MB Announces New Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Program with Brown, $2.1 Million in New Gifts, Y-Lab Director

Flurry of Announcements Caps Annual ‘Quaker Makers’ Celebration

June 6, 2017

Moses Brown School is pleased to share several exciting announcements: as the result of an anonymous $1 million gift and a partnership with the Swearer Center at Brown University, Moses Brown is launching a new program in Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation. Additionally, the school announced an anonymous $1.1 million gift for scholarship support, with $100,000 of that amount dedicated to support the ‘Y-Lab,’ a 5,000-square-foot maker space and engineering lab . David Husted, who graduated from Moses Brown in 1986, has been named Director of Innovation and Design, and will oversee the Y-Lab. The announcements were made after school on Thursday, June 1.

Moses Brown has set a goal of raising $15 million in new scholarship funding, and this anonymous gift brings the historic school’s total to over $6 million. This fundraising initiative, dubbed ‘Open Access,’ will further strengthen the school by enrolling highly qualified students who represent diverse talents, backgrounds, and perspectives. Currently, 25% of students (195) receive financial aid, up from 15% in 2009, and the current campaign will increase the percentage substantially.

The receipt of an anonymous $1 million gift fully funds Moses Brown’s new Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation curriculum. This program teaches and inspires young people to apply a business mindset to social change, and gives them real-world practice doing so. To shape and guide the development of the program, Moses Brown has announced a partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service. Alan Harlam, Director of Social Innovation at the Swearer Center, says, “Brown is excited to see Moses Brown adapt what we’ve been doing to a high school audience. We need leaders who are equipped and ready to look at the problems around them and take them on as their own.” Starting this fall, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation will become a theme of MB’s freshman year, with a new elective for juniors and seniors, “The Economics of Social Entrepreneurship,” offered in collaboration with Brown.

This fall Moses Brown will reopen 150-year-old Alumni Hall as the Y-Lab, a 21st-century engineering and design studio. The new ‘Y-Lab’ project will be realized thanks to several enthusiastic donors — including one who generously provided $750,000 as a dollar-for-dollar matching challenge grant for the project — and our previously-cited scholarship donor who designated $100,000 for it. Named for 18th-century Quaker scientist Thomas Young, the Y-Lab will be the home base for the school’s Engineering & Design program, allowing students to explore project-based learning, 3D fabrication, coding, and rapid prototyping. The lab will include a blend of low-tech materials and high-tech equipment, including four 3D printers, two CNC mills, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, large-format plotter-scanner, wire bender, media room for video production, and state-of-the-art Vex robotics lab.

David Husted ’86 will run the Y-Lab as MB’s first-ever Director of Innovation and Design. Currently the Director of Innovation at Derby Academy, David is an expert in the tools and methods of the maker movement with degrees from Roger Williams and Harvard universities. The new space was designed by Durkee, Brown, Viveiros, and Werenfels of Providence in collaboration with DEC Consulting, and will be built by New England Construction. MB has been building towards this moment since instituting a school-wide Engineering and Design program three years ago. Moses Brown is also introducing new courses, including Engineering Design, Arduino Programming, AP Computer Science, AP Computer Programming, and Tinker, Tailor, Maker.

Says Head of School Matt Glendinning, “It’s affirming for us to have collaborators like Brown to help ensure that our programs remain highly relevant in the real world. MB aims to provide students with world-class learning opportunities. This is part of our promise as a 233-year-old Quaker school:  to remain true to our time-tested values and philosophy, even while we renew our programs and facilities for the 21st century.”

The announcements mark significant milestones in MB Believes: A Campaign for Learning, People, and Place (www.mbbelieves.org). To date, the campaign has generated more than $43 million in contributions from 2,952 donors.