MIT celebrates Vest Inauguration this week
By Jeremy Hylton
Centered on the theme "MIT: Shaping the Future," the Institute is sponsoring a week-long celebration this week for the Inauguration of President Charles M. Vest as MIT's 15th president. The celebration began Saturday with the Johnson Games and will continue this week with the burying of a time capsule and a series
of concerts. The Inaugural Ceremony will take place Friday morning.
"[The Johnson Games were] really a great event. There were faculty, vice presidents and freshmen all hopping through tires side by side," said Claude R. Canizares, professor of physics and chairman of the Inaugural Planning Committee.
This week's events will begin on Thursday morning with the burial of a time capsule near the Henry Moore sculpture in Killian Court. The 18-inch deep cylinder, made by the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory machine shop, has a cover cast in the shape of the Great Dome.
While the time capsule commemorates the Institute's recent past, the theme marks the "next phase of MIT's existence," according to Canizares.
"It was a conscious effort to say that the Inauguration is not simply a celebration, but it is also a time for some introspection," he said.
The theme was worded vaguely by design, Canizares added. "Shaping the future" represents both the future of MIT, and the way MIT will shape the future of science and technology.
The highlight of the week's events will be the Inaugural Ceremony on Friday morning. Starting at 9:30 am an 800-person procession, decked out in full academic regalia, will enter Killian Court. Carl M. Mueller '43, chairman of the MIT Corporation's presidential search committee, will serve as chief marshal of the ceremony.
Among the marchers will be faculty, administrators, alumni and delegates from student living groups and activities. "We have a large number of invited delegates from universities around the world," Canizares said. Representatives from cultural and scientific institutions will also attend.
Vest will present his inaugural address during the ceremony. Also speaking will be Frank H. T. Rhodes, president of Cornell University, and Stephen J. Tapscott, professor of literature, who will read his original poem, "Poem of Welcome." [See Inauguration schedule, this page, and arts story on the Inauguration, page 11.]
Four members of the music and theater arts faculty composed fanfares for the inauguration: Peter Child, associate professor, Edward Cohen, senior lecturer, John H. Harbison, Class of 1949 professor and Evan Ziporyn, assistant professor. The MIT Chamber Chorus, under the direction of William C. Cutter, an affiliated artist of music and theater arts, will also perform.
Immediately after the ceremony, at 11:30 am, a reception
will be held on Kresge Oval. Canizares expects about 4000 peo
ple to attend the ceremony and reception.
Friday's events were scheduled despite the conflict with classes meeting that morning. "That is certainly a conflict and we regret that," Canizares said. "We hope that people can take part in one or other of the events and not have it be too disturbed."
The inaugural committee's scheduling options were limited. A weekend inauguration would create greater conflicts, and Commencement forces the inauguration before June, Canizares said.
On Thursday night four of the Institute's student music groups will perform at the Inaugural Concert -- the MIT Concert Band, the MIT Symphony orchestra, the MIT Chamber Chorus, and the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble. Four works composed by students will be performed by artists-in-residence Karol Lynn Bennett and John D. McDonald. Afterward a reception will be held on the third floor of the Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center.
Friday night the MIT Concert Choir, conducted by Amy Kaiser, will perform in Kresge Auditorium. The next evening Professor of Music and Theater Arts David M. Epstein will conduct the MIT Symphony concert. The program will include the "Academic Festival Overture" by Johannes Brahms, a clarinet concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and "Appalachian Spring" by Aaron Copland.
The Charles M. Vest Inaugural Road Race will be run on Saturday morning at 9:30. The race, sponsored by the Community Service Fund, will begin at the Sailing Pavilion.