In spring 1916, after 55 years in Boston’s Copley Square, MIT packed its belongings and moved slightly west to Cambridge, where a spacious, newly-designed campus awaited. The two-mile move was celebrated with three days of celebration that featured a naval regatta, an airplane demonstration, a massive papier-mâché beaver, and a ceremonial transport of the school’s charter across the Charles River via a lavish Venitian-style barge.
100 years later, MIT has remained in Cambridge and the Institute has been celebrating the campus’ centennial anniversary all spring. The party will continue on Saturday, May 7, with Moving Day at MIT, which will celebrate the 1916 move with a day of events highlighted by a modern-day crossing of the Charles. Learn more about Moving Day.
On Saturday afternoon, the MIT community will march the Mass. Ave. Bridge, led by grand marshall Oliver Smoot '62, whose last name is synonymous with the bridge. Attendees can also watch MIT community members recreate the spirit of the original crossing using only-at-MIT vehicles that will compete to cross the Charles River. Special guests will include Ray Magliozzi ’73, cohost of NPR’s popular show, “Car Talk.”
In addition to the crossing, MIT will host centennial parties and events throughout the day and evening, including an evening barbecue for MIT alumni, co-hosted by the MIT Club of Boston and the MIT Alumni Association, in a tented area near Kresge Auditorium that will feature a BBQ buffet and a cash bar. View the full schedule below then register for the barbecue and other Moving Day activies.
Crossing the Charles with Family and Friends 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., free Commemorate the 1916 flotilla that transported the Institute’s charter across the Charles River. Join in an MIT procession across the Mass. Ave. Bridge then watch MIT community members reimagine the original crossing as they race only-at-MIT vehicles across the Charles.
MIT Club of Boston Community Picnic 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Attend an evening barbecue in a tented area near Kresge Auditorium that will feature a BBQ buffet and a cash bar. See registration page for pricing, including discounts for MIT10, current students, and members of the MIT Alumni Club of Boston.
Mind and Hand: A Pageant 8:00 – 9:30 p.m., free Killian Court will host pyrotechnic displays, multimedia soundscapes, and a performance from the dance troupe Pilobolus. Open to all MIT community. Please dress for the weather…or in costume! No tickets required but limited reserved seating is available for alumni.
Let’s Dance! 9:30 p.m. – Midnight, free Come as you are—or dressed for your favorite decade—to campus dance parties whose themes trace 100 years of music and culture. Dance the night away to live music at four different locations: Kresge Oval, North Court, McDermott Court, and Morss Hall.
And to find out what life was like when MIT made the move to Cambridge, follow the historical Twitter account @MIT1916. The tweet share details about student life in and around MIT 100 years ago and show how much has changed—and stayed the same.