Summer 2023


Gift planning information and inspiration for the Tufts community

I am incredibly grateful for the impact of Charles Tufts members on Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts. They thoughtfully contributed so much to its success. Thank you!

We celebrate several of our special members in this issue. They each support different schools at Tufts and have structured their gifts to meet personal goals, but they share a deep appreciation for education and research and a desire to pay it forward to create a brighter future at Tufts and beyond.

If you have not yet created your own planned gift, I hope these stories inspire you to join the many alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and staff who are investing in the next generation of Tufts students and faculty.


Brooke Anderson
Senior Director of Gift Planning

Nurturing the Tradition of Tufts Athletics for Future Jumbos

In 1963, sophomore Bob Mastrovita, a Tufts football player, met Poppy Gerard—"the true love of my life," he says—on a study date at Eaton Library. The two married shortly after graduation. "One of our daughters, Mandy, attended Tufts and had a wonderful experience, and our granddaughter Emma is flourishing there," says Bob.

A retired investment manager, Bob served on the Tufts Board of Trustees and the Alumni Council. Poppy, a multisport athlete, earned degrees from both Tufts and Bouvé College, then spent her career teaching and coaching. Steadfast contributors for many years, the Mastrovitas recently named Tufts as the beneficiary of their IRA to support Tufts Athletics.

Poppy Mastrovita, J66, J92P, and Bob Mastrovita, A66, J92P, pictured with Snickers and Argus
Poppy Mastrovita, J66, J92P, and Bob Mastrovita, A66, J92P, pictured with Snickers and Argus

"Athletics has served us so well in our lives," says Poppy, "and we want to share that experience with other Jumbos." Bob adds that sports can help Tufts students cultivate "skills that will serve them throughout their lives," including perseverance, discipline, and teamwork. "We are passionate about supporting all the robust athletic opportunities at Tufts. This gift was our chance to do that."

Celebrating Family and Paving the Way For Tomorrow's Physicians

"I come from a long line of doctors," says David Liu, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, so he knew early on that he would pursue a career in medicine. "The most rewarding part of my work," he says, "are the patient relationships, which begin when I'm caring for them and often last long afterward."

David C. Liu, M.D., M94
David C. Liu, M.D., M94

In 2020, David created the David C. Liu, M94, Scholarship, and he is adding to his fund through his estate plan. He named Tufts as a beneficiary of his retirement plan. His goal was simple: to help qualified young people who want to enter medicine for the same reason that he did—to provide excellent care.

"My parents have always tried to instill in me and my siblings the need to make the world a better place," says David. By paving the way for others through a scholarship, David can celebrate his parents' values. "I wanted to create something that would continue long after I'm gone," he says, "and this gift helped me accomplish that."

Investing in Veterinary Education and Rewarding Careers

Cats have been part of Gil DiCicco's home in Marlborough, Massachusetts, for over four decades, ever since he and his late wife Donna adopted Muffin in 1978. "I didn't have cats or dogs growing up, but my wife loved cats," he says. "And as they say, 'Happy wife, happy life.'"

Gil DiCicco
Gil DiCicco and his cat Emma

Today, Gil, a retired manufacturing engineer, enjoys the company of four cats, all adopted from shelters: the eldest is Dr. Pepper, then comes the adventuresome Milo, the affectionate but shy Emma (pictured with Gil), and the new cat on the block, Garrett. Gil has been a regular annual fund supporter of the Cummings Veterinary Fund for more than 25 years.

When Gil updated his estate plans, he included a gift to Cummings School directed to financial aid. "I feel lucky to be on the giving end," he says, "and it's nice to know I can help Cummings School students build a rewarding career caring for animals."

Did you know?

Bequests and estate commitments can support any school at Tufts. There are so many ways to remember the university. You can:

  • Give a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your will or trust
  • Name Tufts as a beneficiary of a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or other retirement account
  • Designate the university as a successor beneficiary of your donor-advised fund
  • Specify Tufts as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy

Visit for sample bequest language or contact the Gift Planning Office.

Honoring the Impacts of Two Cherished Alma Maters

"One of the things I appreciate most about my Tufts education, and my engineering training specifically, is that it taught me to relish taking on challenges," says Dr. Alice Señeres, who holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts and a doctorate from Columbia University. "The experience of being challenged, in a supportive environment, set me up for a wide-ranging career," says Alice. That career has included roles in industry, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany, and academia; today she is senior assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs at Princeton University.

