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November 4, 2013

Dear Members of the Tufts Community,

This past weekend was a signature moment for Tufts University. During the regular fall meeting of the Board of Trustees, two noteworthy events took place that will figure prominently in the evolution of Tufts over the next decade and beyond: The Board elected Peter R. Dolan as its Chairman to continue our tradition of strong trustee leadership, and unanimously approved the university’s strategic plan.

The Tufts Strategic Plan provides a framework for achieving our shared goals for teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and impact on the wider world. I encourage you to watch the video message from Provost Harris and me and then read the plan. I hope you will be as excited as I am by the challenge of working together to achieve the unique potential of Tufts.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of you—faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, advisors, and friends—for your investment in and engagement with our strategic-planning process. It is truly a collaborative plan, one that was strengthened by your voices and your ideas for an institution about which we all care enormously. I look forward to your continued involvement as we begin to implement elements of the plan in partnership with the Schools and faculty.

Peter Dolan, the new Chairman of our Board, has been deeply involved in the development of the Tufts Strategic Plan, offering thoughtful advice and asking pertinent questions during the yearlong process that culminated in the Board’s approval. As Chairman, Peter succeeds James A. Stern, who led the trustees for a decade and was named Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his distinguished service to the university.

Jim Stern, a 1972 graduate of the School of Engineering, served on the Board for 31 years. He leaves a legacy of strong governance and a tradition of trustee engagement, and we are deeply grateful for his steady leadership, measured counsel, and abiding commitment to the university. On Friday night, during the trustee dinner, I presented Jim with the Tufts Presidential Medal. There is no worthier recipient of the university’s highest honor.

As further evidence of the deep respect that Jim has engendered across our community, you have only to look at those individuals who have honored his service by donating, in his name, more than $1 million in support of financial aid, the importance of which Jim and his wife, Jane, have long underscored through their own philanthropy to Tufts.

Our new Board Chairman has been equally dedicated to strengthening Tufts since he was first elected a trustee in 2001. A 1978 alumnus of the School of Arts and Sciences, Peter Dolan also chairs ChildObesity180, an initiative at the Friedman School aimed at reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity. We are fortunate to have a Board that includes leaders such as Jim and Peter; you can read a report on the full range of activities at last weekend’s Board meeting online.

We have much work to do to achieve our shared vision for the university. Energized by that vision and a strategic plan that supports it, I am confident that together, we will shape an even more extraordinary Tufts University.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco