At a press conference organized by the National Science Foundation held February 11, 2016, scientists announced the detection of gravitational waves. This major discovery comes 100 years after gravitational waves were initially predicted by Albert Einstein. The research leading to this landmark moment began in the 1970s and relied on 1,000s of collaborators around the world. Renowned physicist Dr. S. James Gates served in advisory roles in support of LIGO, the large instrumentation required to achieve this major milestone. He will share his reflections on this major discovery – an aspiration that had been previously occupying number two on his "Theorist's Bucket List" – telling us what it means, and why it is important.