Berklee's 160 Massachusetts Avenue Building Named to Honor President Roger H. Brown

The newly named Roger H. Brown Jr. Building is among the outgoing president’s most visible and lasting accomplishments.

June 11, 2021

Berklee has named its 160 Massachusetts Avenue building in honor of outgoing President Roger H. Brown, who served in the role for 17 years. The Roger H. Brown Jr. Building was officially dedicated with the unveiling of its new canopy signage at a special ceremony held on Thursday, June 10. 

The event honored Brown’s tenure as president and was attended by Berklee staff, faculty, alumni, students, and other members of the community. Special remarks were given by Marty Mannion, chair of the Berklee Board of Trustees; Dr. Larry Simpson, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs; Susan Whitehead, board chair emerita; and Michael Eisenson, trustee and chair of the campus planning committee.

Brown oversaw a prodigious era for the institution, as Berklee grew both domestically and internationally to levels of prestige and accomplishment previously unmatched in the school’s 76-year history. Under his leadership, Berklee created the world’s largest online music education system, enrolled students to its Boston campus from over 100 countries, and expanded its City Music program far beyond Boston. Brown focused his energy on making Berklee more affordable and accessible, creating a new advising program supporting all incoming students, and increasing the amount of scholarship and financial aid available to Berklee students by over 500 percent. 

See the Roger H. Brown Jr. Building with its new signage: 

When we think of Roger’s time at Berklee, there’s no question that 160 is a symbol of his legacy.

—Larry Simpson, Berklee Provost

As one of his most visible and lasting accomplishments, Brown initiated development of the 16-story, 155,000 square-foot building at 160 Massachusetts Avenue. The first building in Berklee’s history to be built from the ground up, it houses 400 students, 10 recording studios, and a cafeteria that doubles as performance space. The building was meant to create connectivity between Berklee and the city of Boston, with the first three floors wrapped in glass to offer a full view of evening events in the performance space. The state-of-the-art living spaces, recording studios, and rehearsal spaces serve as a testament to Berklee’s growth and innovation in the present era. 

"160 Massachusetts Avenue—Berklee’s first-ever newly built building—has become a place of community, creativity, and collaboration, and has had a positive impact on the entire neighborhood,” said Brown. “I am proud to have been a part of spearheading the project, and honored and grateful that Berklee has named the building for me. I’m looking forward to seeing both the campus and the institution continue to grow in the future.”

“When we think of Roger’s time at Berklee, there’s no question that 160 is a symbol of his legacy,” Simpson said at the event. “It embodies all that he loves about Berklee, and all that he loves to do: creating, performing, eating, and talking with students and faculty in the Berklee community.” Whitehead added, “[Roger] dreamed about the building, and pored over the blueprints, imagining its design, from the exquisite studios to the performance stage that doubled as a cafeteria. He was thrilled to don a hard hat to tour the site and watch 160 go up, girder by girder.”

Brown will officially end his term at Berklee on June 30, 2021. Dr. Erica Muhl will succeed Brown as president of Berklee in July 2021.