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Dorow Wins Big Screw Contest

By Naveen Sunkavally


This year’s Alpha Phi Omega Big Screw contest raised nearly $3,000 for charity, and Assistant Dean Neal Dorow will once again have his name engraved on the aluminum screw.

Proceeds for the contest will go to the Shepard Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where MIT student Josiah D. Seale ’00 is undergoing therapy after suffering serious injuries in a head-on car crash last September.

Comparing this year’s Big Screw to that of 1997, when he also won, Dorow said, “I think this time I was pursuing the screw on Josiah’s behalf.”

“There was a lot of sentiment from that part of the MIT community,” he said. Dorow said “he was approached to be a candidate for Josiah Seale and his family [to give them] financial support.”

Dorow wins screw in final minutes

Dorow, who last won the Big Screw in 1997, won this year’s contest in the five minutes before the last Friday’s award ceremony.

Contest organizer David A. McIlroy ’03 said, “I was there for the last five minutes. The 6.111 [Introductory Digital Systems Laboratory] TAs were counting how much money they needed to put in. Then someone put in $300 more for Dorow.”

At the end of the contest, Dorow had raised $979.97 for the Shepard Center, compared to the $640.19 raised by 6.111 for the Salvation Army. The contest, whose contenders also included Principles of Inorganic Chemistry I (5.03) and the East Campus/ Random Hall shutdown for the summer, raised a total of $2909.16.

Seale’s fraternity, Chi Phi, accepted the screw on behalf of Dorow, who was out of town on Friday. “I had a pretty good idea I was going to win,” Dorow said.

Screw has storied history

The contest benefitting community service organizations began in 1967, when APO replaced its Spring Carnival Queen Contest with one which awarded a four-foot long, left-handed wood screw to the most deserving faculty member. In 1975, APO began engraving the winners on a single two-and-a-half foot aluminum screw, which it circulated among the winners.

“In its heyday in the 1960’s, the Big Screw could raise as much as tuition,” McIlroy said. This year’s $3,000 is significantly more than the $1,380 dollars raised last year, when Professor Carl D. Martland of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won. Related stories:

Dorow Prevails in Annual Big Screw Contest
April 30, 1997
Course X Senior Year Wins Big Screw
May 7, 1998
Tech Photograph Friday, April 9, 1999