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Tufts Inaugurates 12th President

Tufts Inaugurates 12th PresidentOn the eve of University's 150th anniversary, Lawrence S. Bacow underscored Tufts' role in preparing students as leaders in global world.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.24.02] Amidst the pomp and circumstance of a ceremony that has occurred only a dozen times in Tufts' 150-year history, Lawrence S. Bacow was inaugurated as the University's newest President.

Bacow, the former chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Tufts -- which is the Boston area's second-oldest private university -- is in the strongest position in its history to leverage its strengths in international relations, the health sciences and its liberal arts heritage to "educate the first generation of leaders for a truly global world."

How will Tufts achieve that? "By teaching collaboration as a way of life-and a source of answers," Bacow told the crowd of thousands attending the inauguration.

"Not only by cultivating in our students profound professional expertise-but also by educating politicians and diplomats who are qualified to discuss the ethics of cloning, or the science of climate change," he added. "By educating chemists who love poetry, music and the arts. Doctors who love politics. Business leaders who speak three languages, besides finance. By educating engineers who believe that the quest for peace on earth is their problem, too."

Bacow said he's committed to ensuring Tufts students are "comfortable dealing with ambiguity...willing to take a risk to make a difference...more interested in solving problems than in taking credit...[and] who are both effective advocates and aggressive listeners. People who are eager to imagine and implement, large, daring, multi-faceted solutions-together. That is what we do at Tufts-and we do it exceptionally well."

He outlined a number of challenges facing Tufts, including the University's need to bolster its endowment to ensure it can remain "accessible to all and not just the wealthy few;" to continue enhancing the undergraduate student experience; to further strengthen the University's graduate programs; and to expand the scholarship and research collaboration among Tufts' eight schools-the School of Medicine, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering.

Nathan Gantcher, chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, invested Bacow as President, noting that his election was by unanimous vote. Gantcher presented Bacow with the keys to the oldest building on Tufts' Medford campus, Ballou Hall (named for the University's first president).

"I give the keys to this building today as a symbol, not only of the physical assets that the trustees are placing in your care, but of the wealth of spiritual and human resources which we also commend to your care and leadership," he said.

Bacow's inauguration, held the day before the University's Sesquicentennial anniversary celebration, was witnessed by administrative officials from 150 area universities and colleges.

Speakers included MIT President Charles Vest and Dartmouth College's President Emeritus James Freedman. The University's anniversary celebration -- complete with "jumbo-sized" cakes and a band playing everything from rock 'n' roll to the classics -- featured a guest appearance by recording artist Pattie Darcy Jones who debuted a new song, "Light on the Hill," with the Beelzebubs -- a popular student a cappella singing group.

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