Tufts University

A Year In Review

2005A look back at members of the Tufts community who were the subjects of last year's cover stories

In Fall 2004, Tufts unveiled a new look for its homepage, with the goal of highlighting interesting students, faculty, alumni and friends of the University. The year 2005 marked the first full year of this endeavor, and with its close we thought it fitting to reflect on the people and events that have graced the Tufts homepage over the past 12 months.

Annual events like commencement and matriculation never get old, as the students we have come to know and respect moved on, followed a short time later by the arrival of more than a thousand new faces. These seminal experiences were highlighted in comprehensive online packages that captured the sights, sounds and emotions. The intervening summer was also bookended by features on our award-winning scholars, undergraduate researchers and active citizens.

Other notable events with University-wide impact included the $100 million gift from Pierre and Pam Omidyar to establish a microfinance fund, the more than 200 Tufts runners who ran in Boston's marathon and the launch of the University's OpenCourseWare initiative.

Some of Tufts' great minds such as political scientist Jeff Taliaferro and nutritionist Jose Ordovas shared their unique perspectives on topics ranging from the reasons why countries fight wars to the genetic basis of nutrition. A couple of our star showbiz alums, television producer Rob Burnett and actor Peter Gallagher, also stole the homepage spotlight. Even pop culture mainstays like Harry Potter and Red Sox fever couldn't escape the framework of academia Tufts' classroom connections with them took center stage in 2005 as well.

The accomplishments of graduates such as architect Hisham Ashkouri, who is designing vast new spaces for Baghdad and Kabul, and Daniel Lee, whose dental outreach missions to Moldova have provided children with much-needed dental care, reflect the global commitment to civic engagement that Tufts instills in students and that lives on among our alumni. The past year also showcased the innovation inherent in the Tufts experience ranging from the worldwide impact of Jeff Griffiths' public health research and the important monitoring done by Tufts' Seabird Ecological Assessment Network to the technological legacy established by graduate and blogging pioneer Meg Hourihan.

With 2006 imminent, it's both easy and difficult to predict what the new year will bring. We can count on the annual rites of commencement and matriculation, but who knows what other big stories will emerge this year? One thing, however, is certain: there will be no shortage of interesting tales to tell, given the rapid pace of innovation and exploration in Boston, Grafton, Medford and Somerville. We look forward to sharing these stories of Tufts with you in this space as they unfold. And we encourage you to share your stories with us. See you in 2006.

This story originally ran on Dec. 19, 2005.