The MIT community, alumni and friends of the Institute are invited to attend the Next Century Convocation on Sunday, April 10. The centerpiece event of the Institute's 150th anniversary celebration, the Convocation honors the creative achievements, enduring values and ethic of service that have been identified with MIT since its founding on April 10, 1861.
"As a historic gathering of the MIT family, the Next Century Convocation offers a moment to weigh MIT’s role in the nation and the world and to celebrate its remarkable achievements. More important, it will give us a chance to consider together and prepare for the Institute’s responsibilities in the century to come," said MIT President Susan Hockfield. "I hope that all the members of the MIT community will be able to join us for this landmark event in celebration of our 150th anniversary."
The event harks back to the Mid-Century Convocation, held by MIT in 1949, which brought thousands of Institute alumni, community members and guests to campus. Much like that event, this year's Convocation will include a formal academic procession comprising several hundred faculty, students, staff, alumni and administrators; speeches and music composed and performed by MIT's own musicians; and a community reception after the event.
The theme of the Next Century Convocation is the “habits of mind” fostered by MIT research and education: integrity, diligence, service, social responsibility, creativity and excellence.
Taking place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (415 Summer St.), the Convocation will begin at 2 p.m., run approximately two hours, followed by the community reception. Transportation from campus will be provided for all members of the MIT community who would like to attend. Tickets are free, and online registration is available here. All attendees may reserve up to four tickets. Those from outside the MIT community should select "Guests and Friends of MIT" when registering.
David S. Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United States, will deliver the keynote address. Ferriero worked for the MIT Libraries for 31 years, leaving in 1996 as acting co-director. Other speakers will include:
- Susan Hockfield, the 16th president of MIT
- John S. Reed '61, SM '65, chair of the MIT Corporation
- Lotte Bailyn, the T. Wilson (1953) Professor of Management, Emerita
- Phillip L. Clay PhD '75, professor of city planning and senior advisor to the president
- Robert S. Langer ScD '74, David H. Koch Institute Professor
- David A. Mindell PhD '96, Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society
- Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor
- Sheila E. Widnall ’60 SM ’61 ScD ’64, Institute Professor
The musical ensembles during the ceremony will include works from composers Peter Child, John Harbison, Mark Harvey, Keeril Makan, Elena Ruehr and Charles Shadle, with performances by the MIT Symphony Orchestra, Festival Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Concert and Jazz Choirs, Chamber Chorus and Rambax.
David Mindell, who chairs the MIT150 Steering Committee, said, “This is a once-in-50-year event — a rare and special gathering of the MIT family. The formal academic procession and the speeches are important and will be inspiring, and the reception to follow will be a great celebration. It needs one key ingredient to really work: you! Come and be part of a historic event!”
Learn more about the event at the MIT150 website.