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How will you move? MIT community challenged to cross the Charles River on May 7

Crossing the Charles Competition to commemorate 100 years since the opening of MIT's Cambridge campus.
MIT and the Charles River as seen from Boston
MIT and the Charles River as seen from Boston
Photo: Shutterstock and Tim Blackburn

Members of the MIT community are invited to compete in the Crossing the Charles Competition, an innovative procession over land and water that will open the Moving Day festivities on May 7.

Moving Day is part of MIT2016: Celebrating a Century in Cambridge. The day — comprising the afternoon procession and competition, an evening multimedia pageant in Killian Court, and nighttime dance parties — honors the historic procession, pageant, and receptions that took place June 12-14, 1916, as MIT celebrated the opening of its Cambridge campus. With the Crossing the Charles competition, MIT revives the spirit of the 1916 ceremonial flotilla in which the Bucentaur barge transported the Institute charter across the Charles River to the campus in Cambridge.

All MIT faculty, students, staff, and alumni are invited to form or join teams to create Crossing the Charles entries that demonstrate any type and combination of transport, be it physical, artistic, or philosophical. The team sign-up deadline is Feb. 8; please see the Moving Day pages for complete competition details, rules, and deadlines. Questions may be directed to the co-chairs, professors Anette Hosoi (Department of Mechanical Engineering) and John Ochsendorf (Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), at

Those who wish to participate in the crossing but prefer not to compete are encouraged to join the procession over the bridge — and all are welcome to cheer the competitors and gather to welcome everyone home to campus.

MIT2016: Celebrating a Century in Cambridge commemorates the Institute’s 1916 move from Boston’s Back Bay as it honors MIT’s special relationship with the City of Cambridge. Event programming runs Feb. 29 through June 4.

Press Mentions

MIT will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Institute’s move from Boston to Cambridge this May, reports Kristin Toussaint for Toussaint writes that MIT is hosting a "competition in which MIT alumni, students, staff, and faculty can create vessels that will make their own voyage across river." 

Boston Globe

The Boston Globe’s Steve Annear writes that MIT will host a parade to honor the 100th anniversary of the Institute’s move to Cambridge, and MIT community members are invited to create vehicles for the parade.  “Who knows what students will come up with?” explains Prof. John Ochsendorf. “The idea is that they come by land or by sea.”

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