From collaborative labs to classrooms, arts spaces to residences, makerspaces to historical landmarks, the reinvigoration of campus has created a physical environment as open and energized as the people of MIT. Below are stories of alumni and friends who are helping to usher in a major evolution of MIT’s spaces.
“[We hope] to help MIT turn its campus into a competitive advantage.”
Hamid Moghadam ’77, SM ’78 wants to help MIT put its best face forward. His support for the MIT Welcome Center in Kendall Square and for a new Earth and Environment Building at the Green Building, he says, was inspired by his vision of a more inviting campus.
“I thought it would be wonderful to have a focal point where people could have a really great first impression of MIT,” the cofounder and chairman of the San Francisco-based Prologis says of the Welcome Center, which is named for him and his wife, Tina.
Recently opened as part of MIT’s new Kendall Square gateway, the center has a 200-seat auditorium, art installations, and a fun “Welcome Wall” featuring a photo of the MIT Dome enhanced with illustrations.
It’s a space designed with MIT’s prospective students and their families in mind. “While MIT certainly has no problem attracting some of the best students—and while substance is the most important thing—presentation is also important,” Moghadam says, noting that he and his wife hope “to help MIT turn its campus into a competitive advantage.”
The Earth and Environment Building, currently under construction, offers a similar opportunity, he says, lending a “sense of presence” to the 21-story Green Building, designed by I. M. Pei ’40. The new structure will serve as a central hub where students, researchers, faculty, and others can gather for classes, events, and programming on climate, environment, and sustainability issues.
Inside, work will address climate change, “the existential issue of our time,” Moghadam says. “The future is all about the kids, the students, and MIT attracts some of the best,” he says. “If we are to have a planet in the next 100 years, I think it will be these young minds who are going to do it.”
“I received a great education. And I’m ever so grateful.”
Throughout his life, Lord Swraj Paul ’52 has risen to meet diverse challenges. His company, Caparo Group, has gained global recognition since he founded it in 1968. He is a longtime philanthropist and an advisor, as member of the Privy Council, to Queen Elizabeth II.
Looking back, what is his takeaway from these experiences? Gratitude is key.
“I received a great education. And I’m ever so grateful,” says Paul, who grew up in British-ruled India at a time when attending college in the United States seemed almost unfathomable. “During my time at the Institute, I saw how education was infused with the ethic of public service, and I applaud MIT for its continuing commitment to these ideals.”
In 2020, he made a gift in support of the landmark, Eero Saarinen-designed Kresge Auditorium, MIT’s premier venue for world leaders, renowned musicians, distinguished speakers, and student presentations. The 1,200-seat large theater has been named the Lord Swraj Paul PC ’52 and Angad Paul ’92 Theater—or, more colloquially, the Paul Theater—after Paul and his late son, Angad, who graduated from MIT in 1992. His son Akash Paul SM ’81 also attended MIT.
“MIT means a lot to our family, and I am honored that we are able to support the continuation of its values and way of life through this iconic building,” Paul says.