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I Saw It on the Jumbotron

Tufts rules the popular imagination

Now that the sister of somebody who used to work in the Tufts Office of Publications has won the Boston Pops’ American Idol–style POPSearch competition, the Tufts takeover of popular culture is virtually complete. It seems there isn’t a movie or TV show that doesn’t feature a Jumbo among its characters (or at least its viewers). And the best-seller list? Sheer Tuftemonium. Here are a few reasons media execs are diving under their sustainably harvested bamboo desks and yelling, “It’s a Jumbo stampeeeeeeede!

Where What Tufts Connection
Body of Evidence novels Young-adult mystery series by Christopher Golden Heroine Jenna Blake attends Tufts-inspired “Somerset University”
Cheats Mary Tyler Moore movie about high school life (2002) Character Julie Merkel is desperate to get into Tufts
Crossing Jordan NBC crime drama about a medical examiner (2001–present) Heroine Jordan Cavanaugh is a Tufts medical school grad
Ed NBC series about a lawyer who runs a bowling alley (2000–04)   Bowling alley employee Kenny went to Tufts
Everwood WB network drama about a small town in Colorado (2002–06) Character Amy Abbott was rejected by Tufts
Jack Ryan novels Tom Clancy spy series including The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games Recurring character Scott Adler, who becomes Secretary of State, graduated from the Fletcher School (natch)
The Man of My Dreams Coming-of-age novel by Curtis Sittenfeld (2006) Heroine Hannah Gavener goes to Tufts
More Than It Hurts You Forthcoming novel by bestselling author Darin Strauss, A92 (Chang and Eng) Rumored to be set largely at Tufts
Prep Coming-of-age novel by Curtis Sittenfeld (2005) Heroine Lee Fiora is rejected by Tufts
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Sitcom first on ABC, then WB (1996–2003) Opening credits feature the President’s Lawn
Seinfeld NBC sitcom about neurotic Manhattanites (1990–98) Character Elaine Benes went to Tufts (her “safety school”)
The Sopranos HBO drama about a mob boss in therapy (1999–2007) Psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi is a Tufts medical school grad
Spenser: For Hire ABC mystery series about a private investigator in Boston (1985–88) “Taft University,” a frequent setting, is a thinly disguised Tufts
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