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Gray, Pei, Others to Remember Wiesner

By Sarah Y. Keightley
Editor in Chief

A memorial service for Jerome B. Wiesner, the 13th president of MIT who died in late October, will be held this Friday in Kresge Auditorium at 3 p.m.

Wiesner died of heart failure on Oct. 21 at the age of 79. His accomplishments include serving as a science advisor to President John F. Kennedy and leading the development of public policy regarding science and technology over the last 30 years, with a particular emphasis on curbing the arms race.

At MIT, Wiesner was instrumental in expanding research and teaching programs in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. He was also one of the founders of the Media Laboratory, which is housed in the building that is named after him.

Chairman of the Corporation Paul E. Gray '54 will open Friday's program, according to Director of Special Events and the Information Center Mary L. Morrissey.

Several people will make remarks for the first part of the service, including President Emeritus of the National Academy of Sciences Frank Press, Institute Professor Emeritus Walter A. Rosenblith, President of the MacArthur Foundation Adele S. Simmons, folklorist Alan Lomax, President Charles M. Vest, Professor Emeritus Carl Kaysen, and architect I.M. Pei '40.

After these speakers, Vincent Dion Stringer, the music coordinator for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will perform two musical pieces.

In the second half more remarks will be made by Elma Lewis, who is the founder and artistic director of the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, Institute Professor Emeritus Victor F. Weisskopf, Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Glorianna Davenport, and columnist Anthony Lewis, who writes for The New York Times.

This will be followed by a musical interlude, sung by Cheryl L. Morse, who was Wiesner's administrative assistant, and played by Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Michael J. Hawley PhD '93.

Wiesner's three children, Joshua, Lisa, and Zachary, will then speak. After Gray's closing statement, the postlude will be performed by John Andrew Ross, the music director for the National Center of Afro-American Artists Inc.

The service will be followed by an informal reception in McCormick Hall, which will feature a video retrospective of Weisner's life.

Wiesner was inaugurated as president on July 1, 1971 and remained in this position until June 30, 1980, when he retired. During his time at MIT, he also served as provost, dean of the School of Science, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics.