On October 21, 2011, Tufts University inaugurated Dr. Anthony P. Monaco, a distinguished geneticist and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University.
“What is it that gives us the confidence to wade into some of the planet’s toughest problems?” President Monaco asked during his inaugural address.
The answer, he said, lies in active citizenship and interdisciplinary collaboration – the core of Tisch College’s work.
“From its founding, Tufts has viewed learning as a step towards active citizenship in the world. The Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service—the only university-wide program of its kind—serves the entire Tufts community, educating all of us about opportunities for civic engagement,” President Monaco said.
“Many students choose to come to Tufts specifically because of this long tradition of active citizenship. And when they see that the people around them need their help, they do not hesitate. More than a decade ago, Tufts medical students founded the Sharewood Clinic, which is now staffed by medical, dental, and pre-med undergraduate students. This clinic provides free health-care services to people in our neighboring communities. It gives our students valuable clinical experience—and a chance to explore the fundamental reason they chose health care as a career.”
“Ultimately, active citizenship is part of our Jumbo DNA. It is passed from one generation to the next. Our students take it with them on graduation day, along with their diploma.”
President Monaco added that while Tufts is renowned for its scholarship and teaching, there is always more an engaged university can do.
“I would like to see even more interdisciplinary programs at Tufts—programs that address multiculturalism and globalization, as well as issues in environmental, life and health sciences. If we focus on shared goals and integrate our activities across our schools, we can greatly amplify Tufts’ impact on society.”
His message of strengthening connections across the university was particularly timely, coming the day after inspiring interdisciplinary conversations between the Tisch College board and boards from across the university.
In the first ever joint session between the boards of Tisch College and the School of Arts and Sciences, board members shared their personal forms of active citizenship and were introduced to the many ways the two schools collaborate to bring active citizenship into the lives of Tufts students.
They also officially launched a joint working group on Senior Capstones, exploring how to provide all undergraduate seniors the opportunity to synthesize their disciplinary studies by applying their knowledge to a public issue. The working group will start with a focus on Environmental Studies
Following the joint session, the Tisch College Board of Advocates attended a plenary session with President Monaco and boards from across the university.
For more on President Monaco’s inauguration, visit http://now.tufts.edu/packages/inauguration-anthony-p-monaco
Originally published November 2011