The Campaign has reached its goal of $2 billion — a landmark achievement that comes less than two years after it topped the original $1.5 billion goal. Achieving this milestone is a superb tribute to the tens of thousands of individuals and the many organizations that have contributed. The campaign, though, is not really about meeting the goal as much as about letting MIT move in exciting new directions, and it has done so in myriad ways. Here’s a very small sampling:
• Brain Development and Disorders Initiative — A joint undertaking of the MIT School of Science and Boston Children’s Hospital, this project brings scientists and physicians together in a major effort to attack autism and related problems in children.
• Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) — This enterprise gives engineering sophomores an in-depth exposure to the realities of engineering practice. Launched three years ago, the program provides intensive workshops in skills such as communications, networking, and working in teams, as well as on more technical topics; a summer work experience in industry or government; and an extensive assessment following that experience.
• Comparative Media Studies — This initiative, based in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, is focused on the intersection between communications media of all sorts and society. Besides featuring a master’s program and an under graduate major, CMS has produced outstanding educational offerings. One example: an educational computer game, Revolution, which is being produced by faculty and students in CMS in consultation with Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. A prototype of the game will be tested in public high schools this fall.
• ArchNet — Developed in collaboration with Harvard University and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, ArchNet is an online community that offers architects and others free access to the world’s largest collection of architectural images, the chance for both informal discussions and formal educational activities, and career assistance, among other features. Based in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, ArchNet was formally launched in 2002.
• MIT Leadership Center — This cross-disciplinary venture, based at the MIT Sloan School of Management, aims to revolutionize the study and practice of leadership so as to develop principled leaders who can truly make a difference. Its approach reflects a view of leadership as a distributed process — developed at all levels in an organization — that motivates others to work together. The Center’s educational programs, based on rigorous research, teach students leadership skills integrated with technical know-how and business acumen. Deborah Ancona, professor of management, directs the Center.