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Alumni/ae Records

Call Number: UA023

Scope and Contents

This collection contains general alumni information, as well as information about alumni councils, alumni days, alumni associations, and homecoming. Materials include photographs, brochures, pamhplets, meeting records, ledgers, and some memorabilia.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950 -- 1965
  • Creation: 1925 -- 2005



This collection is 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 Tufts Archival Research Center 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.

Biographical / Historical

Tufts College was founded in 1852 after Charles Tufts donated a portion of land to the Universalist Church with the intention to start a college. Hosea Ballou and other members of the Universalist Church worked to create a Universalist College. When Tufts College opened to students in 1854, there were twenty-one students in the freshman class, six sophomores, and three juniors. The first graduation at Tufts College was held on July 8, 1857. On that day three men received the first Bachelor’s degrees from Tufts University. These students were: Heman A. Dearborn, William N. Eayrs, and Harvey Hersey. In 1875, the Tufts College administration approved the creation of the first program for a Master of Arts degree. The first MA to be handed out by the university was awarded the following spring. Approximately 30 years later the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was founded at Tufts College. As the college continued to grow, Tufts was officially granted “university” status in 1954, creating Tufts University.

Tufts College was open only to men until 1892 when the first class of women was allowed into the college. There were five women enrolled at Tufts College that year, four in the freshman class and one in the senior class. The first woman to graduate from Tufts College was Henrietta Brown in 1893. Brown gained her Bachelor of Arts degree and spoke at the graduation ceremony. In 1910, after years of debate, Jackson College was opened at Tufts University as a separate school for women. While the separation of women only lasted for a few years, women who graduated from Tufts had the Jackson College mark on their diploma until 2002.

In 1893, just one year after allowing women into Tufts College, the Tufts College Medical School was founded. During the first year of the medical school, eighty students were enrolled. The first graduating class of the Tufts College Medical School was in June of 1894, where twenty-two students were awarded their Doctorate of Medicine. Of the twenty-two students who graduated that year, eight of the graduates were women.

When Tufts College originated, there was no plan to establish a divinity school within the college, despite the Universalist connections the college held. However, in 1869 the Tufts College Divinity School opened with four students enrolled in the program. The Tufts College Divinity School was renamed the Crane Theological School in 1910 after the school received a donation from Albert Crane in memory of his father Thomas Crane. The Crane Theological School closed in June of 1967 after a lack of funding and student enrollment. By the time the school closed, the Crane Theological School had awarded 485 degrees.

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy was founded in 1933 after Austin Barclay Fletcher left a gift to Tufts University with the intention of it being used to start of a school of law and diplomacy. Fletcher served as the president of the Board of Trustees and was a lifetime benefactor of the university. When the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy officially opened in October of 1933 they had twenty-one students enrolled. At the 1935 Commencement ceremony, the Fletcher School awarded the first Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree.

The School of Engineering was founded in 1898 on the Medford campus. As of 2020, there are six departments within the School of Engineering; Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering; three centers: Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and the Center for STEM Diversity; and the Tufts Gordon Institute.

The Tufts School of Dental Medicine became an official part of the Tufts community in 1899 when Tufts acquired the Boston Dental College. Originally established in 1868, the Boston Dental College partnered with Tufts to allow students of the Dental College to take first-year science courses at the Tufts Medical School. By 1998, the Tufts School of Dental Medicine had awarded 9,434 Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degrees.

The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy was found in 1978, under the name the Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy. The first class of the Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy was made up of 17 students. On October 5, 2001 the name was changed to honor Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman, who did extensive work in the health field.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was founded on July 1, 1980 after a series of donations from Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler, and Dr. Raymond R. Sackler. Originally named the Sackler School, there were six graduate programs established: Biochemistry, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Anatomy, Pharamcology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Physiology. In December of 2019, the university announced that the Sackler School would be renamed, removing the Sackler name from all aspects of the university. This change was due to the university finding that their values and mission no longer aligned with the values of the Sackler family and company.

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1876 under the name The School of Drawing and Painting, and was associated with the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1901 the Museum of Fine Arts incorporated the school, officially making it The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. After becoming incorporated, the school joined forces with Tufts University to offer joint degree programs to students in 1945. The School of the Museum of Fine Arts became an official member of the Tufts community in 2016, joining the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine was founded in 1978 under the name the School of Veterinary Medicine. In September of 2004 William S. and Joyce M. Cummings donated to the university through their foundation (Cummings Foundation), and the veterinary school was named in their honor.

The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life began in 1954 when the Center for Civic Education was founded. Soon the center was reamed as the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs. Then, in 2000, the university signed a Declaration of Purpose and created the University College of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Six years later the college was renamed the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life in honor of Jonathon M. Tisch.

Russell Elliott Miller was a Professor of History, University Historian and Archivist of Tufts University, and author of "Light on the Hill, A History of Tufts College from 1852 to 1952" and the second volume "Light on the Hill, A History of Tufts University since 1952." He was born in Bloomington, Minnesota, on April 25, 1916, to one of the last pioneer families in the Minnesota prairie. His mother spoke Dakota Sioux, which she had learned as a child. He received a B.A. in Education in 1937 and an M.A. in political science in 1939, both from the University of Florida at Gainesville. From 1942 to 1946, he served in the Army Air Corps as an enlisted man, rising to the rank of technical sergeant. Initially with personnel and classification, he was finally assigned to the historical section (intelligence) at the headquarters of the troop carrier command. In 1948 he earned a Master of Arts in history from Princeton University and came to Tufts that same year.

In 1952 he received a PhD from Princeton, and in 1964 Tufts appointed him Professor of History and University Historian and archivist. He taught courses ranging from the history of western civilization to the history of the American frontier. In 1966, he published "Light on the Hill, A History of Tufts College from 1852 to 1952." That year he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Tufts Alumni Association and became an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1975 he became the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History and chaired the Department of History from then until 1980. He was voted Emeritus Professor of English and American History in 1981 and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 1983. In 1986, he completed the second volume of Tufts history, "Light on the Hill II, A History of Tufts University since 1952."


9.25 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized in two series: Alumni/ae; and Unprocessed accessions.

Custodial History

This material was collected by Russell Miller while preparing his history of Tufts University, Light on the Hill. All material was arranged by subject and no attempt was made to recreate original order.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

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