Throngs of well-wishers from the University community joined city and state officials and other Suffolk friends for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the University's new academic building.

Suffolk President Margaret McKenna said 20 Somerset is not just a new building. “This is a new life for us,” she said.

McKenna said the building has been designed to prepare students for the jobs of today and future jobs in growing industries, including life sciences and health care.

“We are going to work with those industries to make sure our students have the skills and the education necessary to be ready for those jobs,” she said.

Mayor notes networking possibilities 

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh called Suffolk “an essential part of our downtown” and noted that the academic building brings new science facilities, case study rooms, and an active learning environment to the heart of downtown Boston.

“It’s going to support active learning and support our growth in life sciences and innovative industries. And it’s a gathering place for the Suffolk community as a whole. It will be the best of both worlds for the students and for the city, and that’s something that’s important to all of us,” said Walsh. “I want people to understand that Suffolk values community and connection. Students come here and engage in community, whether in Boston or across the globe. So this new building and everything it stands for is a perfect complement to this school’s mission.”

Walsh quipped that students should get to know people walking by the building and across the plaza.

“You’ll have the senate president, the speaker, a governor and other people walking by and they have internships in their offices, so make sure you grab them,” he said.

"Transformational" model for economic development

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito praised Suffolk’s vision and effort in taking an abandoned building owned by the state and replacing it with an educational haven for students.

“This is transformational,” she said, adding that such a model can be impactful for economic development across the commonwealth.

The academic building features team-based learning environments, specialized science classrooms, media production and editing suites, and more. The building was designed to provide students with a learning environment that connects them more closely with faculty and peers for a collaborative and interactive approach to scholarship. It also puts an increased emphasis on science teaching, in line with the University’s focus on preparing graduates for careers in the Massachusetts life sciences industry. And 20 Somerset was planned with attention to sustainable design, construction and operation, with the aim of attaining LEED Silver certification.