A Fine Saturday at Tufts University!

For me there is something special about being on a college campus. During our trip this weekend to Boston Elizabeth interview for Graduate School at two universities. First at Northeastern in Boston City and then yesterday at Tufts University in Medford, a little north of Boston. While Northeastern appeared to be nice the urban nature of the University left the buildings square and sterile!


View toward Main Northeastern Campus

This is one of the first view we had of the campus at Northeastern, when we drove by the parking garage!

But yesterday was different,  as soon a we set foot on the campus of Tufts we knew we  found a campus that was special!


While Elizabeth was in her interview, I spent the morning in the library with an occasional meander around the campus. One of the first sites I saw was the big white elephant.


IMG_0130Later I discovered the elephant, P.T. Barnum’s Jumbo is the Tufts’ Mascot

Barnum had Jumbo’s skeleton and hide saved and mounted separately. Stuffed Jumbo continued to tour with the circus until 1889, when he was given to Tufts to be displayed in the Barnum Museum of Natural History, a building named for its benefactor, P.T. Barnum. Barnum hoped that the stuffed elephant would provide useful publicity for Tufts College. Jumbo’s bones were mounted and given to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where they were on display for many years.


In addition to giving his name to Tufts’ athletic teams, Jumbo was believed to be a source of good luck. Before big exams or games, students would tug on his tail or put pennies in his trunk to ensure a good outcome. All of the tail tugging took its toll, however, and his tail was replaced in 1942, when stuffed Jumbo underwent repairs. The original tail was packed up with other historical materials and is held in the Tisch Library’s Digital Collections and Archives.

Jumbo was housed in the Barnum Museum until 1975, when much of the building and its contents, including Jumbo, were destroyed by fire. The next day, a member of the Department of Athletics salvaged ashes from the site where Jumbo had stood and placed them in a peanut butter jar, which continues to serve as a good luck charm for Tufts athletics teams. Full Story

Outside of the Godard Chapel, I saw this plaque remembering those including Tufts alumni who died in the Armenian Genocide


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I walked around the side of the chapel that faces the center square of the campus and saw the main Godard chapel sign, and it tells you everything you need to know about the mentality of the campus:

Goodard Chapel

One of the last places that I visited was atop the Tisch Library where they recently built Alex’s Place. There are benches and all those River Birches, I would have sat up there and read, if it hadn’t been so cold!

Alex's place

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and while there are places around today where the word sustainability is taboo, Tufts has embraced it and created the Green Rooftop Collaborative:

Green Roof Collaborative

Tufts Roof top

So as I am too old and never was smart enough to get into Tufts, I have to live vicariously through my daughter, and while I know that she will probably pick to go to Delaware if accepted, I konda’ hope she gets accepted and choses Tufts!!