There was one question on everyone's minds during Jumbo Month. It was a question our admitted students had already answered months ago, when they applied to Tufts. And a question our current students are constantly answering in new and reinvented and expanded versions, the longer they spend on the Tufts campus: Why Tufts?
There was a long log (hopefully not a slog) of "Why Tufts?" blogs.
Matthew Peña '21 revisited his original "Why Tufts?" essay in this blog.
Dany Bronshvayg '20 reflected on his time in the School of Engineering: past, present, and future.
Beky Stiles '12, Associate Director of Admissions, wrote in her blog, "Tufts is a place to challenge so much (yourself, your friends, your professors – heck, even the institution itself!) and to think critically, to grow always, and to care deeply. Jumbos show up for each other and sing one another’s praises because goshdarnit we are sometimes too nice and too humble for our own good."
Rachel Brown, Associate Director of Admissions, fell in love with Tufts during her job interview...and hasn't looked back.
Valeria Velasquez '23 decided to show, not tell, her answer:
As their mock classes concluded, our professors brought their own "Why Tufts?" responses to the table.
“I love the individualism and the different personalities and the different things that each individual Tufts student brings to the table. Tufts really values that varied environment.”
“There is an ethos around Tufts on civic engagement and giving back. What makes Tufts’ students unique is that kind of civic engagement, students wanting to be involved, whatever their passion happens to be.”
The deans of each of Tufts' three schools weighed in, too.
First up was Dean Glaser, with "a loose haiku" (he insists Tufts students are worth the extra syllable):
"Unlike many others, Tufts Engineering is not just a highly rated engineering school. It is an engineering school with many research and educational collaborations among our unique constellation of Tufts' schools including A&S, Medicine, Dental, Nutrition, Law and Diplomacy, Veterinary, as well as the Tisch College of Civic Life, the only university-wide college of its kind. This wide range of schools provides a rich interdisciplinary learning environment and fosters a diversity of ideas and educational experiences for our students. You should also know that our flexible, relevant and appealing curriculum greatly enhances our students' educational outcomes with an employment rate after graduation of 99%.
Another hallmark of a Tufts Engineering education is that we are a student-centered research university, which means that our students will be exposed to a state-of-the-art research environment without losing the feel of a liberal arts college. So, if you are passionate about using science and technology to solve the most pressing problems facing humanity, if you enjoy being surrounded by people from different backgrounds, and if you want to make a difference in the world, Tufts Engineering is the right place for you!"
"SMFA is the best of both worlds for our students. They have the run of both the Medford and Fenway campuses. SMFA’s incredibly flexible curriculum allows students to forge their own academic programs without having to pick one medium or practice to major in. It’s an everything-goes experience that SMFA’s faculty and staff are eager to tailor to each student’s interests and needs as they evolve. And everyone knows your name. Meanwhile, SMFA students can also do anything they like on the Medford campus—all of the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering courses and all co-curricular offerings are theirs to experience as they wish.
I’ve been a philosophy professor at Tufts for 20 years, but I’m no artist. Or at least I thought I wasn’t. A couple of years ago, I got asked to make something to contribute to our annual art sale fundraiser. I laughed: I can barely hold a pencil, let alone draw with one. “But you knit things, right?” a faculty member observed. “That’s art. Knit something for the sale.” So I knit a lace mandala five-feet in diameter that someone actually bought. That’s SMFA: whatever game you bring, our community embraces it."
Whether it's the unconditionally supportive community, the endlessly delicious Dewick sandwiches, the emphasis on civic engagement, or the unabashed passion of students and professors alike, we hope this month helped you to find your own answer to the question, "Why Tufts?"