Eric Johnson to transition to new role

September 12, 2023

Dear Tufts community,

I am writing to you today regarding the transition of Eric Johnson, our current Senior Vice President of Advancement, into a new role as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor to me. His message to his colleagues within Advancement announcing the transition is shared below.

While his own message shares the details of the transition itself, I want to add a few notes of gratitude and thanks to Eric for agreeing to be by my side in this new role, and for his 35 years of dedication to our university. As many of you know, Eric began his career in advancement at Tufts as a major gifts officer in our School of Arts and Sciences in 1988. He is a veteran of four capital campaigns for Tufts, including leading the Advancement team through the Brighter World campaign, which recently concluded having successfully raised more than $1.5 billion for Tufts. Eric has cultivated close relationships with alumni, parents, and donors that have resulted in millions of dollars of gifts, which have been vital in supporting Tufts’ noble mission of student-centered teaching, cutting-edge research, and proactive civic engagement.

A proud son of two Tufts graduates, Eric has devoted almost his entire professional life to advocating for and supporting all things Tufts. Though he didn’t attend Tufts himself, there is no doubt that he is a Jumbo at heart. He is a constant fixture on the Tufts marathon team, having run 21 Boston Marathons, including the one this past April, and raising essential funds to benefit important priorities at Tufts such as financial aid. His love for marathons does not end there – he has run 36 other Marathons as well! 

Eric is beloved by his colleagues within Advancement, and by the entire community at Tufts, and I am sure that they all share my deep appreciation and excitement at this opportunity for Eric to aid Tufts in a new way. He has agreed to continue as Senior Vice President of Advancement until a successor is named sometime during this academic year.

But today is a time to express our thanks and gratitude to Eric who has bled brown and blue for over three decades, and it is Tufts’ great fortune that he will continue to do so.

Best regards,

Sunil Kumar


Message from Eric Johnson to Advancement Division colleagues:

Dear Colleagues –

For those of you who were with us today, this email will just be a recap of news that I shared in our division meeting. But I know that some members of the team were not able to join us in person and I wanted you to hear this news from me before a message goes out to the broader Tufts community.

It is hard to believe that we are only in the third month with Sunil Kumar as our president. I have been very impressed with his energy and vision for the university – and in his eagerness to join us in our work to engage with our alumni and friends to further the mission of Tufts.

As he outlined in his talk to our division, President Kumar has several priorities that he intends to focus on in the early years of his tenure. Raising money and preparing for our next campaign is very high on that list. I have been thinking about the best way I can support Sunil and serve Tufts as we organize ourselves for what is sure to be an ambitious campaign. In the nine months since Sunil was named president, we have had good conversations on this topic, and I wanted to share with you one important decision that we have made. By the end of this academic year, I will take on a new role as a senior advisor to Sunil to focus on leadership giving and the development of significant proposals to transform the university. This will give Sunil the opportunity to bring in someone to lead our division for the upcoming ten-year effort to elevate our fund-raising capabilities once again. I will do everything I can to support the new person in their role – and I know you will as well.

I am excited about this change as it gives me the opportunity to work with people like you and to continue my service to an institution I hold dear. Thirty-five years ago, I began my career here as a major gifts officer in Arts and Sciences and working with donors to advance the mission of Tufts has always been a source of pride and joy. Assuming this new role with Sunil will allow me to focus on this critical work.

This decision is bittersweet for me. When the opportunity to lead the advancement division presented itself in 2012, I was not sure the role was well suited for me. Some of my colleagues helped me decide to throw my hat in the ring. I will be forever grateful they did. Serving as your leader has been an honor and a privilege. It has also been a lot of fun. The person who will follow me in this role will be fortunate indeed.

I want to add a personal thank you to Tony Monaco for giving me this wonderful opportunity early in his tenure as our president.

Take care and thanks again for your support,

Eric C. Johnson