Continuous renewal and renovation of MIT’s physical facilities is an essential component of the Institute’s mission to advance knowledge and educate students. During the recent MIT Campaign for a Better World, the MIT community raised more than $600 million in support of capital needs. Julie A. Lucas, the Institute’s Vice President for Resource Development, talks about how this collective generosity is helping to fuel a campus transformation.
To meet the needs of our community, MIT’s campus has changed substantially over the past decade and is continuing to evolve. How does philanthropy help make this possible?
MIT is fortunate to have many alumni and friends who share the Institute’s vision for a modern, sustainable campus that can equip students, faculty, and staff to take on big challenges—now and decades from now. Our donors have contributed to the creation of new forward-thinking interdisciplinary research, innovation, living, learning, and maker facilities. They have also helped us reinvigorate and maintain MIT treasures such as the Great Dome, Kresge Auditorium, and the Hayden Library and Building 14 Courtyard, plus numerous other spaces that underpin our education and research activities.
Can you share some examples of impactful projects?
It’s difficult to pick! The Campaign made it possible to create MIT’s first dedicated music building, which is expected to open in 2024. The arts are vital to MIT; hundreds of our students arrive on campus as trained musicians, while others become music lovers through classes or extracurricular activities. The building will have state-of-the-art production facilities, music technology labs, and performance spaces, a huge benefit for MIT and the local community. Next year, MIT will gain a new home for the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing at the heart of campus, reflecting the important role computing plays across all disciplines at MIT.
Another notable project is the renovation of the iconic Metropolitan Storage Warehouse building. When it opens in 2025, the Met Warehouse will be a new home for our School of Architecture and Planning and the recently established MIT Morningside Academy for Design. It will also have the largest makerspace on campus.
Where have you seen the most dramatic changes?
It has to be in Kendall Square, which has been reimagined as a thriving new gateway to the Institute. The area now has the new Moghadam Welcome Center, Admissions Office, and innovation and entrepreneurship hub. It is also home to the relocated MIT Museum, a graduate residence, and two acres of open space for everyone to enjoy.
The neighborhood’s palpable new energy is a powerful reminder that our campus is so much more than bricks and mortar. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, MIT has been able to build, restore, and maintain facilities that will empower the world’s best thinkers, teachers, and makers for the next century and beyond.