MIT’s North Court is now named after Susan Hockfield, MIT’s 16th president.
The scenic quad formerly known as North Court, one of the major gateways to campus from Main Street and Kendall Square, is now Hockfield Court, in honor of Susan Hockfield, who was president of MIT from 2004 to 2012.
The new moniker was bestowed in an Oct. 4 ceremony celebrating Hockfield and her contributions to the Institute. As MIT’s 16th president, and the first woman to serve in the role as well as the first life scientist, Hockfield focused MIT’s strengths on a range of important problems, from cancer research to advanced manufacturing. She championed the convergence of the life sciences with the engineering and physical sciences, oversaw the establishment of the MIT Energy Initiative, and furthered MIT’s regional and global engagement, fostering the burgeoning Kendall Square innovation cluster, among other visionary initiatives.
Hockfield, who continues to hold a faculty appointment as professor of neuroscience and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, has also been a vocal advocate for making MIT a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment.
At the naming ceremony Hockfield reflected, “As the first woman and first life scientist to serve as president, I felt a particular responsibility for paving new paths and setting new directions that would be welcoming to all. … I have confidence that MIT will continue to open, and hold open, new windows of opportunity, so that, as I said when I was first elected to MIT’s presidency, MIT can be the dream of every child who wants to make the world a better place … and also the dream of every engineer, scientist, scholar, and artist who draws inspiration from the idea of working in a hotbed of innovation, in service to humankind.”