MIT Sloan community gathers to celebrate new building

“This place works.”

MIT Sloan’s new building was designed to foster spontaneous interaction between faculty and students. Today, the School’s alumni and friends got a chance to try it out.

Hundreds of people packed the ground floor of the building for it’s formal dedication, connecting old friends, colleagues, and classmates in celebration.

“This building is a testament to the strength and special nature of this community,” said Tara Thomas, MBA ’11, who addressed the crowd. MIT Sloan students have always been a community, Thomas said, but only with the new building, including the Joan and William A. Porter 1967 Center for Management Education, is that community fully realized.

MIT President Susan Hockfield said the building is a perfect fit for the wider Kendall Square community and projects “the sense that this is a place where people come to do important work.”

“We want Kendall Square, our neighborhood, to become a truly first-class place for people to live and work,” Hockfield said. “This building sets the standard for what that neighborhood could be.”

John C Head II Dean David Schmittlein said the building could not have been raised without the work of important donors, friends, faculty, and alumni alike. He praised the “magnetism” and “character” of the building, welcomed alumni from across six decades and 45 countries to the School’s new home, and said the building marks an important milestone in the school’s continuing role developing the best in management education and knowledge.

“In as much as this is a school that will never be finished, we are delighted to open a new chapter,” he said.

Attendees also heard from MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif.

“I’m certain what MIT Sloan has accomplished to date is only a historical preview of what MIT Sloan will accomplish in this new home,” Reif said.

Cambridge Mayor David Maher also spoke, thanking MIT for it’s commitment to Kendall Square, and welcomed City Councilor Leland Cheung, an student at the School, to the stage.

Dean Emeritus and Howard W. Johnson Professor of Management Richard Schmalensee, who oversaw the beginning of the building project, said the goal of the new building was to build “a place to work, not just a building to look at.”

“The team that tried to do all this succeeded wonderfully,” Schmalensee said. “This place works.”

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