Grad dorm named for Doc Edgerton
By Lakshmana Rao
In a simple ceremony held Friday afternoon, the new graduate dormitory at 143 Albany Street was named Harold E. Edgerton SM '27 House.
The house was dedicated to Edgerton "In Honor of His Extraordinary Compassion, Generosity and Enthusiasm as a Teacher of MIT Students For Nearly Sixty Years," according to a plaque that was unveiled at the ceremony. Edgerton died of heart attack at the MIT Faculty Club on Jan. 4, 1990.
Edgerton's widow, Esther H. Edgerton, described the dedication as "the greatest honor bestowed on the Edgerton family."
Speaking on the occasion, President Charles M. Vest said that "for an institute having more than 50 percent of its student population as graduate students, MIT is not yet a residential college at graduate level."
He felt that safe, affordable on-campus housing for graduate students goes a long way to enhance the cultural experience at MIT.
Edgerton House is the first new graduate residence to open since 1983. It has a capacity to house 190 graduate students in a variety of accommodations, from single- and multiple-bedroom suites to duplexes, and is the
only fully air-conditioned graduate residence building on campus. The building was built in 1913 and served as the home of the Elliot Addressing Machine Company.
The ceremony held Friday was mainly attended by members of the MIT administration. Not more than half a dozen students attended the ceremony. "The ceremony was held at a time that is very inconvenient to most students," said Robert D. Kiss G, graduate coordinator of the house.
Residents are presently working out policies for the house. "The Edgerton House has a student body with representatives from different parts of the building," Kiss said. "We are currently trying to formulate policies for the use of common spaces in the building."
The Edgerton House front desk is currently staffed by paid employees of the Institute in contrast to other dormitory front desks that are managed by students.
Commenting on the safety of the neighborhood, Kiss said, "The safety in the Albany Street area is not in any way worse than the general safety in the Cambridge area. The house itself has no reported thefts so far."