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July 29, 2011

Dear Friends:

It is hard to believe, but today is my last day in the office. On Monday, Tony Monaco will arrive in Ballou Hall as the 13th President of Tufts University. I am convinced that Tony will lead Tufts to even greater heights. The university’s future has never been brighter.

Adele and I want to thank each and every one of you for making our time at Tufts ten of the very best years of our lives. It has been a great privilege to serve as your president. I am reminded of a quotation from John Gardner that I used in my final remarks at Commencement this year that sums up perfectly my feelings about my tenure at Tufts. “What could be more satisfying than to be engaged in work in which every capacity or talent one may have is needed, every lesson one may have learned is used, every value one cares about is furthered.”

There are many things Adele and I will cherish about our time at Tufts, but in the end it all comes back to the people. Tufts is a special place because each of you make it so. Thank you for making Tufts the kind of institution where excellence and relationships are both highly valued, where people are honestly committed to improving the lives of others, and where people take their work but not themselves too seriously. What could be better? And of course, thank you for the many kindnesses you extended personally to each of us.

Adele and I have already moved to Brookline. Our new place is in Coolidge Corner, five blocks from where we began our married life 36 years ago. The circle has closed. If you see us in the neighborhood, please say hello.

As for me, in September I will become the President in Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, teaching in their Higher Education Program. I will be doing some research on issues of productivity in higher education and also serving on a few corporate boards as well as on the Harvard Corporation. I am not retiring, just returning to the classroom. I am a teacher at heart.

If you want to reach me, please continue to use my Tufts email address. It will remain my primary email address indefinitely as I will also become President Emeritus starting on Monday. If you do write, I will do my best to respond but please be patient. Adele and I plan to take some time off to sail together starting next week.

Thanks again for a fabulous decade.

With great affection,


To read President Monaco’s opening message to the Tufts community, please click here.