Skip to Content
77 Mass Ave

Mens, Manus, Fortis

MIT Strong team honored Sean Collier by taking on the Boston Marathon.

As the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings approached, a group of 40 MIT students, faculty, alumni, and staff honored the memory of Sean Collier, the MIT police officer killed in the aftermath, in a way he might have appreciated—by taking on a challenge. They banded together as the MIT Strong team to run this year’s Boston Marathon and raise money for the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund. Some were elite runners; others had never run more than a mile. But all were determined to respond to the senseless tragedies of last April by doing something positive. So they slogged through one of the snowiest Cambridge winters in memory to train.

MIT Strong team
On April 5, MIT Strong and Collier Strong runners ran 21 miles of the marathon route to the Z Center.

On April 18, three days before the marathon, the team joined some 1,500 members of the MIT community and the Collier family on the corner of Vassar and Main streets, near the spot where the vibrant young officer was shot. “Sean’s life was lost, but his spirit remains and has been amplified a hundredfold,” said graduate student Sara Ferry in one of many moving tributes. “This community has been strengthened by countless new bonds of friendship and support.” Plans for a permanent memorial—a granite structure symbolizing an open hand—were also unveiled at the ceremony.

That afternoon, MIT held a rally for the MIT Strong runners, who included a sophomore and a submarine commander as well as alumni from classes as far back as 1960. “They were undaunted by the cold, the ice, the slush and snow, and the uncleared sidewalks,” said chancellor Cynthia Barnhart. “They ran on, knowing that much greater sacrifices had been made and … so that we can show the world that we are still strong, we are a team, and we will keep doing the things that define us as a community.”

On race day, 39 MIT runners departed from Hopkinton and were greeted by chants of “MIT Strong” at seven MIT cheering stations along the route. All 39 finished the marathon, whether it took them less than three hours or more than six. And together they raised $206,689 for the Collier Fund, which will support the Collier campus memorial and scholarships to MIT and the Lowell Police Academy.

The runners’ shirts—and the signs carried by those who cheered them on—summed it up: MIT Strong. Mens. Manus. Fortis.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

seeing is believing concept
seeing is believing concept

Our brains exist in a state of “controlled hallucination”

Three new books lay bare the weirdness of how our brains process the world around us.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.