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My First 30 Days

President Daas reflects on his presidential journey at the BAC

The inimitable spirit of the BAC is one of boundless inclusion and innovation, and I have been a serendipitous beneficiary during my first month at the College.

Just a few days prior to my arrival, I was looking for a temporary accommodation for three weeks. A friend of a friend, Bob, called me and mentioned that his brother, Tom, had attended the BAC during the 1970s. Before Tom passed away three years ago they were designing, developing and building houses in the Boston area. Bob graciously invited me to stay in a fully-furnished apartment built by both of them. He waived all fees and made it available at a nominal rent. I was overwhelmed by his generosity and thrilled to start my job by living in the work of one of our graduates!

Over this past month I have had the opportunity to meet and listen to more than two hundred of our students, all of our staff, many of our faculty and dozens of our alumni despite the summer lull. I have also had a chance to join a few studio reviews, one of which I crashed at Autodesk's Build Space! Hanging around till 10:00 PM one of the days revealed to me how our College buzzes with students at that hour, and how incredible our location is on Newbury Street!

The more I listen to you, the more I understand the potency of the BAC's legacy of educational innovation and its impact on the world. The more I learn, the more I become proud of our values of inclusion, innovation, integrity and compassion.

On a balmy Sunday afternoon, I ran into an elementary student with design aspirations, Hero Panza, who dragged her seven-member family of three generations to check out our gallery of work. She aspires to become a designer. Speaking with them, I discovered how many people we touch well beyond our classrooms and formal educational programs.

We are a College that is a global network for learning. This past weekend, I was welcomed by over a hundred of our amazing mid-career students enrolled in the online graduate programs that reminded me the multiplying impact of our fearless inventiveness to stay focused on making design education accessible. We are truly the most distinctive institution that empowers the marginalized, the disenfranchised and the creative spirits on whom the doors of higher education have been foreclosed by the normative institutions.

Wherever I turn in Boston area, I continue to run into people who have been touched by the BAC and hold tremendous good will in their hearts for our College. It became evident to me that more than bearing the name of Boston, our college, all throughout its 130 years of existence, inextricably belongs to Boston. We are truly Boston's architectural college, a place of ideas and action for people to come together. With this realization in my mind, and with the assistance of our Board Chair Richard Martini and our Vice President for Advancement Ken Lemanski, I have reached out to the Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh and Councilor Ed Flynn. We will redouble our partnership with the city, become a resource for the city, and thus, become a global design platform to deliver on our mission of diversity.

I've learned our students, faculty, staff and alumni are quite social media savvy. Scores of them have connected with me on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn within hours and days of my arrival. I welcome you to join me at @bacprezdaas and follow my leadership journey and see the world through my eyes.

I eagerly look forward to meeting as many of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends as possible in the coming days, and forge a team of teams that will unlock our full potential and advance our College to new heights.

Thank you for your kindness in welcoming my family and I, and making us feel at home!

Sincerely yours,

Mahesh Daas