The Robert H.N. Ho Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative’s home — Olin Hall — is one step closer to transformative renovations. In January, Colgate’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to advance designs created by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP for the project, and construction will begin in the spring of 2022.

The Ho MBBI was created with a gift of $15 million from Trustee Emeritus Robert Hung Ngai Ho ’56, H’11 in 2019, and it is a mainstay of Third-Century Plan efforts to strengthen the academic enterprise at Colgate. In this space, molecular geneticists will rub shoulders with brain scientists and linguistics experts as they engage in conversation with peers in the humanities and social sciences.

“The habit of thinking, conversing, and collaborating across disciplines — this is the hallmark of the liberal arts,” says President Brian W. Casey. “The Ho MBBI will push Colgate into the frontiers of both interdisciplinary research and teaching, where reputations and accomplishments
are expanded and secured.”

A commitment to the liberal arts experience is essential at this moment in the University’s history. “It is my hope that, like the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center, the benefits of the Robert H.N. Ho Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative and expansion of Olin Hall will endure for many years into the future,” Ho says. “This area of study is very important, and the programs and new facilities will distinguish Colgate from its peers. I hope that members of the board and others will join me in providing support to ensure its success.”

That support is already being reflected in new gifts to the initiative. Most recently, Trustee Emeritus Dr. Michael J. Wolk ’60, P’93, founder of Colgate’s Wolk Medical Conference, and his daughter, Sara Weiner ’93, dedicated $500,000 to advance interdisciplinary research and teaching within the Ho MBBI, promote engagement and collaboration with other research institutions, host visiting scholars, and launch a new conference on mind, brain, and behavior issues — featuring national and international thought leaders.