Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Medford Campus, 1852


Tufts' campus in Medford, Massachusetts, is the original location of the university on its founding in 1852.Originally comprising twenty acres of land donated by Charles Tufts, the campus was located on Walnut Hill, one of the highest hills north of Boston. Over the years, through the acquisition of additional acreage adjacent to the original campus and the sale of other parcels, the Medford campus achieved its current boundaries.

The original campus was centered on what is now known as the academic quad, consisting of Ballou Hall and the buildings which were constructed around a lawn at the top of the hill. A road ran through the middle of the quad, curving down to Professors Row. A handfull of houses were scattered along Professors Row, aptly serving as residences for faculty. The lower campus, downhill from the quad and adjoining Powderhouse Boulevard, was occupied by pasturage, farm fields, and a large man-made pond, known as the "Artificial". Originally Tufts owned the land stretching from Powderhouse to Broadway as well, but it was sold off in 1912.

In the 1920s Tufts hired the landscaping firm of Frederick Law Olmsted to consult on the growth of the campus. Then under the direction of Olmsted's son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the firm brought Olmstedian ideals of landscape design to the campus, spearheading the design of Memorial Steps and the surrounding area. Olmsted recommended that the unused lots on the slope behind Ballou Hall be preserved as open space. Olmstead created a master plan for the campus over the next fifty years which grouped men's dorms in the area of Ellis Oval and included a teaching hospital for the medical school, which would be relocated from the Boston campus. For many years the Olmsted brothers essentially served as the managers of the campus grounds and even hired the first full-time buildings and grounds employee.

In addition to the central administration for the university, Medford campus is the home of the , the College of Engineering, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Source: TA Summer 1999

Subject terms:
  • 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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