John DiBiaggio, former president of Tufts University, dies at 87
Former president of Tufts University John DiBiaggio has died, according to a Feb. 8 Boston Globe article.
A Feb. 7 TuftsNow article reported that DiBiaggio was president of the University from 1992 through 2001 and that he died on Feb. 1 at the age of 87. The same article noted DiBiaggio was known for “elevating the stature of Tufts University and strengthening its financial foundation.”
The same TuftsNow article reported that during DiBiaggio’s tenure, Tufts’ endowment tripled and multiple new facilities were established, including “the Jaharis Family Center for Biomedical Nutrition Research in Boston, the Bernice Barbour Wildlife Medicine Building in Grafton, and, on the Medford/Somerville campus, Tisch Library, Dowling Hall, and the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center.”
DiBiaggio’s legacy includes a passion for student activism. The same Boston Globe article stated that in a 1997 opinion editorial for the Globe, DiBiaggio mentioned that “‘[he is] often criticized for not only tolerating but encouraging student political activism”’ but went on to say that “‘without passion for a cause … there can be no lasting sense of responsibility.”’
DiBiaggio had previously been the president of the University of Connecticut, from 1979 through 1985, as well as president of Michigan State University from 1985 through 1992.
According to the same Globe article, DiBiaggio was remembered for working to carve out an identity for Tufts and quoted a 1992 Globe interview in which DiBiaggio said, “I don’t want us to be a Harvard. Harvard is a great university, but I want us to be what we are and do what we do well.”
DiBiaggio was preceded by President Jean Mayer and succeeded by President Lawrence S. Bacow and current president, President Anthony P. Monaco, according to the Tufts website.