Mourners Pay Tribute to Raustein; Establish AwardBy Vipul Bhushan
Over 200 people gathered at Bartos Auditorium Friday afternoon to pay tribute to Yngve K. Raustein '94. The 45-minute memorial service contained remembrances of Raustein and calls for a more peaceful society. Many Baker residents wore black ribbons in his memory.
Baker Housemaster and Associate Professor of History William B. Watson recalled the compassion he experienced at the hands of his Norwegian hosts when he attended Raustein's funeral in Os, Norway, the previous week. He spoke of the "understanding, sympathy, compassion for the distress we ourselves at MIT were suffering" and their lack of hostility and blame toward Cambridge or MIT.
Watson said that the Norwegians had "truly become world-class citizens, who could put aside the narrowest definitions of self-interest in order to understand what we had in common as human beings."
Fellow transfer student and friend Naved A. Khan '94 praised Raustein as one who made "the most out of life," and thanked him as "a source of motivation and inspiration."
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Hugh L. McManus '80 remembered Raustein's love of space exploration. He praised Raustein as a bright student who got straight A's in the department's Unified Engineering courses in spite of having transferred to MIT as a sophomore and having to work in what was for him a foreign language.
As his recitation instructor for the course, McManus lauded Raustein's "seriousness and his purpose." Raustein was "one of the quiet, bright students who make few demands when they're here, but go on to do great things," McManus said.
McManus called on attendees "to carry on the work that Yngve found so inspiring, both by exploring the air and the stars, and by conveying the excitement of that task to the public, especially the young."
McManus announced the establishment of the Yngve Raustein memorial award, to be awarded each year to the student in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Unified Engineering courses "who through outstanding achievement, but as importantly, personal improvement in overcoming of difficulties, best exemplifies the spirit that Yngve brought to us."
MIT President Charles M. Vest described Raustein as "a visitor among us... an explorer of new lands and new ideas." He voiced the "anger and bewilderment at his death, at this act of ultimate theft" felt by many. "For many of us," he said, "one the deepest wounds has been to our sense of community, to our faith in civility and in basic human decency."
"My freedom has been stolen," Vest quoted an MIT student as saying. Vest called for increased security, but more than anything else a "seeking out and holding on to the threads of common humanity."
Yngve's father, Elmer Raustein, thanked MIT faculty, students, and staff, as well as families in the Cambridge and Boston area, for the "great relief and help" his family had experienced in receiving numerous expressions of sympathy and support.
He voiced his family's hope that "this disaster will contribute to increased efforts" to decrease violence in society. He fondly remembered his son as an "ambitious young man" with a short but rich life, who to them was a "perfect son, brother, and friend." He concluded by echoing the sentiments of many, saying that "in our hearts, our dear Yngve will always live."