Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tilton, John P., 1900-1959
John Phillip Tilton (1900-59) held the positions of Provost and Senior Vice President at Tufts, beginning in 1951 and 1953, respectively. During his time at Tufts, Tilton helped develop educational and graduate programs at the institution. Tilton was born in Dedham, Massachusetts, on December 18, 1900. He graduated from Colby College in 1923 and startied his professional life as a high school teacher in the state of Maine. He received his Master of Education from Harvard in 1927.In 1933,Harvard also awarded him a Doctor of Education. He taught English at Newton High School until joining the Tufts faculty as an instructor in education in 1927. The following year, he married Ruth Dinsmore. They had one daughter, Kay Grace Tilton. He was named an assistant professor at Tufts in 1933 and associate professor in 1946, attaining full professorship the following year. His administrative positions at the college were extensive. From 1936 to 1955, Tilton served as director of the Department of Education. He also directed graduate studies from 1939 until 1943, when the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was founded. Tilton became the school's first dean, holding the position until 1953. He was also instrumental in the development of the College of Special Studies and the Summer Session. In 1951, he was appointed to the position of Provost, and assumed the role of Senior Vice President two years later. Outside of Tufts, Tilton sat on several committees associated with higher education within the Greater Boston area. He died on January 15, 1959 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston following a brief illness.
Tilton Hall, a dormitory on the Medford Campus, was named in his honor.