In room 127 of Loeb Laboratory, as the MBL summer courses rapidly pick up speed, Martha Peterson and Herb Luther are zipping around, multi-tasking. They are the MBL staffers who, every summer, make sure the courses have all they need, from duct tape to high-end microscopes. But this year is different. Come September, Loeb will be gutted and rebuilt over the winter into a state-of-the-art training facility. That makes this the last season of courses in the old Loeb, where faculty and students have come and gone (and often returned) every summer since 1970.

The packing has already begun. Among the first items sent to storage were the framed class photos that always hung proudly outside of the course labs. These photo galleries are amazing records of generation upon generation of MBL students and faculty, some stretching back to the early 1900s, all of them sparkling with scientific “superstars.” Taking the annual class photo and adding it to the course’s gallery is so much a part of the MBL tradition, that people are really missing the photos since they were taken down for safekeeping.

The Microbial Diversity folks missed their original class photos so much, they pinned up copies of the photos in their gallery. (Photo by Diana Kenney)

The Microbial Diversity folks missed their original class photos so much, they pinned up copies of them in their lab gallery. (Photo by Diana Kenney)

The new Loeb is scheduled to open next June, before most of the summer courses begin. There is a lot to look forward to, including upgraded lab space and modern support facilities. But not everything will be new: class photos will still be displayed, reminding students of their MBL “ancestors.” “I will see that the photos go back into the new building!” Luther promises.

The Microbial Diversity folks missed their original class photos so much, they pinned up copies of them in their lab gallery. (Photo by Diana Kenney)