Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Cabot Intercultural Center, 1981
The Cabot Intercultural Center was constructed in 1981 to expand the facilities of the Fletcher School and to serve as a home to the undergraduate Program in International Relations. It was named after John and Elizabeth Cabot, who donated one million dollars to the project. John Cabot was a former ambassador to Brazil, Colombia, and Poland, among other countries. He served as Ambassador in Residence and taught classes at the Fletcher School during the 1960s.
The seven-story building, designed by Architectural Resources Cambridge, Inc., cost a total of $12.5 million to complete. The majority of the funds came from a number of government grants approved in 1977. The United States Congress granted Tufts $6.9 million to build the center in recognition of Fletcher's contribution to the U.S. Foreign Service. The Fletcher School raised the remainder of the money through budget manipulation and donations, the largest being the Cabot grant.
The construction of the Cabot Center was slowed in the spring of 1981 by two separate strikes. A nine-week bricklayer strike beginning on April 30, and a six-week carpenter strike beginning June 15 delayed the opening of the building, planned for late summer, to mid September, 1981. When it was finally opened, the Cabot Center included the 350-seat ASEAN auditorium, a large gallery, an audio-visual lab, a library, and offices for Fletcher and International Relations personnel. The seventh floor of the building contained a large conference center and balcony, connected by the Salle Francaise, a lounge furnished by the French government. The audio-visual lab was relocated to the Olin Center in 1990, opening up more space for the Fletcher School in Cabot.
Since its opening, the auditorium in Cabot has been host to a number of distinguished speakers. Philip Habib, President Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, spoke at the building's dedication on September 18,1981. Since then, the auditorium has hosted such speakers as Michael Dukakis, former Secretary of Energy and Tufts alumnus Bill Richardson, NOW president Patricia Ireland, and noted physicist Stephen Hawking.
As of 2001, the Cabot Intercultural Center still serves as a home to the Fletcher School and the International Relations program. Large undergraduate courses also often meet in Cabot auditorium.
Source: TJ, TC, OBS, TD