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From the President

Dear Members of the Berklee Family:

 
  An architectural rendering showing Berklee's newest facility located at 7 Haviland Street. The building is slated to open in the spring of 2010 and will house the Liberal Arts, Music Business/Management, and Music Therapy departments, classroom space, and office space for Jazz Revelation Records, Heavy Rotation Records, and Fusion magazine.
 
  This architectural rendering shows the new look planned for Boylston Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Hemenway Street.

I'm pleased to write you about the progress of our Giant Steps capital campaign. You may recall that in the spring of 2008 we kicked off Giant Steps as the first-ever capital campaign in the history of Berklee, with a five-year goal of $50 million.

We've been overwhelmed by the generous support of alumni, parents, business leaders, and others who have contributed to the campaign. I'm pleased to report that in the most difficult financial climate most of us have ever experienced, we've reached our aggressive 2009 goal, and the Giant Steps total now stands at $36 million. In a little more than three years, we have raised more than 70 percent of our five-year, $50 million goal.

We have ambitious goals for Berklee, and they are achievable. But we need the resources to make them realities. Giant Steps will help us establish the financial foundation necessary for Berklee to sustain its status as the leader in contemporary music education. This means increasing scholarship support, improving our facilities, and revitalizing our campus, as well as constantly cultivating and realizing innovative ideas.

While all three goals are vitally important, I'll focus my comments here on facilities, a front on which we've recently made enormous progress. I believe part of what helps make the magic of Berklee is the physical proximity and concentration of so many musicians practicing, performing, composing, and creating. Acquiring property in the Back Bay neighborhood is never easy, so we are fortunate to have purchased several properties that are close to our core campus, and all within 200 feet of its center.

First to come online will be our 7 Haviland Street building, formerly the Fenway Community Health Center, which will open in January 2009 as the new home for the Liberal Arts, Music Business, and Music Therapy departments. Feeding the musician's inner life, using music as a tool for healing, and remaking a music business that can inspire the creation of new music are part and parcel of these areas. Not only is this a brand-new facility with eight classrooms, it brings these important aspects of our curriculum directly to the center of our campus.

We've also completed the purchase of the Mason Block spanning 155, 161, and 171 Massachusetts Avenue, which many of you know houses ground-floor tenants Dunkin' Donuts and Daddy's Junky Music. Most recently, we acquired the property directly across the street, 154-174 Massachusetts Avenue, the site of McDonald's, Arirang House restaurant, and Berklee's mailrooms.

A couple of years ago, before the financial picture changed, we purchased several properties in our campus core along Boylston Street, between Massachusetts Avenue and Hemenway Street. By this fall, the row will also feature a new, larger Berklee bookstore and several other retailers that will improve the look and feel of this stretch of Boylston Street. All these services will better meet the needs of our students.

Given the financial pressures we face and the large investment we've made in additional student financial aid, developing the Massachusetts Avenue properties will be a longer-term project. But with these strategic acquisitions, we have assembled several prime properties in the heart of our campus. The prospect of securing significant new space for our community is becoming a reality.

While we are looking forward, I think it's important to reflect on the growth in Berklee made possible by the visionary moves of Lawrence and Lee Berk with the purchases of 150 Massachusetts Avenue, the Berklee Performance Center, and the Uchida building, to name just three. Without these facilities, what would a Berklee experience be like for students, faculty, and staff? I think this helps us to understand the benefits of these new facilities for future Berklee students.

It's important to understand that during these difficult financial times, it's our Giant Steps donors who have made these strategic moves possible. We are deeply grateful to them. Through their support of vital scholarships, innovative ideas, and groundbreaking facilities, they are making a new Berklee possible.

Yours,

Roger H. Brown