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Office of Community Relations Records

Call Number: UA233

Scope and Contents

This collection contains records created or collected by the Office of Community Relations, an office within the University Relations Division. The collection includes project files, subject files and campus files. Project files include construction and architecture plans and maps; proposals; permits and licenses; studies and reports; correspondence; publicity and neighborhood communications; and files on committees, including meeting minutes and agendas. Subject files include information on Tufts buildings; policies; committees and associations within and outside Tufts; events and programming within Tufts and within neighborhood communities; construction projects; and Tufts presidents. Campus files include information relating to financial support for each campus; events and programs sponsored by Tufts to engage the local community; letters and requests from neighborhood residents; information relating to city and local governments; historical information on each neighborhood; and planning and project information.


  • Majority of material found within 1970 -- 2016
  • 1921 -- 2018


Language of Materials



University records are closed for 20 years from the date of their creation. Records older than 20 years that do not pertain to student education, staff and faculty employment and Board of Trustees records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by the Office of Community Relations, 2013-2018.


This collection is arranged in three series: Project files; Subject files; and Campus files.


20.28 Linear Feet (18 record cartons, 3 letter size document boxes, 1 12" LP box, and 2 oversize folders)


This collection contains records created by the Office of Community Relations, including information on Tufts campus buildings, projects, and surrounding neighborhoods.

Biographical / Historical

The Office of Community Relations was formed in the late 1970s during a series of reorganizations of the University Development administration. For the 1978-79 academic year, the position of “Director of Public/Community Relations” was created, and held by the previous Director of Public Information, Harry B. Zane. After Zane’s resignation in 1979, the position remained unfilled for the next two years. In 1981, Barbara Rubel was appointed as Director of Community Relations; Rubel retired in 2018.

The reorganization of the Development administration arose under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Murnane, appointed in 1979 to the position of Vice President of University Development. In 1979, Murnane made a point of expanding and restructuring every area of the University Development Division, such that 66% of Development staff started that year. Murnane had been appointed to fulfill the long-term goals of improving relations with the local Medford and Somerville community, as well as increasing capital raised for the university. Relations had been rocky with the communities since the 1960’s, due to an expansion in Tufts’ enrollment that resulted in a wealthier, more selective student body. Additionally, over-enrollment with the class of 1981 resulted in a university deficit, creating a need for capital to be raised.

During its formative years, the Office of Community Relations made an effort to improve access to Tufts resources for the Medford and Somerville Community. Starting in 1977, Tufts participated in the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, which provided summer employment to local Somerville and Medford high school students. In the early 1980’s, Tufts also began a program for Medford and Somerville public high school teachers and students to take classes at Tufts; students could audit classes for high school credit for no cost, and teachers could take summer classes at a half-tuition discount.

The department also volunteered Tufts University in 2004 as a partnering agency with the Medford Public Schools in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program. Though Tufts assumed no financial liability in the signing, it pledged to use grant money to provide its resources to the Medford community. Per this agreement, Tufts recruited students to staff various programs, operated after school sites for the Tufts Literary Corps, and provided the Kids to College program to Medford sixth graders.

Processing Information

Processing of the 2016 and 2018 accessions were completed by Leah Edelman in 2017 and 2018. Received order was maintained. A box-level inventory and series-level descriptions were created, and the finding aid was updated at the time of processing.

Folder-level inventorying of the collection was completed by Archives Assistant Diana Hernandez under the supervision of Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt in February 2020.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States