Accepting money for buildings linked to the nation’s most notorious drug peddling family? Bad. Paying money to the MBTA to put your name on a Green Line stop? Good.
That’s more or less the situation at hand for Tufts University, which on Thursday announced it has officially agreed to buy the naming rights of a new station set to open as part of the MBTA’s Green Line Extension.
As part of the deal, Tufts will pay a reported $200,000 annually for ten years in support of maintenance, cleaning, and operations, and in return a stop near campus at the corner of College and Boston avenues will be dubbed “Medford/Tufts.”
— Tufts University (@TuftsUniversity) January 3, 2020
“Working collaboratively, we have chosen a name that emphasizes a sense of place for both our host community of Medford and the University,” Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco said in a statement as part of the announcement. “We’re delighted that the new station, together with the Joyce Cummings Center, our newest academic building that will open at approximately the same time adjacent to the station, will serve as a welcoming gateway to the university for students, employees, and the tens of thousands of visitors who come to our campus each year.”
The move comes just a month after Tufts took the widely noted step of purging the Sackler name from all the buildings and programs dedicated to the family. The Sacklers, of course, are the family who own OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma. Members of the family have expressed dismay at the decision, noting that Arthur M. Sackler, whose name graced the Tufts landmarks, is not connected to the pill-pushing side of the family, which has come under harsh scrutiny for Purdue Pharma’s contribution to the still-roiling opioid epidemic.
Presumably the decision helps the Tufts brand—after all, the T needs all the financial help it can get, and I suppose if I wanted to make a splash, I’d affix my name to a highly anticipated extension of the Green Line, too. Out with the old, in with the new.
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