Public Installation Honors Legacy and Contribution of Biotechnology Industry Pioneer
Life-sized sculpture of Henri Termeer Unveiled as Square Centerpiece
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., December 4, 2020, – The Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee along with the Termeer Foundation, today announced the completion and dedication of the Henri A. Termeer Square. Located in the heart of Cambridge’s Kendall Square, the public space was created to honor Henri Termeer who was a founding father of the biotechnology industry, and long-time CEO of Genzyme Corporation. Mr. Termeer unexpectedly passed away on May 12, 2017 at the age of 71.
Information on the Henri A. Termeer Square project and dedication can be found here.
“I am amazed how all the elements of the project have come together to form a beautiful visual experience,” said Belinda Termeer, President of The Termeer Foundation. “The dedication of the Henri A. Termeer Square and the public unveiling of his statue is a testimony to all of the many people and organizations who took part in this development and worked together to create this beautiful public space. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone for turning my daughter’s vision into a reality. Having her Dad’s statue as a touchstone in this community will keep his spirit alive. His statue feels at home here. The Termeer Foundation would like to thank all who contributed to this project in continuing Henri’s legacy.”
The Square is located at the former Kendall Square North location and adjacent to the one-time Genzyme headquarters. The site includes a rolling lawn, a fountain that runs into a shallow, reflecting “Giving Tree” pool, around which there is inscribed a quote from Henri Termeer. A sitting area for visitors near the fountain includes a life-size and life-like sculpture of Henri Termeer seated as if in conversation and offering advice to a colleague; a common occurrence for him. The statue was created by renowned sculptor Pablo Eduardo who was commissioned by the Tribute Committee to create a sculpture of Henri to serve as a lasting remembrance of his tireless support for patients, next generation leaders and the community.
“The Henri A. Termeer Square is a wonderful and lasting remembrance to Henri’s legacy and his pervasive impact on the biotechnology industry,” said John Maraganore, CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Termeer Tribute Co-Chair. “Henri not only redefined how all companies approach their work and relationships with patients, particularly those with rare genetic diseases, but he was also a gifted mentor who touched and inspired scores of future biotechnology leaders with his astute guidance and insight.”
“Henri will be long-remembered for his incredible impact on the local Cambridge biotechnology sector as well as being a catalyst for global advancements in rare diseases, an area historically untouched by our industry before he and Genzyme transformed this therapeutic area into opportunities for patients,” said Robert Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio and Termeer Tribute Co-Chair. “The many accomplishments of Henri and his extraordinary leadership have been strongly linked to the growth we have achieved as a biotech sector. I am delighted to have this beautiful space in the heart of Kendall Square serve as a reminder of his impact and the spirit with which he influenced this community.”
The Henri A. Termeer Committee guided the project since its 2018 groundbreaking and recent 2020 completion. The Committee included representatives from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, MassBio, MassBioEd, BioMed Realty, and the Termeer Foundation and Family. Stantec Inc. designed the Square and was led by Bob Corning. Construction was done by Suffolk Construction and the project was managed by Kevin Pessolano, Coffey Design + Build.
“Henri was a friend and mentor to so many of us but, more importantly, he set a new standard for social equity in healthcare,” said Bill Kane, Executive Vice President, East Coast and UK Markets. “Thanks to the extraordinary vision of Belinda and Adriana Termeer, Pablo Eduardo, and Stantec, Termeer Square memorializes Henri’s legacy in a very special way and encourages the general public to think about his values.”
The Henri A. Termeer Square was privately financed and a select group of biopharmaceutical companies supported this project as Visionary Sponsors. Those organizations include: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi Genzyme, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Ipsen and the Termeer Family. Additionally, there were a strong contingent of private donors who also offered their support.
About Henri Termeer
Henri A. Termeer was a former Chairman, President and CEO of Genzyme Corporation for nearly three decades prior to its acquisition by the French drug maker Sanofi. Henri unexpectedly passed away on May 12, 2017 at the age of 71. He was known for his service to the rare disease community and his unsurpassed entrepreneurial leadership that spurred the rise of an industry dedicated to innovative treatments for orphan diseases. Under his stewardship Genzyme grew from a modest entrepreneurial venture to one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies and a pioneer of some of the first treatments for rare genetic diseases. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of Boston’s booming biotech industry. In addition to his entrepreneurial engagements, Henri was a beloved mentor and an avid philanthropist.
About The Termeer Foundation
Building on the bold legacy of Henri Termeer, who pioneered groundbreaking treatments for rare diseases, The Termeer Foundation connects life science innovators and catalyzes the creation of new medicines. The Foundation’s network of emerging and established healthcare innovators cultivates tomorrow’s leaders and leverages their collective expertise to solve complex problems in drug development and accessibility. The Foundation also integrates its network with academic institutions, nonprofits, regulatory agencies and other organizations across the global healthcare ecosystem to provide expert counsel, stimulate innovation, eliminate barriers to progress, and ultimately connect the world of healthcare until every patient has a cure. Visit us at www.termeerfoundation.org or on LinkedIn @TermeerFoundation.