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Fall 2004
  Landmark Philanthropy
Cummings Foundation to invest $50 million in veterinary school
  Bright Lights
The class of 2008
  Window on Innovation
Emerging technology gives Tufts a pioneering role with new display
  Engineering a Solution in Ghana
Tufts group brings new ideas to controlling schistosomiasis
  Imagery of War
Compelling perspectives on war and conflict in Tufts galleries
Landmark Philanthropy
Cummings Foundation to invest $50 million in veterinary school

Cummings Foundation Inc. has committed to investing $50 million in Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine over the next 15 years—the largest gift in the history of the university and among the largest donations ever made to a U.S. veterinary school. It also ranks among the largest gifts ever to a Massachusetts college or university.

In recognition of the gift, the school will be renamed the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in a ceremony to be held in spring 2005.

“Tufts is enormously grateful to the Cummings Foundation for this extraordinary gift,” Tufts president Lawrence S. Bacow said. “One measure of a just society is how well it takes care of those who cannot take care of themselves. People who devote their lives to animals are among the most caring and unselfish among us. The Cummings Foundation gift appropriately recognizes their selfless commitment.”

“The mission of the Cummings Foundation is to invest in organizations that make contributions to our society,” said William S. Cummings, A58, president of the foundation. “We were moved to recommend this commitment due to the practical, entrepreneurial spirit of Tufts University in general and Tufts veterinary school in particular. This collaboration will help to provide the resources necessary for the school to sustain its vision. We are honored to support this world-class institution of higher learning.”

Dean Philip C. Kosch remarked, “This gift will help fund needed capital improvements, provide matching funds in support of major research proposals, and greatly strengthen the educational and clinical mission of the school. I cannot thank the Cummings Foundation enough for its vote of confidence in the faculty, staff, and students who make Tufts veterinary school the special place that it is.”
From left, Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts University, William Cummings, A58, president of Cummings Foundation, and Dr. Philip C. Kosh, dean of the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine
Photo by Richard Howard

Cummings is the founder of Cummings Properties, LLC, which operates eight million square feet of office, laboratory, and research space in eastern Massachusetts, which it leases to 1,700 tenants. He is an alumnus and a trustee emeritus of Tufts. He also was an overseer to Tufts School of Medicine.

In 1998, his 40th reunion, Cummings received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor of the Tufts University Alumni Association. He chose the occasion to endow the Cummings Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Business Economics at the university. “Tufts was an excellent experience that definitely helped me and prepared me for the business world,” he said at the time. “I paid my own tuition through Tufts, but I have always felt a major sense of obligation, which is why I have given to the university every year since graduation.” Cummings said he focused his endowment on entrepreneurship “because I wanted to establish something that helps students develop the skills that are necessary to run a business and to assist people who seek to own their own business.”

Also in 1998, he was named Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year for New England by Ernst & Young. Cummings was the founder and publisher of three community newspapers in Woburn, Stoneham, and Winchester, and has been involved in many philanthropic activities, including serving as a director of the Woburn Boys and Girls Club for 25 years.

The School of Veterinary Medicine was founded 26 years ago in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Each year, half of the seats in the entering class are reserved for Massachusetts residents, who receive a tuition discount. Tufts raised 100 percent of the capital necessary to build the veterinary school and its three hospitals on surplus state land in North Grafton, Massachusetts. The hospitals treat more than 28,000 animals each year. The school receives annual operating support from Massachusetts, producing one of the most successful public/private higher education partnerships in the nation.
—Barbara Donato


The College
Bright Lights

Lee A. Coffin, dean of Undergraduate Admissions, certainly got it right when he called Tufts incoming freshmen “an accomplished, curious, and opinionated” class. His long list of distinctions for the Class of 2008 included the following: For the third consecutive year, Tufts’ admissions was highly competitive—14,728 candidates for only 1,280 slots. For the fifth consecutive year, 27 percent were offered admission, a level of selectivity matched by fewer than 20 universities in the country. Of this year’s freshmen, 75 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class. And consistent with previous entering classes, international relations is the leading academic interest in the School of Arts & Sciences. For more on the merits of Tufts’ newest Jumbos and a photo gallery of their arrival, visit the links at E-News (enews.tufts.edu).


Window on Innovation
Emerging technology gives Tufts a pioneering role with new display

When the President’s Office set out to create a display about the university and its international scope, it wanted to go beyond the conventional video loop. Instead, it looked to an innovative education, art, and technology design studio in Somerville to find out about something called a Spin Browser™. Now it seems that Tufts is leading the way in how universities can use this interactive technology.

The new display debuted in August at TIAA-CREF headquarters in New York this past summer. Alumni were clearly enthralled by the 40-inch LCD flat-panel display; turning a stainless steel dial, they controlled video sequences, spinning forward and backward and freezing images that caught their interest—soaring over the Veterinary School campus one minute, for instance, and the glaciers of Antarctica the next.

