Generous Gift Funds New Applied Innovation Center at Tufts
Innovation and entrepreneurship education at Tufts University just received a big boost. A generous gift of $4 million from alumnus, Chuck F. Auster, A73, the Chairman of the Board of Advisors at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts (DEC), will create the Auster Center for Applied Innovation Research (AIR).
The AIR Center at Tufts Gordon Institute will promote innovation in solving complex societal challenges through a transdisciplinary approach that spans social sciences, natural sciences, and technology for the public good. Through its research, it will enhance our understanding of how innovation can be systematically fostered and applied to future challenges. The center will support and fund Tufts faculty, students, and staff to explore novel ways to solve big problems and achieve impact through applied innovation. The Auster Center for Applied Innovation Research will be part of the Tufts Gordon Institute (TGI), and complement the work of its sister organization, the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts (DEC).
Announcing the gift, Chuck Auster commented that “As a Jumbo celebrating my 50th year since graduating from Tufts, I am extremely excited to be able to give back to my alma mater and provide this gift to support innovation and entrepreneurship among the students, faculty, and staff at Tufts University. This cause is very dear to my heart, and I am both honored and humbled that this new center will play such a pivotal role in advancing applied innovation research at Tufts. I look forward to continuing to help the Center expand and have an impact in helping to solve the complex problems faced by society."
Kevin Oye, Executive Director of Tufts Gordon Institute, welcomes the Auster Center for Applied Innovation Research, emphasizing that “We aim to create a worldwide community of transformative leaders, with heart, who can harness technology to shape the world with profound purpose. The Auster Center for Applied Innovation Research brings new capacity and capabilities to foster applied innovation research across the university. The new center will boost our entrepreneurial programs and drive societal impact. Chuck’s generous gift will ensure that applied innovation research under the Auster Center will foster solutions to society’s biggest challenges, while developing new methodologies and approaches for stimulating, incubating, and nurturing innovation in the world at large.”
Emphasizing the importance of the gift, Elaine Chen, Director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, says, “Our entrepreneurship program at DEC was strengthened today with the creation of the AIR Center at Tufts Gordon Institute. DEC’s award-winning academic and co-curricular programming will now be complemented with strength in applied research that collectively elevates the ability for Tufts innovators and entrepreneurs to change the world for the better. We are deeply grateful to Chuck for his steadfast leadership and support for entrepreneurship education at Tufts.”
Auster has over 40 years of experience creating value through entrepreneurship and corporate executive management, as well as venture and private equity investment. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts for 17 years and has supported DEC for over 20 years. Auster is the founder and a partner of RunTide Capital Partners, an independent financial sponsor partnering with institutional investors making investments into tech-enabled lower-middle market companies.
Tufts Gordon Institute helps students find their calling through degree and non-degree programs and individual course offerings, at every stage of their professional journey. TGI’s expertise spans innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and management, bound with a dedication to help students discover and implement their own profound purpose. Undergraduate programs in entrepreneurship, engineering management, and leadership build foundational skills and mindsets crucial for creative and independent-minded innovators. The one-year MS in Innovation and Management program empowers recent college graduates to supplement their technical knowledge with practical skills that translate ideas into actions. The online MS in Engineering Management program is designed for growth-minded professionals who are excited about leading high-powered companies, fostering the business and leadership skills necessary for success.
The Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts develops entrepreneurial leaders with the skills to put ideas into action. DEC builds the next generation of world citizens who achieve success and solve societal problems. Through various co-curricular and undergraduate programs, including the Entrepreneurship Minor, Tufts’ most popular minor, DEC gives students the tools to act and lead with impact through entrepreneurship and innovation.
For further information about the Auster Center for Applied Innovation Research, please contact Tufts Gordon Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org.