Arts at the Heart of MIT’s Centennial

by Jay London on March 24, 2016 · 0 comments

in Alumni Life


MIT is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of its campus move to Cambridge.

All spring, MIT is honoring its 1916 campus move from Boston to Cambridge. The centennial festivities will celebrate MIT’s relationship with the city of Cambridge and will looks ahead to the campus’ next 100 years and beyond. More than a dozen events are scheduled, including many focused on MIT’s deep history of art, music, and theater.

Read about the the art-related centennial events below then jump to the official centennial webpage,, to learn more about all of the celebrations, which run until Tech Reunions in early June.

Click on an event below to jump to more details.


Register for the symposium.

The Campus—Then, Now, Next (Symposium)
Wednesday, March 30, noon–5:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 31, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Hear the story of MIT’s Main Group and its influence on other campuses since 1916. Plus, learn how college campuses can help create larger innovation districts, like Kendall Square, and explore the design of two new college campuses: the Singapore University of Technology and Design and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.

MIT alumni speakers include:

  • Mark Jarzombek PhD ’86, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, MIT
  • Hilary Ballon PhD ’85, Professor of Urban Studies and Architecture, NYU
  • Israel Ruiz SM ’01, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, MIT
  • Mitchel Resnick SM ’88, PhD ’92, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab
  • Saeed Arida SM ’04, PhD ’11, Founder and Chief Excitement Officer, NuVu Studio
  • See all symposium speakers.

Alumni cost: $20 one-day, $40 two-day


Register for the concert.

Celebration Concert by MIT Music and Theater Arts
Saturday, April 2, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

MIT Music and Theater Arts will lead a celebration of music at MIT, with performances by the MIT Symphony Orchestra, MIT Chamber Chorus, MIT Concert Choir, MIT Chamber Music Society, and Rambax MIT. The program will be highlighted by MIT composers Peter Child, William Cutter, and Charles Shadle, and a performance of Copland’s dynamic Symphony No. 3.

Open seating, no tickets requited.

Register for

Register for Small Infinities.

Small Infinities, a play by Professor Alan Brody
Thursday, April 7–Saturday, April 16

Small Infinities explores the life and paradox of Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern science and an alchemist who believed he had unearthed textual revelations in the scriptures. Professor Brody’s play traces his obsession with finding the unity of God’s design through science, alchemy, and the Bible—and the human relationships he destroys in his quest. In the end he believes he has become the assassin of God and a failure.

About Professor Brody

Alan Brody has served as an MIT Theater Professor and Associate Provost for the Arts. His plays include, Invention for Fathers and Sons, the first winner of the Rosenthal Award at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 1989; The Company of Angels, the recipient of the 1990 Eisner Award from the Streisand Center for Jewish Culture in Los Angeles; and Operation Epsilon, which had its world premiere at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge in 2013.

Register for

Register for Beyond 2016.

Beyond 2016—MIT’s Frontiers of the Future (Symposium)
Tuesday, April 12, noon–5:00 p.m.

Faculty from across MIT will present short, exciting talks about the frontiers of their work and research, while multimedia transitions between the speakers take the audience on an immersive adventure tour.

MIT alumni speakers include:

  • Rafael Reif HM ’14, President, MIT
  • Dina Katabi SM ’99, PhD ’03, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Neri Oxman PhD ’10, Sony Corporation Career Development Associate Professor, Media Lab
  • Kristala Prather ’94, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Rebecca Saxe PhD ’03, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
  • Amos Winter SM ’05, PhD ’11, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
  • See all symposium speakers.

Arts at MIT Events at MIT’s Open House: Under the Dome
Saturday, April 23

  • Aerocene: Exploring Earth’s Atmosphere with Solar Balloons
    McDermott Court
    CAST visiting artist Tomás Saraceno and EAPS scientists will confront the climate crisis at the COP21 conference in Paris with an art exhibition inspired by solar balloons and meteorological data exploring Earth’s stratosphere. Saraceno’s sculpture will be exhibited with display simulations of potential flight tracking and data on iGlobe–a spherical display system for visualizing earth system data. Visitors are invited to choose launch points and climate data to see where the balloons will go.
  • Memory Matrix
    MIT Media Lab, Bldg. E15
    Professor Azra Aksamija PhD ’11 and her students have created a giant screen of intricate pixel-like plexiglass elements, revealing an image of the recently destroyed Arch of Triumph in Palmyra. The screen will project onto the arch outside Bldg. E15. (On view beginning April 23.)
  • 2016 Bucentaur
    Killian Court
    April 23 Open House and May 8 river crossing
    Arts at MIT will reproduce the 1916 Bucentaur—a giant barge decorated as a 15th century Italian vessel—for the MIT Moving Day on May 8. Open House visitors are invited to write well-wishes and apply finishing touches on the barge and prepare it for the river crossing. (On view April 23 and MIT Moving Day, May 8.)
  • The Centennial Pavilion
    Adjacent from Bldg. 7, Massachusetts Ave. 
    The Centennial Pavilion, created by Skylar Tibbits SM ’10, is a 60-foot tower constructed from 36 fiberglass tubes that demonstrates the future of active architectures. Set on a new plaza on MIT campus, the dynamic tower will become a focal point for the Centennial Open House, the Moving Day procession, and the campus throughout 2016.  (On view beginning April 23.)

Registration is open to the public and MIT faculty, staff, students can register at no cost. 

See the full list of centennial events at and use the hashtag #MIT02139 to join the celebration online! Please join us on campus for the centennial celebrations this spring!

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