The new academic year is now in full swing across the university and I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new students, faculty, staff, and their families. Over the past several weeks I have met many of you across the university, including the undergraduate Class of 2022, and it is clear that your intellect, passion, creativity, and diversity of perspectives and experiences will enrich our vibrant community.
Activities and events on our campuses are already demonstrating the excellence and innovation that distinguish Tufts. One-early semester highlight for me was the recent opening of the “Expressions Unbound” exhibit at the Tufts University Galleries. Tonight, I look forward to joining the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) community for the 150th anniversary gala. And, I am excited for the upcoming grand opening and dedication of the Nolop Fabrication, Analysis, Simulation and Testing (FAST) Facility, which will bring new makerspace capacity to the Medford/Somerville campus.
Across the university, academic innovation is moving forward with unprecedented momentum. I shared an update on some of our new degree programs in my community message in July. Later in the summer, the School of Arts and Sciences announced the launch of its new master’s program in data analytics. And we are developing exciting new residential pre-college programs on the Medford/Somerville campus, complementing such long-running initiatives as Adventures in Veterinary Medicine at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the Pipeline Programs at the School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.
We continue to leverage Tufts’ powerful teaching and research capacity. The first wave of projects selected to receive funding through the Research and Scholarship Strategic Plan are now moving forward. In October, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research will host a university-wide conference, “A Brighter World Through Research and Scholarship,” for members of the Tufts community to engage on the university’s research and scholarship priorities.
Tufts faculty continue to earn well-deserved recognition as the best in their fields. At the School of Medicine, Ramnath Subbaraman received a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to help improve the identification and treatment of people living with tuberculosis in India. In Physics and Astronomy, Peter Love will help lead a seven-university team that has received a $15 million National Science Foundation award to create the first practical quantum computer. And in Philosophy, Brian Epstein extended his groundbreaking work on the building blocks of society by co-organizing a major international conference on campus this past August, focusing on the nature and properties of the social world.
Tufts benefits from a truly unique tradition of active citizenship and civic engagement. The important voting study recently released by Tisch College is already having nationwide impact, elucidating how colleges and universities can encourage student civic engagement on campus and lifelong political participation.
We are committed to ensuring that Tufts champions meaningful inclusion, diversity and equity for all. Last week, the Office of the Provost announced a new university-wide community dinner series, Tufts Table, which will provide members an opportunity to engage constructively across lines of difference on topics of local, national, and global relevance. The Office of Student Success and Advising has launched the FIRST Resource Center to better support first-generation undergraduates, and we have consolidated offices across the university into the newly restructured International Center to more effectively assist international members of our community.
Investment in capital projects and renovations is essential to supporting our academic mission. This summer was an especially busy time on our campuses. On the Medford/Somerville campus, we enhanced undergraduate residential life through renewal projects in 10 residence halls and the opening of the first phase of the new wood-frame residential option known as CoHo. Infrastructure projects included laying energy-efficient chilled water lines from the new Central Energy Plant. On the Boston Health Sciences campus, the roof of the Jaharis Building was replaced. In Grafton, crews are in the final stages of work on the new multi-purpose teaching and simulation lab.
Finally, I want to share with you an important milestone in philanthropy. Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts, has achieved more than $700 million in gifts toward our $1.5 billion goal. Almost $200 million of the amount raised to date is designated for financial aid. We are tremendously grateful to the many alumni, parents, and friends whose generous contributions play a critical role in allowing us to better support our students and faculty. Their commitment to the university testifies to the importance and impact of our collective endeavors.