"The building itself is a promise to the future. The promise of light, the promise of movement. But it's what is inside the building that makes the difference— the students of the future and the faculty."
Chairman, Milken Institute
On May 15, 2014, Dean of Public Health Dr. Lynn R. Goldman, George Washington President Steven Knapp and Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell joined Michael and Lori Milken, in cutting the ribbons to open the new 115,000-square-foot Milken Institute School of Public Health building.
In the new building, faculty and students will conduct cutting-edge research and strive to find solutions for global health problems. Gifts awarded to the school from the Milken Institute, the Milken Family Foundation and the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation totaling $80 million—a record-breaking donation to the university—will greatly enhance this mission.
In keeping with the school's targeted focus on disease prevention, the state-of-the-art, open space is designed to not only encourage collaboration, but also to enhance the health of those who learn and work within it.
The dominant location of the elegant staircases—which have a total of 144 steps—is designed to encourage students and faculty to build physical activity into their day, rather than taking the elevators, which are hidden in corners of the building.
Other efforts to reduce health risks and promote healthy habits include standing desks, student lounges and study rooms designed for collaboration and teamwork and exercise laboratories and studios.
"It is so welcoming to students, and I love all of the colors and the sunlight," said Mira Kahn, an M.P.H. student.
Dr. Goldman called the new building a "dream come true" and said it gives the school a magnificent opportunity to train the public health leaders of the future.
"Our students are the backbone of our mission," she said. "We're leaving the next generation with a lot of serious problems to solve. And we also need to leave them with the knowledge and skills and capacity to be able to address those problems."