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Over 1,800 to Graduate Today

By Brian Rosenberg
Contributing Editor

Over 1,800 students will receive some 2,000 degrees at MIT's 127th Commencement exercises, to be held today in Killian Court.

Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari will deliver the Commencement address to the graduates and nearly 8,000 relatives and guests expected to attend the ceremony. MIT President Charles M. Vest will deliver the charge to the graduates, and MIT Corporation Chairman Paul E. Gray '54 will preside over the exercises.

Formal commencement activities begin at 9:45 a.m. with the traditional academic procession from 77 Massachusetts Ave. to Killian Court. Salinas will deliver his address after an invocation by Rabbi Daniel Shevitz and other speakers. Salinas played a key role in formulating the North American Free Trade Agreement linking Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Following Salinas' speech, Anand Mehta G, outgoing president of the Graduate Student Council, will salute MIT on behalf of the graduate student body. Class of 1993 President Reshma P. Patel '93 will then present the senior class gift to President Vest, who will then give the charge.

Vest will present diplomas to students receiving bachelor of science degrees, some of whom will also receive master of science degrees. Provost Mark S. Wrighton will hand out advanced degrees. Students will approach the stage in two lines, with their names announced in an alternating pattern.

Following the commencement ceremony, Vest will host a reception for graduates, their guests, and members of the 50th reunion Class of 1943 and the 25th reunion Class of 1968 at several locations in or near McDermott Court.

In the event of severe weather, graduating students, faculty, and other participants will attend a ceremony in Rockwell Cage. Because of space limitations, relatives and other guests will not be able to attend this backup program. Closed-circuit television coverage of the ceremony will be available in 10<\!->250, Lobby 7, and other locations. Last year was the first time in 14 years that a commencement ceremony had to be moved indoors due to severe weather.

Students receiving doctoral degrees were hooded yesterday at a special ceremony in Rockwell Cage. Departments and their representatives assisted school deans in hooding the degree recipients.

About 30 graduating cadets and midshipmen in MIT's Army, Air Force, and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps units will be commissioned on the deck of the USS Constitution at 5 p.m. today. Navy Vice Admiral Richard C. Macke will speak.

Harvard-educated economist

In announcing the selection of Salinas as commencement speaker, Vest said, "As a world leader, and as president of our great neighboring nation to the south, his experiences and views on issues that will be of critical concern to the generation of professionals just beginning their careers are most suitable for this occasion."

The 44-year-old Salinas is currently in the third year of his six-year term. He studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico before coming to Harvard University, where he received a master's degree in public administration in 1972. He went on to earn a second master's degree and a PhD in political economy and government, in 1974 and 1978, respectively.

Salinas's career as a public servant began in 1974 in the Mexican Secretariat of Finance. He spent five years in various positions there before becoming General Director of Economic and Social Policy at the Programming and Budget Secretariat. He became secretary of that office in 1982.

Security for commencement will be tighter than usual due to Salinas' presence. No access will be allowed to the areas behind and at the sides of the stage in Killian Court. In addition, all windows looking out onto Killian Court must be closed between 9 a.m. and noon. No champagne bottles or other containers will be allowed onstage during commencement.