Journal Archive > 2002 > April

Bacow inaugural

University to inaugurate its 12th president on April 19

Lawrence S. Bacow will be inaugurated this month as the 12th president of Tufts University during a weekend filled with music, ceremony and celebration. The activities begin with a concert on April 18 and will conclude April 20 with a community birthday party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tufts' founding in 1852.

Lawrence S. Bacow

Sol Gittleman, the university's provost for the last 21 years and a professor here since 1964, has served under five presidents. "The inauguration," he said, "puts the stamp of the president on the institution, tells us what kind of person we will have taking the reins, the level of academic leadership he will provide and the kind of person the Board of Trustees has selected. The inauguration is the opportunity for the president to tell us what we can expect for the next years to come."

Let the music begin
On Thursday, April 18, at 8 p.m., student and faculty music groups will perform at the "Tufts Presidential Inauguration Concert: A Musical Showcase." The evening will feature a work composed especially for the occasion by John McDonald, associate professor and chair of music, who will perform the piece on the piano.

The new work, "Inaugural Augury," is "meant to be celebratory and yet aware of new challenges and difficulties that undoubtedly lie ahead for us and for our new president," McDonald said. "The piece is based on notes from an earlier, less-public musical offering that I made to the president last summer called 'Welcome Strains' and will be less private and more ceremonial."

The evening also will include performances by the Tufts Chamber Singers, the Third Day Gospel Choir, the Joel LaRue Smith Trio and the Tufts Symphony Orchestra.

The ceremony
The inaugural ceremony will take place on Friday, April 19, at 11 a.m. at the Ellis Oval on the Medford/Somerville campus and be presided over by Nathan Gantcher, chairman of the Board of Trustees. Among the scheduled speakers are Charles Vest, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and James O. Freedman, president emeritus of Dartmouth College.

Several members of the Tufts community will extend formal greetings on behalf of the university, including Dr. Lonnie H. Norris, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, who will speak on behalf of all the administration, and Bill O'Reilly, president of the Tufts University Alumni Association, who will speak for Tufts alumni. In addition, Colleen O'Connor, president of the medical school's Class of 2002, will offer greetings on behalf of all professional and graduate students, and Eric Greenberg, a member of the sesquicentennial class and president of the Tufts Community Union Senate, will offer greetings on behalf of undergraduates. Barbara Grossman, associate professor and chair of drama, will extend greetings from the faculty.

Bacow will be presented with the keys to Ballou Hall, the charter to the university and the presidential medallion.

As part of the ceremony, the American flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol to honor Bacow's selection as president will be raised at Tufts. The flag was the gift of U.S. Rep. John Olver, D-Mass., who earned a master's degree from Tufts. The flag was presented to Bacow and his wife, Adele Fleet Bacow, by the Washington Tufts Alliance.

The inauguration ceremony will be followed by a buffet luncheon at Ellis Oval.

Happy birthday, Tufts
On Saturday, April 20, a community birthday party will celebrate the university's 150th anniversary at the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center at 8:30 p.m. with cake and a display of the Sesquicentennial Time Capsule, which will be opened in 2052. "Memory" cards will be available at the event for anyone wishing to write about their Tufts experience for the time capsule. Saturday evening also will feature music and dancing and the premiere of a special song written for the occasion of Tufts' 150th anniversary.

A countdown clock a la Times Square will tick off the minutes to midnight and the actual day Tufts was founded, April 21, 1852, which this year coincides with the celebration of Tufts' own holiday, Tuftonia's Day.

Bacow, an environmental economist, assumed the presidency on Sept. 1, 2001. Before arriving at Tufts, he served as MIT's chancellor for three years and was that institution's Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from MIT, a law degree from Harvard and a master's degree and Ph.D. from the Kennedy School at Harvard.