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2,035 to Graduate At Killian Today

By Carina Fung

MIT will hold its 131st commencement today in Killian Court, presenting 2,035 seniors and graduate students some 2,280 degrees from MIT's five schools and 21 academic departments. About 8,000 relatives and guests are expected to attend the exercises.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan MS '72 will be the guest speaker at the proceedings. Annan, who was appointed to a five-year term as secretary-general beginning Jan. 1, received a master's degree in management from the Sloan School of Management in 1972. Annan played a key role in resolving several world crises during his 30-year UN career.

"Mr. Annan's international perspective is particularly apt as MIT expands its activities with universities, governments, and industries in many parts of the world to use technology and development as a means of improving global well-being," said President Charles M. Vest. "We want not only to advance technologies but to prepare our students to work effectively in this new global workplace," he said.

Gray leads last commencement

Outgoing Chairman of the Corporation Paul E. Gray '54 will preside over his final commencement today before stepping down. Gray, who was Chancellor of MIT from 1971-80 and President from 1980-90, will continue to teach at MIT after completing his service as Chairman July 1.

The formal Commencement activities begin at 9:45 a.m. today with the traditional academic procession. The procession starts at 77 Massachusetts Avenue before heading east on Memorial Drive and ending in Killian Court. The procession will be led by Chief Marshall DuWayne J. Peterson Jr. '55.

The Commencement program will begin at 10 a.m. with the invocation, which will be given by MIT Lutheran Chaplain Rev. Constance Parvey. Annan will then deliver the Commencement address to the graduates.

Senior gift benefits activities

Following Annan's speech, outgoing president of the Graduate Student Council Constantine A. Morfopoulos G will deliver a salute to MIT from the graduate student body. Senior Class President Pardis C. Sabeti '97 will present the senior class gift to Vest, who will then give the charge to the graduates.

This year's Senior gift is the Students Promoting an Improved Campus Experience (SPICE) Fund, which will help undergraduate student groups sponsor events for the MIT community.

After the gift is presented, Vest will award diplomas to the bachelor of science degree recipients and those receiving both bachelor of science and master's of science degrees while Provost Joel Moses PhD '67 will give out advanced degrees. Following the Commencement program, President Vest and Mrs. Vest will hold a reception for graduates and their guests at several locations in or near McDermott Court.

At 6 p.m., a commissioning ceremony will be held for 15 graduating cadets and midshipmen in MIT's Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTCprograms. The ceremony will take place under the masts of the historic frigate USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard Historical Park. The speaker will be Chief of Naval Education and Training and Vice Admiral Patricia A. Tracey.