Our Opinion: MCLA's dream come true
The opening of the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation is an achievement that will pay dividends for the Massachusetts College of Liberals Arts in North Adams for decades to come, and is also a boost for the Berkshires. Science is a growth industry, and the presence of the state of the art science center in the county will provide an incentive for local students to pursue a career in the field and may lead to the emergence of related businesses in the Berkshires as well.
Brothers Dr. Armand V. and Donald S. Feigenbaum, entrepreneurs, innovators and authors who among their many accomplishments founded the Pittsfield-based General Systems Incorporated in 1968, established their charitable foundation 20 years later, and it has been a critical supporter of nonprofits and cultural institutions throughout the Berkshires since. In events last Friday formally opening the glittering, three-floor, $30 million center, MCLA President Mary K. Grant announced the Feigenbaum Foundation's pledge of $5 million to the college's "Sowing Seeds for Success: The MCLA Campaign for the Future."
Modern technology is leading to advances in all of the sciences, and MCLA will provide students with the teachers and research facilities necessary for them to find fulfilling, well-paying careers in the sciences. The technological industry is thriving in Massachusetts, and while most of it is eastern-based, the presence of the science center gives reason to believe that the Berkshires will begin to attract more of its share of the pie.
Governor Deval Patrick and Berkshire legislators were strong advocates of state funding for the project, and it was with good reason that the governor drew attention to the center's opening during a politically motivated federal government shutdown. The center is proof, despite the baseless assertions of anti-government types, that government does good work for its people, in particular its young people (of course some of the shutdown supporters also dispute evolution and global warming, proving the need for science education.) The Feigenbaums, Beacon Hill and many others in the private and public sectors came together to make the MCLA Center for Science and Innovation a reality, and the county looks forward to reaping its benefits in the years ahead.