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"We Salute Them"

"We Salute Them"NBC's Willard Scott celebrated Tufts' 150th birthday with banners and praise for the University during Wednesday's broadcast of the Today Show. New York City.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.09.02] NBC weatherman Willard Scott and 6.2 million Today Show viewers celebrated Tufts' 150th birthday on Wednesday morning. Praising the University's contributions to the country, Scott raised a Tufts banner and offered his congratulations to the Tufts family.

"Hey listen -- Tufts University, one of the greatest in the country, is 150 years old," Scott told Today Show viewers on Wednesday. "Happy birthday to you!"

Waving a Tufts banner, Scott recognized the University's contributions over the last 150 years.

"The Tufts family in Massachusetts has done so many wonderful things over the time that they've been in this country, which is almost since the beginning," he said. "We salute them."

Scott praised the University's contributions to the environment, citing the work of Norton Nickerson -- a popular Tufts biology and environmental studies professor -- who helped write the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, which defined and protected the region's wetlands, bogs, swamps and marshes.

According to the Cape Cod Times, Nickerson won a "key court case when a developer sued the town of Dennis for its groundbreaking wetlands protection bylaw that was more stringent than the state law."

Following Nickerson's lead, 180 towns across the state copied and implemented the bylaw to protect their own wetlands.

Nickerson served on the Dennis Conservation Commission for 20 years and taught at Tufts for 33 years. He sold 24 acres of his family's land to the town of Dennis, and residents credit Nickerson's leadership "for the preservation of Fresh Pond, Crowe's Pasture and for the 38 acres around Scargo Lake." He died in 1999 at the age of 73.

His daughter Susan -- who in 1999 had already been the executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod for 11 years -- told the Cape Cod Times that "her father's proudest moment was developing the environmental studies program at Tufts."

Recognizing Nickerson's work at Tufts, Scott agreed. "You can't beat that," he told the Today Show's national audience.

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