinctive for its success as a moderately sized university that excels at research and providing students with a personal experience. Our unique combination of research and liberal arts attracts students, faculty and staff who thrive in our environment of curiosity, creativity and engagement.

An Undergraduate Experience Like No Other

Studying at Tufts, you are part of a diverse community of over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students from over 60 different countries.

The MBTA’s Red Line will take you from Davis Square to Park Street, home of the Boston Common and the Massachusetts Statehouse. From here, you can walk almost anywhere in the city of Boston. A stroll down the block will lead you to the theater district, home to off-broadway productions, or to a vibrant Chinatown. If you head towards the harbor, you can visit the Boston Aquarium or explore the city’s seaport. Further north is (appropriately) the North End - Boston’s Little Italy where every doorway is an opportunity for an amazing meal and the best cannolis are filled with ricotta.

Tufts has a reputation for shaping active citizens who give back to the communities of which they are a part, whether those communities are local, national, global, or virtual. Driven by the ideals of human rights and democratic participation, active citizens take responsibility for improving conditions and addressing social challenges.

The energy of the Tufts community is due in no small part to the mix of people. Jumbos come from a range of backgrounds and bring diverse talents, opinions, interests, and experience to the table. It almost makes more sense to talk about "diversities" rather than "diversity."

Mission/Philosophy:

Tufts is a student-centered research university dedicated to the creation and application of knowledge. We are committed to providing transformative experiences for students and faculty in an inclusive and collaborative environment where creative scholars generate bold ideas, innovate in the face of complex challenges and distinguish themselves as active citizens of the world.

Traditions:

Bowen Gate: Named for Tufts alumnus Eugene Bucklin Bowen, E1876, Bowen Gate is one of the more picturesque spots on campus. Should you kiss somebody under the gate, you're almost guaranteed to get married someday.

Cannon: A gift from the city of Medford and the Medford Historical Society, the Cannon, a fixture of the Medford campus, is located between Ballou Hall and Goddard Chapel. It is a replica of an original 24-pound cannon taken from the deck of the U.S.S. Constitution, "Old Ironsides." Since 1977, it has been used by student groups and individual students who paint messages on the cannon under the cover of night.

Commencement Candlelight Ceremony: The Candlelight Ceremony was initiated by the Tufts University Alumni Association in cooperation with the Office of Alumni Relations. This final event on Tufts Alumni Day is a candlelight procession capping the eve of Tufts Commencement Day where graduating Seniors are welcomed into the alumni body by reunion and non-reunion alumni.

Gravity Stone: The Gravity Stone is located between Eaton Hall and Goddard Chapel. Roger W. Babson gave it to Tufts with a sizable donation which was meant for research in the field of gravity. The stone is made of solid granite and is estimated to weigh anywhere from 2,000 to 3,200 pounds. In 1962 a group of students and employees of Buildings and Grounds tested whether or not the stone itself would defy gravity by digging a large hole underneath the stone. Thus began a cycle of burying and digging up the stone which was continued for several years until the early 1980s.

Homecoming Day: Homecoming Day was established at Tufts in 1925 after an informal reunion of alumni following a Tufts football game. Although the football games have always been the central attraction on Homecoming Day, different groups host a number of parties, barbecues, reunions, and other events throughout the weekend. Students used to compete in decorating their dorms during Homecoming and winners were awarded prizes, but that tradition is no longer in practice. One of the most visible events of Homecoming Day is the annual spirit parade. Various fraternities and student organizations build floats and parade down Professor's Row, vying for the title of best float. As of today, Homecoming Day remains one of Tufts' strongest traditions, attracting many alumni each year.

Jumbo: Jumbo, the famous Tufts mascot, met an untimely death after being a prime attraction of the far-flung entertainment empire built by Phineas T. “P.T.” Barnum, a famed showman and one of Tufts initial Trustees. Among his other gifts as a generous early benefactor, Barnum donated the funds for construction of the Barnum Museum. Upon Jumbo’s death, the skin was mounted and Jumbo was placed on permanent exhibition in the front foyer wing of Barnum Hall. Jumbo, along with extensive P.T. Barnum memorabilia remained there until destroyed by a fire in 1975.

Jumbo Days: Organized by Admissions, these days provide admitted students the opportunity to attend classes led by Tufts faculty, meet current students, eat in the dining halls, stay overnight in the dorms, and experience the academic and social life at Tufts. Jumbo Days is a great way to get an authentic taste of Tufts.

Rez Quad: The Rez Quad is surrounded by three dorms, leading to the common misconception that "Rez" stands for "residential." In reality, the name is short for "reservoir" and references the Boston water supply located there until the land was sold to Tufts in 1944. Tradition stated that dates made around the reservoir could not be broken, and if a senior asked for a date at the pump house, they could not be refused. Though long since filled in, the reservoir occasionally makes its presence known—rainstorms yield an ideal location for mudsliding.

Pumpkining: On the morning of Halloween each year, students wake up to discover Tufts has been "pumpkin'd." Glorious gourds of every size and shape perch precariously in strange places all over campus. The ritual is over 75 years old, but as of yet, nobody has figured out just how those pumpkins get up there. No group has ever claimed responsibility.

Senior Week: Senior Week is a yearly tradition that celebrates the hard work of all of the graduating seniors. This week is bursting with festivities especially for seniors—a final bonding moment as a class. The celebrations begin on the Sunday before graduation and culminate with Commencement.

