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1733 to graduate at Commencement

Dan Engelhardt :

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(By Prabhat Mehta

and Niraj S. Desai)

A total of 1733 seniors and graduate students will receive about 1900 degrees today at MIT's 125th Commencement.

National Science Foundation Director Walter E. Massey will deliver the commencement address to the graduates and their relatives and guests at the exercises in Killian Court.

After Senate confirmation hearings, Massey took over as head of the NSF on March 4. He oversees an annual budget exceeding $2.3 billion and annually awards 13,000 to 15,000 grants for research in all fields of natural and social sciences, and engineering. His term as NSF director lasts six years.

Prior to his presidential appointment, Massey had been

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vice president for research and professor of physics at the University of Chicago and vice president of Argonne National Laboratory. He has also taught at the University of Illinois and Brown University. While at Brown, Massey initiated Inner City Teachers of Science (ICTOS), a program to train science teachers for urban schools.

Massey has served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and vice president of the American Physical Society. He served on the board of trustees of the Rand Corporation and the board of directors of the MacArthur Foundation. He was chairman of the board of the Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago Development Corporation and a member of the boards of several companies.

Born in Hattiesburg, MS, Massey received his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from Morehouse College in 1958, and received both his master's and doctorate degrees in physics from Washington University in 1966.

Activities begin with procession

Commencement activities will begin at 9:45 am with the academic procession from 77 Massachusetts Avenue to Killian Court via Memorial Drive. Chief Marshall Christian J. Matthew '43, a member of the MIT Corporation and 1990-91 president of the Alumni Association, will lead the procession.

After MIT Corporation Chairman Paul E. Gray '54 opens the graduation exercises, Rev. Bernard J. Campbell, Catholic chaplain at MIT, will give the invocation.

Massey will then deliver the commencement address. Following his speech, Graduate Student Council President Michael D. Grossberg will salute MIT on behalf of the graduate student body, and Class of 1991 President Dawn L. Mitzner will present the senior class gift to President Vest.

Vest will deliver the traditional charge to the graduates, and then will join Provost Mark S. Wrighton in awarding the degrees. Vest will hand out the bachelor of science degrees and Wrighton the advanced degrees as two lines of students approach the stage simultaneously. The names of students will be announced in an alternating pattern as the degrees are handed out.

Following the program, President Vest will hold a reception for graduates and their guests -- and for alumni of the 50th reunion Class of 1941 -- at several locations around McDermott Court.

Today's Commencement is the first for Gray, Vest and Wrighton in their respective roles. After an extended search, Vest took over as 15th president on Oct. 15 of last year. At that time, Gray left the presidency to assume the chairmanship, which had been held by David S. Saxon '41. Saxon is now honorary chairman.

Vest was inaugurated in Killian Court on May 10.

Special hooding ceremony

Those students receiving doctoral degrees were hooded yesterday in a special ceremony. At the ceremony in Kresge Auditorium, department heads or their representatives assisted the school deans in hooding the degree recipients.

At 5 pm today, a commissioning ceremony will be held for cadets and midshipmen in MIT's Army, Air Force and Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps units alongside the historic frigate USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard Historical Park.

The speaker for the commissioning ceremony will be Vice Admiral J. Paul Reason, commander of Naval Surface Forces, US Atlantic Fleet.