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Groundbreaking ceremonies for the McGovern Institute at MIT will be held May 19 at 11:30 a.m. in a tent on Main Street. Located behind a construction fence, the tent can be accessed through a gate near the railroad tracks at the intersection of Albany Street.
The McGovern Institute was established in February 2000 through a gift from International Data Group (IDG) founder and chairman Patrick J. McGovern Jr. (S.B. 1959) and his wife, entrepreneur Lore Harp McGovern. The gift is expected to total $350 million over the next 20 years, one of the largest university gifts in history.
The research and teaching institute is committed to advancing human understanding and communication. It conducts integrated research in neuroscience, molecular neurobiology, cognitive science, computation and related areas.
"Pat and Lore McGovern have shown extraordinary leadership and generosity in establishing the McGovern Institute, with its focus on understanding higher brain functions in humans," said Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor and director of the McGovern Institute. "This institute will lead MIT neuroscience into an exciting future of discoveries that will change our concepts of science and other cultural endeavors."
The McGovern Institute will occupy a new 85,000-square-foot building within the brain and cognitive sciences project. The architectural design for the entire 376,000-square-foot project is a collaborative effort of Boston-based Goody, Clancy & Associates and Charles Correa Associates of Bombay, India.
In addition to the McGovern Institute, the project will house facilities for the Picower Center for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Each of the three entities will surround a central atrium that will help facilitate communication among faculty and students. The complex is scheduled to be completed in fall 2005.
"The beautiful new building, with its mixture of bold limestone facade and plate glass, will be the working place of 16 investigators and numerous students and fellows," Sharp said. "All of us thank the McGoverns and MIT for creating the future through the building of the structure."
Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremonies will include MIT President Charles M. Vest, Lore and Patrick McGovern, Sharp, Dean of Science Robert Silbey and Cambridge Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis.
For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/evolving/projects/cogsci.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 14, 2003.