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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, February 25, 2024

Parents Weekend adopts virtual format with live webinar

President's Lawn is pictured on Oct. 18.

Parents and Family Weekend, organized by the Tufts Parents' Giving Program and hosted by Neal Shapiro (A'80) and Juju Chang, was held virtually on Oct. 17. Shapiro is a member of theBoard of Trustees and president and CEO of WNET. Chang is the recipient of an Emmy Award and aco-anchor on ABC News' "Nightline" (1980–).

Over 2,000 family members streamed the live event, which included remarks from administration and faculty. 

University President Anthony Monaco opened the event by welcoming parents and families. He commended university leadership and expressed gratitude for all who have supported Tufts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"[I am] so proud of the leadership and resilience [that] our Jumbos have demonstrated through this pandemic," he said.

Provost and Senior Vice President Nadine Aubry also extended her gratitude to students' families.

"Without you, our friends and family members, your loved ones would not be part of Tufts today," Aubry said.

James Glaser, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Jianmin Qu, dean of the School of Engineering, thenshared a few words. 

"In the Arts and Sciences, we've made big investments this year, in areas such as cognitive and brain sciences, environmental studies, data science, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and race, colonialism, and diaspora," Glaser said.

Glaser also highlighted the progress being made in the building of the new Joyce Cummings Center, which is expected to be completed by spring 2021.

Qu spoke about the proactive nature of students enrolled in the School of Engineering, speaking specifically about a group of students who utilized Tufts' 3-D printers to repair 6,000 masks during a period when personal protective equipment was difficult to obtain. 

Nancy Bauer, dean of the School of Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) and dean of academic affairs for the School of Arts and Sciences, spoke about virtual SMFA classes and the new changes that have been implemented to improve the academic experience.

"We also gave a box of supplies curated to each of our students so that they could not have to worry at all about finding the right video camera or the right software or the right pastels or the right sculpture materials," Bauer said.

Alan Solomont, dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, emphasized JumboVote's initiatives to help students create clear and safe plans for voting in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. 

"We're really excited to work with your students and to help each of them plan for themselves a rich and productive civic life at Tufts and beyond," Solomont said. 

Following the deans' words, the audience heard from other faculty members through speeches and panels. Four students presented what day-to-day life has looked like for students in a vlog-like format, showing the testing procedures and the new organization of spaces on campus. 

Shapiro ended the event by sharing some remarks.

"Despite all the twists and turns and curveballs we've been thrown by this pandemic, there's a real spirit out there that we're going to rise to meet the challenges," he said. "Tufts will continue to be a light on the hill for students, faculty and our communities."