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A Legacy of Giving

A Legacy of GivingWith his $40 million gift to endow the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, a Tufts graduate continues a family tradition.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.15.06] With Jonathan M. Tisch's $40 million endowment gift to the University College, now named the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, the Tufts graduate and trustee is continuing a long family commitment to charitable endeavors and civic engagement.

Related coverage:
$40 Million Gift To Endow Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service

The Tisch family, which built the highly successful Loews Corp. entertainment and hospitality company, is known for its generosity, which benefits a range of institutions and organizations around the country. In the early 1990s, a $10 million gift from the family supported the expansion and renovation of Tisch Library on the Medford/Somerville campus.

For Tisch, "taking responsibility in the community was taught by example in his family,” The Wall Street Journal wrote. “In the 1960s, the entire family gathered each year before Thanksgiving to stuff ‘goody bags’ with toys, magazines and other small gifts to give to handicapped children and adults at one of the Tisch's Manhattan hotels.”

"In the early days when we didn't have the kind of resources that we have today we [served the community] in other ways," Tisch explained to the Journal.

This echoes the mission of the Tisch College to extend the concept of active citizenship to everyone in the Tufts community.

“This college has established itself as the premiere program teaching kids about their role and responsibility to their country and to this world," Tisch told The Boston Globe, which was one of several major media outlets, including the Associated Press, Bloomberg Radio and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, to cover news of the gift.

The college's status as a "freestanding unit," added the Journal, "underscore[s] the idea that public service is the responsibility of all students."

"The idea is that every individual who graduates from Tufts, whether they expect to be a doctor or a lawyer or a vet or a teacher, artist or musician, has a responsibility to be an actively engaged, effective citizen in the communities that they will inhabit," Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow told the Journal.

Part of the strength behind these civic engagement initiatives lies in the ties to the academic disciplines offered at Tufts.

"It weaves instruction in giving back to the community into all areas of study at the university," explained the Journal. "For example, a dental student might research how to provide care to a disadvantaged population, or an engineering student might study ways to prevent the spread of water-borne disease."

Since the College's inception in 2000, the newspaper reported, "each year more than 30 percent of Tufts' 4,900 undergraduates have taken at least one course with an 'active citizenship' component."

This gift ensures that active citizenship opportunities will continue to exist for future generations of students at Tufts.




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