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Making Good Neighbors

Making Good NeighborsTufts' fifth annual Community Day celebration brought Tufts students, faculty and staff together with members of the community for fun, food and a sample of the research and education taking place across the university.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [10.01.07] On a bright and crisp Sunday afternoon, an estimated 1,000 people from the Medford and Somerville communities gathered with students, faculty and staff on the Academic Quad for Tufts' fifth annual Community Day, cosponsored by the cities of Medford and Somerville.

Attendees enjoyed one last round of summer grill fare such as hamburgers and hot dogs alongside the traditional autumn treats of caramel apples and hot apple cider. As kids had their faces painted and decorated cookies, Tufts student performance groups such as the HYPE! Mime troupe and various a cappella groups performed to cheering audiences.



Photo Gallery: View scenes from Community Day


When students come to Tufts, university President Lawrence S. Bacow said, they should understand, "They're not just coming to Tufts. They're coming to Medford, they're coming to Somerville." His advice to them? "Get to know our neighbors, become part of the whole neighborhood."

The day was informational as well as fun. As Tufts faculty and staff shared their expertise in a variety of presentations, community organizations such as the Community Action Agency of Somerville, Friends of the Medford Public Library, Medford Health Matters, the Somerville Family Network and others were on hand to talk about their work.

"We've worked really hard with President Bacow and his administration to strengthen the natural bonds and ties we have with the university," said Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone. "Events like this just strengthen that relationship, so I need to commend President Bacow and the entire Tufts community for putting this on."

Here's what people on hand had to say about Community Day:

enews_karenKaren Miller (left)
West Somerville, Davis Square

"Our family [husband Matthew, daughters Gwen and Anya] was here last year. The weather is perfect. Not too windy, not too hot. I've definitely enjoyed all the stage stuff. The miming was very neat. We come and we see people we know, it's like the playground. It's a good resource for my family."


Sylvia Cardom
Housing Advocate for the Community Action Agency of Somerville, Somerville resident

"This is our second year of participating in the Tufts Community Day, which is a fabulous event for the whole family because it joins two communities. Tufts is very active in the community and I think it's excellent and I hope to be here every year."

enews_tiltonSergeant Joe Tilton (right), Tufts University Police Department

"I'm not a resident of Somerville or Medford, but I feel like one because I work a lot of hours. Actually, a lot of the Tufts community employees come in and bring their kids in, too, so it's not just Tufts Community Day for Somerville or Medford, but also for Tufts people too. It's nice to see them."

Jay Hurd
Friends of the Medford Public Library

"I'm a member of the board and we have come up to the Tufts community today, like every year, to distribute books to children and they're free... I hope to leave here with a lot less books and it looks like I will. That's good, it means that we've spread the joy of reading.

Personally, I just love coming up here. I love seeing the students, the children and it's just been great. ... To open the campus to a community event like this is very wonderful and I think people will remember this in a very positive way and this is what people will know."

enews_africanaIkenna Acholonu (A'10) (left), Political Science and Community Health
Representing the Africana Center

"I've talked to a few people about the Africana Center. ... It's been a good experience to network with a lot of people who have the same goals as we do so we can work together to accomplish something for the community.... As a sophomore, I feel like I'm starting to get more involved with other people outside of campus. When I'm a senior, I would just like to feel like I've given back to community as much as it's given to me."

enews_trimmer

 

Professor Barry Trimmer
Henry Bromfield-Pearson Professor of Natural Science

"I've been at Tufts since 1990, so, 17 years. It's the first year that I could make it, so I'm glad I did. What we're trying to show the community is how you can use biology to build new types of machines, particularly soft-bodied robots. ... This has been a really exciting opportunity because I think an important part of doing science is that you tell people what you're doing."

 

enews_anjaliAnjali Nirmalan ('09 SMFA)
Sociology Major and Communications Minor and art major at SMFA
Mistress of Ceremonies

"I am going to walk away from this event with the memory of how infectious the Tufts community spirit really is... There are senior citizens who have lived here for so long and as well as tiny children who will maybe go on to participate and be a part of it or maybe will remember fondly that 'Tufts is the place that brought it to me.'"

Story by Mary Jo Pham (A'11)

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