Unlike any Brass Rat before, the beaver sits on the Harvard Bridge between Cambridge and Boston. A Red Line train runs across the Longfellow Bridge with the Zakim Bridge in the distance. Hidden within the Boston cityscape is a building representing a memristor, the final fundamental circuit element, which was developed during our freshman year. The rails of the Harvard Bridge form the MIT logo, and the 150th Smoot mark on the sidewalk honors the 50th anniversary of the Smoot and the sesquicentennial anniversary of the founding of the Institute.

The beaver looks toward campus with an optimistic gaze. In its right hand it holds a globe and a diploma, symbolizing our education and how we will apply it to impact the world. Its left hand holds a scale, representing the importance of finding balance in our hectic lives at the Institute. A sapling emerges from the scale, a symbol of the initiatives at MIT that focus on sustainability and energy. The beaver crushes eight ivy leaves with the weight of MIT’s accomplishments. A spade replaces one of the leaves, honoring MIT‘s blackjack team, which was commemorated in a movie our freshman year. Twelve by twelve hatches on the tail identify us as the 144th graduating class of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Seal Shank

The classic MIT seal is the focus of this shank. The worker and scholar embody our motto, Mens et Manus or “Mind and Hand.”

Beneath the seal is the “nuts and bolts” MIT insignia. The screws are tightened to read “X + I” or eleven in roman numerals. Behind the “nuts and bolts” is the CERN logo, honoring the completion of the Large Hadron Collider, the highest energy particle accelerator in the world and a huge advancement in science and technology.

Class Shank

The Class Shank centers on the Great Dome. Atop our familiar dome are three hackers, to commemorate the hacking culture of MIT. The numerals atop the dome read MCMXVI, the year the Cambridge campus was founded.

Athena, goddess of wisdom and namesake of MIT’s own operating system, sits on Killian Court at the foot of the Great Dome. She throws up the “right hand rule,” used so often in our careers at MIT. She is flanked by laurel and oak leaves, symbols of strength and wisdom. Hidden in the laurel leaves are the letters “IHTFP,” an acronym often recited by MIT students.

The Athenian Owl frames the bottom of the shank. The owl’s eyes spell out “punt” and, when flipped, “tool,” which honor our constant struggle between work and play.


Cambridge is depicted at night to represent our nocturnal nature. The skyline includes Kresge Auditorium, the Maclaurin Buildings, the Stata Center, and Walker Memorial. Housing many of our diverse student groups, the Student Center contributes to our sense of community. Ashdown House is included to commemorate the establishment of the Phoenix Group. Towering over campus, the Green Building displays a binary “2011” in Greenspeak. Two sail boats, with numbers that read “11,” and a crew boat complete the Charles River scenery. The Boston skyline features several prominent buildings including the Hancock Tower, which stands on former Institute grounds and reflects light from the setting sun toward MIT. The Prudential Center, the Citgo sign, and Fenway Park all complete a view of the skyline as seen from campus.

Hacker's Map

Honoring MIT’s hacking culture and the routes we take to avoid harsh weather, the Hacker’s Map includes every building connected to the tunnels. This year’s ring includes the Koch Institute for Cancer Research (Building 76), which broke ground our freshman year. The addition of this building represents MIT’s continued expansion of knowledge and discovery, as well as the addition of another corner of the meandering underworld of MIT’s campus.