With the departure of President Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez CF '99 at the end of this year, we couldn't think of a better time to reflect on his legacy. In this six-part series based on Miguel's writing over 12 years, we highlight his insights on hand skills, the future of education, living a good life, and more. Read part one here.
Message from the President
When you enter North Bennet Street School, you become a part of our rich history. We are proud to be America’s first trade school, and for over 135 years have helped generations of craftspeople achieve meaningful lives and livelihoods.
I hope NBSS can be a meaningful place for you. Welcome to our community.
After many years working as an architect, Miguel left his old career behind and enrolled in the Cabinet & Furniture Making program at NBSS. In reflecting on the tangible skills he was learning, he says they "felt deeper and more personal, gained by experience rather than thought."
"[During] the past four years of North Bennet Street School, we anticipated and then moved forward with a plan to leave the building that was our home for more than 130 years and reconvene in a new facility that brought all of the school's programs together. The new building was designed to encourage collaboration, interaction and the integration of all the various parts that make up North Bennet Street School."
Miguel Gómez Ibáñez CF ’99 became President in 2006 and is the School’s first leader to also be a graduate. Among other notable accomplishments, Miguel implemented two strategic plans, secured and led the renovation of the School’s new 64,000 sf facility, established multiple strategic educational partnerships, and oversaw the School’s major $20 million Lives & Livelihoods Campaign, which will help to fund $1 million in student scholarships annually.
Born in New England and raised in Europe by parents who worked in higher education, Miguel long aspired to make a living with his hands. After earning a BA from Wesleyan University and an MArch from the University of Pennsylvania, Miguel worked for 26 years designing civic and educational projects.
Throughout his time at NBSS, Miguel has maintained a furniture making workshop, which provides him not only personal fulfillment, but also a unique perspective on education. His work has been featured in House & Garden, American Craft, and other magazines, galleries, and museums across the country.
After 12 successful years as President, Miguel will retire in December 2018. He leaves behind a tremendous record of physical and economic institutional growth for America’s first trade school.
- Miguel Gómez Ibáñez hired to lead North Bennet Street School
- Partnership with the Associates of the Boston Public Library
- Joseph Newman Scholarship
- Walter McDonald Scholarship
- Strategic Business Plan FY09 to FY13
- Scholarship Fund Tops $1 Million
- Partnership with the Concord Museum
- Partnership with the New England Conservatory of Music
- Partnership with Boston Architectural College
- Partnership with the Shaker Museum and Library
- Program for manual skills training for John Eliot School middle-school students begins.
- Partnership with MassArt on Furniture Design Certificate
- Partnership with Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science
- Partnership with Boston Architectural College: Masters of Design in Historic Preservation Program
- Under One Roof Campaign launches with a goal of $15M.
- NBSS bids on surplus City buildings and begins construction in December.
- Partnership with Boston Public Schools to tune/repair pianos
- Commonwealth of Craft Partnership with Museum of Fine Arts, MASSart, Society of Arts & Crafts, Fuller Craft Museum, and others
- NBSS received Massachusetts Cultural Facilities funding for the first time
- Under One Roof Campaign concludes with $17.05M in gifts. The School and all nine of its programs move to 150 North Street in September.
- Revolving Fund Partnership with Historic Boston Inc.
- Partnership with St. John School begins
- Partners in Craft Scholarship
- Strategic Plan FY2016–FY2020
- Miguel Gómez Ibáñez honored with a 2015 Barr Foundation Fellowship, selected, in the Barr Foundation's words, for his “outstanding contribution to the community and the potential to drive positive change for years to come.”
- Lives & Livelihoods Campaign begins with goal of $20M for the School’s endowment, allowing for $1M in student scholarships annually by 2022.
- Partnership with Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School
- Partnership with Dorchester Youth Collaborative
- Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development awards NBSS a Neighborhood Jobs Trust grant for economically disadvantaged Boston residents to attend the School full-time, on full scholarship
- NBSS receives a Workforce Skills Cabinet grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to benefit the now expanded Carpentry program
- School receives second Neighborhood Jobs Trust grant from the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development
- School receives Massachusetts Cultural Facilities funding for the third time
- Partnership with Donald McKay School
- Lives & Livelihoods Campaign concludes with over $20M in gifts
- Miguel Gómez Ibáñez retires as President
- Educational leader and artist Sarah Turner selected as new President