About MIT 2016

MIT2016: Celebrating a century in Cambridge commemorated the Institute’s 1916 move from Boston’s Back Bay as it honored MIT’s special relationship with the City of Cambridge and looked toward the frontiers of the future. Community members and friends were invited to join us for academic and celebratory programming from February 29 to June 4.

The program was developed by the MIT2016 Steering Committee, chaired by Professor John Ochsendorf.

Infinite thanks to the scores of people who contributed to the celebration of our first century in Cambridge!


Greetings from the chair of the MIT2016 Steering Committee

Prof. Ochsendorf with students

In 1916, the opening of the Cambridge campus marked a major new beginning for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For the technical school founded in Boston only 55 years earlier, the innovative campus design would create an unparalleled environment for problem-solving across disciplines. In particular, the interconnected buildings invented by civil engineering alumnus John R. Freeman allowed for porous boundaries, while the grand beaux-arts columns and domes envisioned by architecture alumnus William Welles Bosworth gave the young Institute a stature worthy of its growing international reputation. The resulting campus—with the Infinite Corridor at its heart—has become the home for generations of MIT community members.

The original 1916 Cambridge campus of MIT was made possible by the leadership of President Richard Maclaurin and the extraordinary generosity of the anonymous donor “Mr. Smith”, later revealed to have been George Eastman. But countless others contributed to making the halls of MIT more than another academic campus. And while the campus has grown substantially beyond the original design of 1916, the discoveries and societal contributions made at MIT continue to reverberate from our home in the City of Cambridge to the farthest reaches of the universe.

We were thrilled that so many of our family and friends gathered with us to commemorate our first century in Cambridge. Across a wide range of events from the symposia, the Day of Service, the Open House, and Moving Day, we invited the MIT community and the world to celebrate with us. By sharing, learning, and dancing together, we renewed the importance of our home in Cambridge. This campus—open, interconnected, and diverse—is at the heart of both the success and the meaning of MIT.

John Ochsendorf
Chair, MIT2016 Steering Committee
Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Civil & Environmental Engineering


Looking for Century in Cambridge mugs, magnets, and other fun things? These items and more are available at the MIT Coop in Kendall Square.

President's welcome

President Reif

L. Rafael Reif
Seventeenth President of MIT

Having outgrown its original quarters in Boston’s Back Bay, in June 1916, MIT crossed the Charles and opened for business on its grand new Cambridge campus. Driven by the inspired vision of then-MIT President Richard Maclaurin, the move marked, in the words of one faculty observer of the day, “the coming-of-age of Technology, the moment when the Institute consciously took her place among the greatest world universities.”

MIT arrived in Cambridge in style, celebrating the opening of “New Tech” with a pageant, a “Pyrrhic Dance of Gladiators” (I am not kidding!) and a daring transcontinental test of a fashionable invention known as the telephone. For three days, our faculty, staff, students, and alumni imagined and celebrated the potential that awaited them in Cambridge.

In the spring of 2017, through a series of events and activities—including symposia, artistic performances, an Open House, a day of service, and a ceremonial crossing of the Charles—MIT reflected on our first 100 years in Cambridge while imagining our community’s potential for the next 100. Many thanks for joining us in the celebration of a century!

About the MIT2016 Logo

The star and block motif within the logo calls to mind the windows overlooking Massachusetts Avenue from MIT’s front door. This vast bank of glass draws light through Lobby 7 and down the Infinite Corridor to illuminate the travels of generations of MIT community members and visitors. The curving blue grounds the Institute’s permanent home in Cambridge, on the banks of the Charles River.


Photo: Dominick Reuter

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MIT's Great Dome in autumn

Photos: Dominick Reuter