Yale SOM’s new campus, Evans Hall, opened today for its inauguration conference.

650 are registered to attend, of which 150 students, and the rest faculty, alumni, and influential figures from the world of management. The conference commenced with an opening ceremony, and continued with an address from Norman Foster – who discussed how and why the building was made on the principles of openness, transparency, and the centrality of social interaction.

SOM Associate Dean David Bach said that the conformation of the building actually reflects the fundamentals of the school’s mission.

“One of the things that Dean Snyder talks about is that managers need an extended line of sight – well, the building actually has an extended line of sight. You can actually see [in] the building through glass,” Bach said.

Tomorrow the celebrations will continue with a series of panels, including “Bosses as Brands: CEOs in the Public Spotlight” and “Preparing Leaders for a Flatter World”. The latter will feature several heads from the Global Network of schools, that was founded by Dean Edward Snyder at SOM.

The conference will close with a panel called “Finance in Society: Markets and Behavior”, which is slated to feature several important figures including Nobel Economics professor Robert Shiller and Yale Chief Investment Officer David Swensen.

Snyder said that while the building is important in enabling progress at SOM, the conference focuses on the school’s mission and achievements.

“I think of this as a high point event in the school’s history,” Snyder said. “High point events give an institution a sense of what it is and what it can be.”

There will be a separate inauguration ritual for SOM students next Thursday – where they will bring a symbolic lock from the old campus to the new one and ring a ceremonial bell at Evans Hall.