Another Light on the Hill Black Students at Tufts


A capella group Essence perform at Parent's Weekend reception, 2005

This exhibit is centered around the work of Professor Gerald Gill (1948-2007). Professor Gill joined the history department at Tufts University as an assistant professor of American history in the fall of 1980 and taught at Tufts for the next twenty seven years. In addition to his teaching and service to the community, which were recognized with formal awards inside and outside of the University, Professor Gill conducted pioneering research on African American experiences at Tufts.

The first Another Light on the Hill exhibit, a project celebrating Black history at Tufts University, was staged in 1988 and re-staged twice more between 1988 and 2002.

Based on Professor Gill's research and writing this online exhibit seeks to pay homage to his work and extend his vision to tell the story of black experience at Tufts University from the school's founding through to the present.

Tufts cheerleading team, 1974
John Moseley A31 in Scene IV from Emperor Jones, December 14, 1928
Maya Angelou signs books for two Tufts students, 1983
Charles Jordan A69 joins other students in speaking to Dean Alvin Schmidt Jr., 1965

Navigating this Exhibit

Text from Gerald Gill’s 2002 manuscript “Another Light on the Hill: A History of Black Students at Tufts University, 1900 to the Present,” is displayed throughout this exhibit, with each timeline page including a description of that period. Gill’s text, which resulted from research conducted throughout the 1980s and 1990s, has been edited for space and clarity with some additional information added based on evidence not available to Professor Gill. Cat Rosch AG22 conducted research at Tufts Archival Research Center (TARC) for the period from the late 1990s through 2022 and wrote the text describing these years.

As Dr. Gill wrote: Individually as well as collectively, Black students have contributed greatly to the ambiance of the ‘Tufts experience.’ Their accomplishments, past and present, need to be acknowledged and made more a part of the history and lore of Tufts University.

The project undertaken in this exhibit is significant, both in topic and in extent. As such, updates will be made to exhibit items, text, structure, and content on a rolling basis. Please visit the about pages for more information.