Tufts University is a private research university incorporated in the municipality of Medford, Massachusetts, United States. Tufts College was founded in 1852 by Christian Universalists who worked for years to open a nonsectarian institution of higher learning, Charles Tufts donated the land for the campus on Walnut Hill, the highest point in Medford, saying that he wanted to set a light on the hill. The name was changed to Tufts University in 1954, although the name remains the Trustees of Tufts College. For more than a century, Tufts was a small New England liberal arts college, the university is organized into ten schools, including two undergraduate degree programs and eight graduate divisions, on four campuses in the Boston metropolitan area and the French Alps. The university emphasizes active citizenship and public service in all of its disciplines and is known for its internationalism, among its schools is the United States oldest graduate school of international relations, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The School of the Museum of Fine Arts offers art programs affiliated with a major museum, the university maintains a campus in Downtown Boston which houses the medical, dental, and nutrition schools, affiliated with several medical centers in the area. Some of its programs have affiliations with the institutions of Harvard University. Tufts is a member of and athletically competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Tufts accepted 14% of undergraduate applicants to the Class of 2020 from a pool of 20,223 and it is consistently ranked by U. S. News & World Report and Forbes as one of the top schools in the United States. In the 1840s, the Universalist Church wanted to open a college in New England and his 20-acre donation is still at the heart of Tufts now 150 acre campus, straddling Somerville and Medford. During his tenure, Ballou spent a year travelling and studying in the United Kingdom, the methods of instruction which he initiated were based on the tutorials that were conducted in the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. Now more than 160 years old, Tufts is the third oldest college in the Boston area and that building now bears Ballous name. The campus opened in August 1854, President Ballou died in 1861 and was succeeded by Alonzo Ames Miner. Though not a graduate, his presidency was marked by several advances. These include the establishment of schools for Tufts which include Goddard Seminary, Westbrook Seminary. During the Civil War the college supported the Union cause. The mansion of Major George L. Stearns which stood on part of the campus was a station on the Underground Railroad, in addition to having the largest classes spring up,63 graduates served in the Union army. The first course of a program leading to a degree in civil engineering was established in 1865
Tufts College, c. 1854
Jumbo in the Barnum Museum of Natural History
Walnut Hill as it appeared prior to the construction of Tisch Library and steps, circa 1910. In the center is Eaton Hall. The road to the right no longer exists.
Sophia Gordon Hall (2006) is Tufts' newest residence hall