Frosh dine with alums, facultyBy Adam Chen
The annual Freshman Banquet was held Wednesday at La Sala de Puerto Rico. With over 30 alumni and professors and 250 freshmen attending, the place was packed for guest speaker, Alan H. Guth '68, a physics professor and pioneer of the inflationary theory of the universe.
The goal of the dinner was to allow students, faculty, and alumni to interact, helping freshmen in their selection of a major. While the dress was semi-formal, a principal aim this year was to have informal dialogue, rather than the panel discussions held in previous years. To facilitate this, the tables were assigned by Course number with a faculty member or alumnus/a in each group, and only one key speaker.
Guth, who joined the MIT faculty in 1980, stressed careful planning for the future, but at the same time felt one should anticipate "possible mid-course corrections." He recommended that students pursue their likes and interests, rather than some far-sighted purpose.
"We can never accomplish our best while doing something we are not truly interested in," Guth said. To illustrate his point, Guth spoke about his years at MIT and the events leading up to the idea of the inflationary theory. In addition, he stressed that no matter what freshmen choose now, "an exciting opportunity awaits if we [they] are not too timid," a truth he gathered from a Chinese fortune cookie that prompted him to apply for a position with the MIT faculty.
Class President John G. Abbamondi '93 felt the banquet was a success, coming across "less like a lecture and more like a casual after-dinner chat." The discussions at the tables ranged from writing novels to deciding majors to alumni/ae experiences in industry.
The class secretary, Dewitt C. Seward IV '93, pointed out that the conversations "put freshmen in the right frame of mind for the important decisions ahead of them."
With the help of the Undergraduate Academic Support Office and the Alumni/ae Association Office, the class officers organized the event. "It took a lot more effort than I anticipated," Abbamondi said. Overall though, he was pleased with the outcome.