“With our theme focusing on Tufts’ international influence, the technology gave us the freedom to bring together the four campuses and the university’s global reach in a creative and bold way that we never could have achieved with traditional video,” said Judy Olson, chief of staff in the President’s Office. “It was a perfect pairing of message and medium.”

Linda Welles, J66 (left), and Cathy Weiss, J75, were among alumni attending a September 10 New York Tufts Alliance reception at TIAA_CREF headquarters in New York, where they could rediscover Tufts through a new Spin Browser™ presentation. David Durlach, director and founder of the Somerville-based TechnoFrolics, where the innovative display was created, demonstrates the new technology.
Photo by Laura Ferguson.


The project grew out of an invitation from TIAA-CREF to develop a university display for its lobby; colleges and universities are celebrated in its “Window on Learning” exhibition space.

David Durlach, director and founder of TechnoFrolics, which developed Spin Browser™, recalls getting the call to demonstrate the new video-based technology he typically pitches to museums and corporations as a captivating educational and promotional presentation medium. Unlike a standard video kiosk, which often loses the interest of passersby after a casual glance, the Spin Browser™ turns viewing into a very active and engaging experience. “This innovative, interactive technology is often seen in high-quality science museums,” said Durlach. “Tufts worked with us to extend its application into a promotional area that has never been explored before by a university. It could be considered a standard for other schools; it’s definitely very cool.”

Tufts is now planning for the SpinBrowser’s™ permanent display on the Medford/Somerville campus, scheduled for mid-November, and is investigating the technology’s potential in other areas, such as admissions, human resources, community relations, and the Tufts website.


Engineering a Solution in Ghana
Tufts group brings new ideas to controlling schistosomiasis

A new project from the civil and environmental engineering department aims to design interventions for addressing an outbreak of schistosomiasis in the town of Kwabeng in eastern Ghana.

Schistosomiasis, a water-borne disease, is caused by several species of parasitic flatworms. Nearly a third of the children in the town of about 5,000 people have bilharzia, as the disease is locally known, the symptoms of which include anemia and bloody urine.

Dr. Kwabena Aboagye, a native of Kwabeng and an obstetrician at Boston University Medical School, has hypothesized that the outbreak was triggered by recent gold-mining activities that have caused the Awusu River to become sluggish in places, creating prime habitat for the snails that harbor the parasitic flatworms.

John Durant and David Gute, both associate professors in civil and environmental engineering, were intrigued when they heard Dr. Aboagye’s theory. It got them thinking that there might be an engineering solution to the problem, and they decided to lead a fact-finding trip to Kwabeng. Their respective backgrounds of environmental engineering and epidemiology proved appropriate to the task.

“We invited six seniors to join us, as part of a semester-long capstone design course,” said Durant. “In February we spent a week in Kwabeng and the Awusu River basin, and gathered as much information as we could. In addition, we spent a lot of time talking to people—the town king, the regional king, school teachers, principals, parents, and even the mining company—to get a sense of the social impacts of the disease, and to build partnerships essential to the success of the project.”

With this information, the students will evaluate and rank all of the possible interventions—including river restoration. The group plans to return to Kwabeng next year with a new crop of students to discuss the recommendations and to move to the next phase of the design process.

“Our long-term goal is to oversee the implementation of the selected interventions and then evaluate how well they work,” said Durant. “Using this methodical approach, we hope to arrive at the best possible solution for Kwabeng and to achieve broad-based community acceptance.”


Imagery of War

Exhibitions in the Koppelman Gallery, combined with the inaugural show in the Remis Sculpture Court, offer compelling perspectives on war and conflict. In the Koppelman, photojournalist Gary Knight documents evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity in photographs taken in Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo during the conflict between the NATO-backed KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) and the Yugoslav armed forces. The show will be followed by an exhibition of photographs taken by other photojournalists working in countries such as Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Both exhibitions honor the 20th anniversary of EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and Inter-national Citizenship), a core program for the Institute for Global Leadership.

In the sculpture court, the exhibition OVERT/COVERT, including photography, sculpture, and painting, is so named because “each work in this exhibition presents a variation on the paradox of overt and covert aggression—and asks us to ponder its consequences, especially in human terms,” says Amy Ingrid Schlegel, director of galleries and collections. The exhibition includes work by Tufts graduate Jim MacMillan, A83, a Philadelphia-based photojournalist currently on a one-year stint for Associated Press in Baghdad, captured the devastation of the World Trade Center at the crack of dawn on September 12, 2001.

MacMillan waited till sunrise to shoot his photograph, thinking it would give the viewer a sense of hope. Instead, he found “it really shows the scale of the destruction and how little hope there was to find any survivors,” he wrote in ArtMatters, published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. “It appears as if there is one person in the photo, but there are nearly 3,000.”

For more information visit www.tufts.edu/as/gallery.