LFCH Concept Photage

Origins of Tisch College

The Lincoln Filene Center started with with a civic education project originating in 1948 that has taken several names: The Civic Education Project, Tufts Civic Education Center, The Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs, the University College of Citizenship and Public Service, and finally Tisch College. The path has varied, yet there has always been a common thread: education for active citizenship.

In 1954, Nils Y. Wessell, eighth president of Tufts University, and Frederic C. Church, president of the Civic Education Foundation, announced their joint creation of the “Tufts Civic Education Center” to carry forward and expand the work of the Civic Education Project. The purpose of the new Tufts Center was to “fashion and promote a comprehensive program of education for American citizenship.”

The Civic Education Project was started in 1948 by Boston University professor of education John J. Mahoney and by Harvard University professor of education Henry Wyman Holmes with the assistance of the Civic Education Foundation (formerly the Living Flame Foundation). During its six years of work prior to coming to Tufts, the Civic Education Project produced a series of teaching resources – the Living Democracy Series.

With the generous financial backing of the Lincoln & Therese Filene Foundation the The Tufts Civic Education Project was renamed for Lincoln Filene in 1961 and the Lincoln Filene building was completed in 1963. The Filene Foundation remained a substantial supporter over the years, including its support of the Community Service Learning Program in the 1990s.

Chronology

1945 Living Flame Memorial Foundation created.
1948 The Edward A. Filene Good Will Fund, Inc. provides a substantial contribution enabling the organization of the Civic Education Project.
1950 Living Flame Memorial Foundation and the Civic Education Project start collaborating.
1951 The Living Flame Memorial Foundation changes its name to the Civic Education Foundation.
1952 The Edward A. Filene Good Will Fund, Inc. funds the publication of the report “Education for Citizenship” and its distribution to 20,000 educational leaders throughout the country.
1954 At Tufts President Nils Wessell’s invitation, the Civic Education Project is moved from Cambridge to Tufts to become the “Tufts College Center for Civic Education.”
1955 The “Lincoln and Therese Filene Professorship in Citizenship and Public Affairs” is endowed by the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation.
1957 Franklin Patterson is appointed to be the first director of the Lincoln Filene Center.
1958 The Lincoln Filene Center works with Tufts student Richard Dorsay to create the Leonard Carmichael Society. It is housed at the Center until 1965 and returns to the building in 2003.
1961 The “Tufts College Center for Civic Education” becomes the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs.
1963 The Lincoln Filene Center building is completed.
1966 John Gibson, Tufts Government Department, becomes the second director of the Lincoln Filene Center.
1967 Burton Hallowell becomes the ninth president of Tufts.
1974 Francis Duehay becomes the third Filene Center director.
1976 Jean Mayer becomes the tenth president of Tufts.
1978 Stuart Langton becomes the fourth director of the Lincoln Filene Center.
1982 The Weston Howland, Jr. Award for Civic Leadership is created.
1989 Lincoln Filene Center merges with Tufts University. The Civic Education Foundation is dissolved. The Board of the Civic Education Foundation becomes an advisory committee for the Center.
1990 Rob Hollister, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, is appointed to be the fifth director of the Lincoln Filene Center.
1992 John DiBiaggio becomes the eleventh president of Tufts.
1999 Badi Foster becomes the sixth Lincoln Filene Center director. The University College of Citizenship and Public Service (University College) is created by the Tufts Trustees.
2001 Lawrence S. Bacow becomes the eleventh president of Tufts.
2002 Rob Hollister is first dean of the University College. Under the direction of Hollister, the Lincoln Filene Center becomes a division of the University College. Tufts Trustees name Hollister the first chair holder of the newly created the John DiBiaggio Chair in Citizenship and Public Service.
2006 The University College is renamed the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.
2011 Rob Hollister steps down as Dean of Tisch College and Nancy Wilson takes over as Dean ad interim.
2014 Alan D. Solomont, former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, becomes Dean of Tisch College.
2016 The University College is renamed the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service is renamed the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.