Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Crane, Thomas, 1803-75


Thomas Crane (1803-75) served on the first Board of Trustees and was a gifted entrepreneur. In 1906 Albert Crane, Thomas' son, presented the Tufts College Divinity School with a gift of $100,000 in memory of his father. This occasioned the renaming of the institution, subsequently known as the Crane Theological School.

Thomas Crane was born on October 3, 1803, on George's Island in Boston Harbor. His family moved to Quincy near Crane's Creek when the island was sold. His common school education consisted of a class of 204 children under the tutelage of one master. At fifteen Crane left to make a living. According to a twentieth century Quincy historian, Crane at this point had "a brilliant mind, but nothing to say."For some years, until his health failed him, Crane was a shoemaker. Next he moved on to granite cutting, and eventually, at the age of twenty-six, he took his trade to New York.

With two partners he purchased a stone-quarry, and began to accumulate wealth. Crane foresaw that land around the growing New York City would soon be in short supply, and after the New York fire he purchased several acres. He bought out his stone-quarry partners, and his land purchases were highly profitable. His fortune made, Thomas Crane turned his attention to education. An ardent Universalist, when his religious community determined to found a college based upon their faith, he became one of the most fervent supporters, and one of the most generous contributors.

The Crane Room, a classroom in Paige Hall and formerly known as the Crane Chapel, symbolizes Thomas Crane's legacy. Albert Crane and the town of Quincy, in 1882, dedicated an expensive memorial to Crane.

Thomas Crane died of natural causes in 1875.

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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