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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Fletcher to commemorate 75th anniversary at Library of Congress

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a grand gala tomorrow at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where a former German diplomat will receive the Dean's Medal before a congregation of hundreds of his fellow alumni.

"Every milestone in the history of Fletcher has been celebrated ... and now that we've reached 75 years we've decided to throw ourselves a party," said Nathaniel Eberle, a Fletcher School spokesperson. "The real goal is to convene many of our alumni that are coming from all throughout the world."

Wolfgang Ischinger (F '73), a former German diplomat to the United States and the United Kingdom, will deliver a keynote address on foreign affairs at the celebration. Fletcher School Dean Stephen Bosworth will give introductory remarks and present Ischinger with the Dean's Medal, which honors individuals for tackling global issues.

Ischinger worked last year as the European Union's representative to the negotiations between the EU, the United States and Russia regarding the status of Kosovo. The representatives from the three countries did not reach an agreement, although when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February, two thirds of European Union countries recognized it as an independent nation.

Bosworth said that tomorrow's gala would commemorate the Fletcher School's rich history.

"This year, we celebrate three quarters of a century of educating, guiding and fostering the innovative spirit of individuals who seek to solve the world's most pressing issues," he said in a statement. "Our world-class faculty have touched the lives of thousands of students over the past 75 years, and, in turn, those students, now world leaders, have touched the lives of millions."

Eberle anticipates an exciting gathering of distinguished alumni. "We'll have about 500 individuals there, so quite an interesting collection of world leaders," he said.

Eberle clarified that the gala is not a fundraising event, but he said bringing alumni together to celebrate their alma mater and recall their graduate-school experiences would probably motivate some to donate.

"We always call upon our alums to help support our alma mater, and if discussions like that are going on, I wouldn't be surprised," he said. "But really it's just a time to celebrate and get everyone together. I think sometimes it reminds individuals to give to their alma mater, and the Fletcher alumni have always been a generous group. I don't think this will be an exception to that rule, and we may see some gifts come in after this."

University President Lawrence Bacow touted the graduate school as an important force in promoting active global awareness.

"Founded at a time when many sought to isolate the United States from the rest of the world, The Fletcher School has been a powerful force for international understanding and problem-solving during its first 75 years," Bacow said in a statement. "Throughout its history, The Fletcher School has continued to innovate in both education and research. Fletcher has played a critical role in shaping the global orientation of Tufts University, and we look forward to its continued success."

The Fletcher School was founded in 1933 as the United States' first graduate school devoted entirely to international relations. It has graduated a number of prominent foreign affairs workers, including former United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson, the current governor of New Mexico, and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Alum Peter Ackerman, a founding chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, will deliver the opening remarks at Saturday's gala.