"Transparent." "Inclusive." "Diverse." "Interactive."
When people use these words to describe Stephen Robert ’62 Hall, the newest addition to the expanding universe of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, it's hard to tell if they're talking about the institute's values or the building itself.
Whether they know it or not, they're talking about both.
That's because the building's very design—open, flexible, welcoming—is intended to support Watson's aim of promoting a more just and peaceful world, says Edward Steinfeld, the director of the institute and of its China Initiative. "We want this to be a place where different voices and different minds can come together and serve our collective mission."
The project was made possible in part by generous gifts from chancellor emeritus Stephen Robert ’62 LHD’04 hon., P’91; Alice Tisch P’18, P’20 and her husband former chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76, P’18, P’20; and the Thomas and Olive C. Watson Jr. Foundation—all longstanding supporters of the Institute. According to Robert, for whom it was named, the building was conceived "as a convening place" where a wide range of experts in and students of international relations, political science, public policy, sociology, and other disciplines could come together as a community.