Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Fletcher, Austin Barclay, 1852-1923


Austin Barclay Fletcher (1852-1923), A1876, was president of the board of trustees from 1913 to 1923.His generosity and loyalty to his alma mater led to the establishment of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Fletcher was born on March 13, 1852, in Mendon, Massachusetts, to descendants of an early settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During his youth, his family moved to Franklin, where his parents had the supervision of the boarding department of Dean Academy. Fletcher entered the Universalist-chartered coeducational preparatory school, considered to be a "feeder" for Tufts College, in 1867.After attending the academy for three years, Fletcher moved on to Wilbraham Academy before matriculating at Tufts in 1872.He obtained a B.A. from the college in 1876 and returned to Dean Academy to teach Oratory. He later taught at Boston University and Brown University. During this time he published two books on the subject of oratory training.

Fletcher continued his studies at Boston University Law School, receivingLL.B. (1879) andM.A. (1880) degrees. Fletcher began practicing law in New York City in 1882, spending the remainder of his life there, serving as counsel for many large corporations and trustee of several substantial estates. He eventually became president and primary stock holder of the prominent law firm Eppinger and Russell. In January 1882, Fletcher married Hortense M. Follett, who died in 1905.

Active in several organizations,Fletcher served as president of both the New England Society of New York and the National Institution of Social Sciences. He was a trustee of Dean Academy and Boston University and was also president of the Fletcher Family Union, which had 10,000 enrolled members. Fletcher was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta Psi fraternity, and a Templar Knight.

Fletcher delivered the oratory at Tufts' semi-centennial celebration in 1905.In 1909, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of Tufts College, serving as its president from 1913-23.Through Fletcher's coordination of bequests and his own generosity, the college received many substantial gifts. His personal friend and client, Henry J. Braker, bestowed $500,000 on the college after visiting campus only once, during the semi-centennial, to hear Fletcher's speech. The gift was intended to further the study of economics on campus.

Fletcher made Tufts the principal beneficiary of his estate, including bequests to establish five endowed professorships in oratory, English, music, philosophy, and public speaking and debate, a bequest to establish a school of law and diplomacy (The Fletcher School), and funds for the construction and maintenance of new buildings. He died July 5, 1923, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in New York.

Fletcher Hall, a residence hall built in 1926, was originally named in honor of Fletcher. In 1991, it was renamed Blakeley Hall.

Source: LOH1, 559-569; TCG 22, 1923-24; BG5; NCAB, Vol 1.

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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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