The year 2016 marks the 100-year anniversary of MIT’s historic campus move across the Charles River from Boston to Cambridge. And beginning this spring, the MIT community will commemorate the river crossing and Celebrate a Century in Cambridge, which will feature nearly two months of centennial programming that honors the campus move.
And of course, no MIT celebration would be complete without a spirited competition—and MIT alumni.
Among the many events that will mark the centennial is the Crossing the Charles Competition, which will take place on Saturday, May 7, a.k.a. “Moving Day,” a day-long celebration that will commemorate the 1916 ceremonial flotilla that physically transported the Institute’s charter across the Charles River to its new Cambridge home.
The competition invites the MIT community to recapture the spirit of the original crossing and build a vehicle that crosses the Charles River by land or water. According to the Boston Globe, the 1916 crossing featured a naval regatta and Venetian-style barge called the Bucentaur that transported the charter. The 2016 crossing aims to be more high-tech.
“MIT to host ‘Moving Day’ parade and celebration,” Boston Globe
“We are going to do some sort of reenactment of the original parade—but rather than call the Navy and ask them to bring a submarine, we are asking MIT students to come up with their own answers about how to cross the river,” said Professor John Ochsendorf, chairman of “Moving Day.”
According to the competition rules, the entries can move autonomously or not; can represent transport through artistic expression; and can demonstrate types of transport other than physical (like thought or emotion). View all the official rules on the MIT 2016 site.
All MIT faculty, students, staff, and alumni are invited to form or join teams of any size. (Non-MIT community members can make no more than 25 percent of each team.) According to the site, points can be earned for expressing speed, beauty, inclusiveness, an only-at-MIT sentiment, and evoking MIT’s celebration of a century in Cambridge, among other attributes.
The contest will be judged a panel of six MIT leaders, including Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart SM ’86, PhD ’88 and Provost Martin Schmidt SM ’83, PhD ’88, and the top five competition winners will be invited to cross the stage during the Mind and Hand Pageant later that day.
Happy sailing! See you on the other side of the river on May 7.