Alice Señeres, Ph.D., E97, EG00
Alice Señeres, Ph.D., E97, EG00

Several years ago, Alice and her husband, Wright, purchased their first home and decided it was time to create an estate plan. They included gifts to both of their alma maters. The reason, she explains, is that, as life partners, they have benefited from each other’s educational experiences and want to celebrate that in their giving.

While Alice once regarded estate planning as a purely practical task, "we were surprised that creating our wills has been such a positive experience," she says. "It's rekindled wonderful connections. I hope other Tufts alumni can discover that opportunity too."

Supporting New Members of the Tufts Dental Family

"I feel tremendous gratitude for the career that I've had," says Michael Domboski, "and Tufts gave me the foundation for that career." After graduating from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Michael went on to a successful career in oral and maxillofacial surgery, including clinical care both on staff in a hospital and in private practice, teaching, and research. "Tufts strived to teach us empathy for the patient," he says, "and I pride myself on treating everyone as if they were a member of my family."

Michael Domboski, D.M.D., D75A, and his wife, Mary
Michael Domboski, D.M.D., D75A, and his wife, Mary

He and his wife, Mary, have supported the Tufts Dental Fund for more than 40 years, and in 2020 they created the Dr. Michael L. and Mary L. Domboski Scholarship Fund.

They have extended their support even further by including a bequest to the dental school in their will. "Tufts is dear to me," says Michael, "and by creating this scholarship and remembering Tufts in our will, Mary and I can support people who are working to become great clinicians and care for others. It's good to know that we can help them a little bit in their journey."

Elevating the Best of the Fletcher School

David Fine, A72, F12P, and Susan Fine, F12P

David and Susan Fine established the Fine Family Faculty Fellowship to support the work of junior faculty at The Fletcher School. Their gift celebrated David's 50th Tufts reunion and son Jeffrey's 10th Fletcher School reunion, to commemorate family ties to the university spanning three generations.

Headshots of Melissa McCracken and Tom Dannenbaum, Inaugural Fine Family Faculty Fellows
Inaugural Fine Family Faculty Fellows Melissa McCracken, assistant professor of international environmental policy, and Tom Dannenbaum, associate professor of international law

"My Tufts education played a major role in my professional success," says David. For Jeffrey, The Fletcher School provided excellent preparation for a career at the U.S. State Department. Faculty development is a priority David grew to appreciate during his career in hospital administration and academia.

David and Susan are pleased to see the impact of their fellowship today and to know that it will be permanently endowed through a gift from their charitable remainder trust. Their trust helped them meet philanthropic goals, maximize tax benefits, and establish a lifetime income.

"We know the dean will select recipients who represent the best of Fletcher," says David, "and their work will have a lasting impact on the school and the world."

The "Easiest Form of Giving" Benefits the Friedman School

"One of the wonderful things about the field of nutrition," says Grace Phelan, "is that it's constantly evolving, and there's still so much to learn." After completing her master's degree in the Friedman School's Frances Stern program, Grace joined Tufts Medical Center, where she serves as nutrition support coordinator for patients in critical care.

Grace Phelan, M.S., R.D., CNSC, L.D.N., N05
Grace Phelan, M.S., R.D., CNSC, L.D.N., N05

Grace recently made another contribution to her field, and to the Friedman School, by adding the school as a beneficiary of her retirement plan. "It's truly the easiest form of giving," says Grace, "because it costs me nothing now, and it's part of the plans I'm making for my own future."

As a clinical instructor at the Friedman School, Grace has mentored over 100 Friedman dietetic interns. "Through them, I can see our field growing even stronger. It gives me a lot of hope." Grace is confident that the Friedman School will continue offering groundbreaking research and world-class training in the years ahead. And she's proud to know that, through her planned gift, she’ll be part of its ongoing success.

New Legislation: More Reasons to Give IRA Assets

If you are at least 70½ years old, you can use your individual retirement account (IRA) to make tax-efficient gifts to Tufts. Secure Act 2.0, part of an omnibus spending bill signed into law in December 2022, expanded the opportunities to use your IRA as a source for charitable gifts with these new features:

  • Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) Adjusted for Inflation
    You can make a QCD of up to $100,000 in 2023. The $100,000 limit will be adjusted for inflation starting in 2024.
  • Funding a Gift that Pays Income
    You can make a one-time QCD of up to $50,000 to fund a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust. The retirement plan that you have built over your lifetime can be used to provide income to yourself and/or a spouse—and support a school at Tufts that is important to you.

For more information, visit:

Thank you!

Thank you to all our of Charles Tufts Society members who have been instrumental in the success of Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts. We invite you to view this video showcasing the impact of the campaign across the university.