Sledding After the First Snow: Sledding is a tradition embraced by the Tufts student body as a communal welcoming of the long New England winter to come. Hundreds of students gather on the President's Lawn as soon as it's blanketed in a deep-enough snow, and sleds are handed out by various organizations to those who didn't bring their own. Snowball fights are an inevitable side effect of the hoards gathered together in celebration of the joy that snow brings.

Spring Fling: Since 1980, Tufts students have come together in the days immediately before final exams on the President's Lawn for the Spring Fling concert. In recent years, the winner of the Tufts Battle of the Bands competition has opened the concert. There's been thirty years of bands, big and small! For brevity's sake, here are some of the last few acts to have graced the Prez Lawn:

Top of the Hill Illumination Ceremony: To honor Charles Tufts, every incoming first-year student lights a candle on the President’s Lawn for their first night on campus. Tufts inherited Walnut Hill, where Tufts University now stands, and when asked what he planned to do with the plot, he replied, ”I will put a light on it.” A few enterprising souls always save their freshmen candles to re-use 4 years later at the Candlelight Ceremony.

Tufts Night at the Pops: Tufts Night at the Pops was inaugurated as an annual spring tradition over 100 years ago. It has long since been held on the Thursday evening preceding Commencement, as the event officially opening Commencement and Alumni Weekend festivities for alumni and graduating seniors. Tufts has the distinction of the oldest affiliation among Boston area schools with the Boston Pops for this tradition.

Tuftonia’s Day: Tuftonia’s Day, originally created in the 1980s by the Office of Alumni Relations, is now a student-run and planned event (in collaboration with the Office of Alumni Relations), which is open to the entire Tufts community. It’s an annual Jumbo-sized birthday celebration commemorating the founding of Tufts University, and offers students and alumni the chance to showcase their school spirit.

Student Life: 

With over 300 student-run clubs and organizations built around various themes, there are almost too many ways to meet people at Tufts who share your passions.

With 17 organizations and 1200 students affiliated, Fraternity and Sorority Life is a vibrant part of Tufts campus.

Active citizenship is huge part of being a Jumbo. Tufts students reach out to people around the country, around the world and those right here in Medford and Somerville – the Leonard Carmichael Society (an umbrella organization for all service groups on campus) is the largest organization at Tufts.

Outside of the curriculum, Tufts students are engaged in myriad fine and performing arts groups, many student-run, and are able to take advantage of opportunities to participate in music and artistic expression in some of the most beautiful performance halls and galleries in Boston.

Tufts fields 29 Varsity sports in the Division III NESCAC Conference. For more casual participants, Tufts fields 21 club teams and has several intramural options as well. From our three-time national championship softball team to our casual intramural dodgeball program, you can be involved in Tufts athletics at whatever level you'd like. 

Mascot

Mascot:

Jumbo the Elephant
The tale of Tufts' official mascot, Jumbo the elephant, dates back to 1885. Circus showman P.T. Barnum was an early trustee and benefactor of Tufts and he donated the stuffed hide of Jumbo to the university. For 86 years, Jumbo stood in Barnum Hall and was a veritable mecca on campus. Students, parents and other campus visitors would pop pennies in his trunk or give a tug on his tail to bring luck for an upcoming exam or athletic competition. Jumbo mania came to a fiery end on April 14, 1975 when Barnum Hall and the beloved elephant were consumed in an electrical fire. Jumbo's spirit lives on. Some of his ashes were recovered in a peanut butter jar that has remained in the athletics director’s office where students continue to rub it for good luck. 

Tufts University today:

Tufts University offers numerous undergraduate and graduate degrees across five schools- School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

Enrollment:

Tufts University has nearly 5,300 undergraduates, 5,900 graduate and professional stuents, and 1,200 international students.

Famous graduates:

Jamie Dimon (born March 13, 1956): A third-generation stockbroker, Dimon started his career working with Sandy Weill at American Express. After personal friction led to his parting ways with Weill, Dimon joined Bank One. This bank would merge with JPMorgan Chase, creating a financial giant that Dimon came to lead as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board.

Meredith Vieira (born December 30, 1953): Upon graduating from Tufts University in 1975 with a degree in English, Vieira immediately began pursuing her dreams of a career in broadcast journalism. She's worked on the CBS news programs West 57th and 60 Minutes, has been a co-host of ABC's The View and co-anchor of NBC's The Today Show. A game show host as well, Vieira has won multiple Emmy Awards. She launched her own talk show in 2014.

Interesting facts about Tufts University:

Although Tufts is best known for its International Relations program, the school has had its fair share of graduates who’ve made to Hollywood. Actors William Hurt (‘72), Hank Azaria (‘88), Meredith Vieira (‘75), Peter Gallagher (‘77), and Late Show with David Letterman producer Rob Burnett (‘84) were all Tufts alumni.

Tufts University has been known to come up with some quirky supplemental essay prompts, including: “Celebrate your nerdy side”, “What makes you happy?”, “Are we alone?”, and “What does #YOLO mean to you?” The school has even given applicants the option to create something out of a piece of paper or submit a one-minute YouTube video that “says something about you.”

What do you do if you’re Tufts student who wants to let off a little steam right before December finals when New England’s winter is at its worst? Strip down and streak naked across campus, of course. Sadly, the “Naked Quad Run,” a tradition that reigned since the 1970s was banned in 2011 for student safety reasons. In response, Tufts students that year instated the “Excessively Overdressed Quad Stroll” in which they layered up in absurd outfits and walked slowly (and safely) around the quad.

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