Celebrate with CMC: Kravis Dedication Ceremonies Set for Friday, October 21; Featuring Ribbon Cutting and Convocation with Special Guest Speaker Niall Ferguson

It’s beautiful and award-winning. And on Friday, October 21, it also becomes an official fixture of Claremont McKenna College, as students, faculty, staff, and special guests, including Trustee Henry R. Kravis ’67 and his wife, Marie-Jos?e Kravis, gather with President Pamela Gann and the CMC Board of Trustees for the dedication of the new Kravis Center.

“This building establishes a new standard for architectural excellence at CMC,” says President Pamela Gann. “The dedication on October 21 will give our CMC community an opportunity to visit the new building and observe first-hand how our students and faculty are utilizing their outstanding new spaces.”

Dedication activities will highlight student-faculty research and include a ribbon-cutting, celebratory reception, and a special Convocation on Parents Field with guest speaker British historian Niall Ferguson, the award-winning documentarian and author, and the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. (Read more about Niall Ferguson.)

The afternoon’s ribbon cutting ceremony also lends a special touch to the daywith the opportunity for guests to collectively snip the ribbon that will be draped around the lawn area outside of the Kravis Center. For that event, students, faculty, staff, and special guests will gather on Gann Quadranglethe green space between the Kravis Center and the Living Room that was named for President Gann by CMC Trustees in recognition of her 10th anniversary of leadership at Claremont McKenna.

Already turning heads on campus, the world-class Kravis Centerdesigned to a LEED-gold standard by world-renowned architect Rafael Vi?oly, and named in honor of Henry Kravis and Marie-Jos?e Kravishas also gotten the attention of architectural design professionals at ENR (Engineering News-Record), a print and online magazine published by McGraw-Hill Construction and serving the state of California. On October. 5, the publication announced its 2011 Best Project winners in a blog by editor Robert Carlsen. The Kravis Center not only won the award for Best Higher Education/Research Project in California in 2011, but also was given the award for Best Overall project in California in 2011.

According to ENR’s website, 34 winning projects were selected in this year’s contest from 116 entries, and for the first time ever, the California competition included submissions from Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska.

CMC Director of Construction Frank Perri said, “Everyone is extremely proud of these two honors.”

The Kravis Center at Claremont McKenna is a contemporary expression of the College’s ethos of leadership in liberal arts. Its series of terraced floors, use of glass, and exterior staircases have provided incredible sightlines to the mountains north of campus, but also combine for a stunning and dramatic gateway to the western end of campus, welcoming prospective students, faculty, alumni, and visitors. And from an academe-meets-architecture perspective, its thoughtful mix of flexible classrooms and intimate indoor and outdoor meeting spaces have created an exciting academic synergy among students, faculty, departments, and research institutes.

Friday’s special event at CMC honors the Center’s transformational impact on campus as well as its ground-breaking dynamic model of collaborationhousing faculty, students, and administrators together in a modern, four-story living room of intellectual space.

“This building has potential for generational pride,” architect Rafael Vi?oly has said. “Not that you don’t have it, but now, to have a vehicle through which that pride can be representedthis fact that Claremont McKenna is a striving, absolutely thriving, extraordinary college. It needed a manifestation of that in physical form.”

“The Kravis Center will anchor CMC’s campus with the space needed for students and faculty to collaborate for years to come,” observes Mark Munro, a senior at CMC. “I’m excited to be part of the class to lead that transition.”

The schedule for Friday’s special dedication activities is as follows:

1 p.m.: Tours and student research presentations, Kravis Center

3 p.m.: Convocation, Parents Field, featuring keynote speaker Niall Ferguson

4:15 p.m.: Ribbon cutting ceremony, Gann Quadrangle, Kravis Center

4:30 p.m.: Dedication reception, Kravis Center