MIT alumnus Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr., a physics professor at the University of Maryland, and retired Medical Department social worker Myra Rodrigues will receive Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards at the 23rd annual celebration of the slain civil rights leader's ideals on Thursday, February 6. The Committee on Campus Race Relations will also receive a Leadership Award.
Professor Gates received SB degrees in physics and mathematics from MIT in 1973 and the PhD in physics in 1977. He joined Maryland's Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1984 as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 1988. He was an assistant professor of applied mathematics in the MIT Department of Mathematics from 1982-84.
Ms. Rodrigues worked at MIT for 25 years before retiring in July. She provided a range of social work services for the entire MIT community and was the co-leader of separate discussion groups for male and female minority students.
"Never have I known a person whose life-her everyday conduct-so exemplified the principles and values that one associates with Dr. King," wrote Ron Fleming, chief of social work services, in nominating Ms. Rodrigues for the award.
The Leadership Award winners will be presented at the Dr. Martin Luther King Celebratory Breakfast at La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Stratton Student Center at 8am on February 6.
In addition to President Charles M. Vest and Provost Joel Moses, Boston University Professor John H. Cartwright will speak at the breakfast. Dr. Cartwright, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Social Ethics at BU since 1977, is a graduate of the BU School of Theology and an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He was the founding director of the University's King Center from 1968-70.
Admission to the breakfast is by invitation. Requests must be received by January 31. For more information, see the Web site at http://web.mit.edu/mlking/www>.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 15, 1997.