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Sen. Mitchell To Speak At '03 Commencement

By Kathy Lin

More than 2,200 students will receive nearly 2,500 degrees today at MIT’s 137th Commencement. Former Senator George J. Mitchell, who brokered the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland, will speak to 11,000 students and guests.

Senior Class President Kevin Nazemi said he is “pretty excited, like everyone else,” to be graduating.

“It’s just been an amazing time here, and it’s shocking that we’re done,” Nazemi said. “It feels like yesterday that we came here,” he said, adding that he is excited to see what the future holds for all his classmates.

Nazemi is returning home to Seattle to work on “product management and marketing stuff” at Microsoft, he said.

“MIT has fared very well in terms of interest from employers,” said Assistant Director of Employee Relations Jason M. Wall, who is in charge of the Career Office’s 2003 graduation survey.

The statistics are “very on track” compared with past years, Wall said.

“When the economy is bad, one thing you frequently see is students flocking to grad school,” Wall said, “but there hasn’t been a marked increase in MIT students going to grad school.”

As of last Thursday, about 1,100 students, or about half of the graduates, had responded to the survey. Of the respondents, roughly 34 percent are going to graduate school and about 56 percent are going to a job. The others are waiting for job offers, deciding between job offers, waiting for graduate school acceptances, or undecided about their future plans.

MIT to mint doctors, bachelors

MIT will award 213 doctoral degrees, 5 engineer’s degrees, 1,096 master’s degrees, and 1,171 Bachelor of Science degrees.

115 of those degrees will be given by the School of Architecture and Planning, 1,255 by the School of Engineering, 107 by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, 589 by the School of Management, 409 by the School of Science, and 10 by Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology.

The are 999 undergraduates receiving the 1,171 Bachelor of Science degrees, with 164 double majors and two triple majors. The class of 2003 is the last class in which students were allowed to petition for a triple major.

Last year’s commencement saw a number of security changes as a result of the September 11th attacks and the controversial nature of the speaker, World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn.

“We are managing the arrangements as we did last year,” said Gayle M. Gallagher, the executive officer for commencement.

The commencement exercises begin at 10 a.m. today, and closing remarks are expected to begin around 1:45 p.m. Ticketed guests may be seated as early as 7:30am.

Commencement can also be viewed on televisions around MIT, or through a live online webcast at

A reception will be held on the West Campus Plaza after commencement. Related stories: