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Kenneth R. Wadleigh dies

A memorial service for Professor Emeritus Kenneth R. Wadleigh, former vice president and dean of the Graduate School, will be held Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2pm at the Friends' Meeting House, 5 Longfellow Place, Cambridge.

Professor Wadleigh, 73, died July 21 at the MIT Infirmary following a brief illness. A resident of Belmont for many years, he had lived in Swansea since 1985.

During more than 20 years as a senior administrator at MIT, Professor Wadleigh's contributions ranged from major expansion of the student residential system to development of the MIT Health Plan, a health maintenance organization that now serves more than 8,000 members of the MIT community and their families.

As dean for student affairs from 1961-69, Professor Wadleigh was instrumental in establishing the faculty resident program through which senior faculty members and their families live in undergraduate dormitories to enhance residential life as part of the overall educational experience. He also oversaw the expansion of student extracurricular activities encouraged by construction of a new student center.

In 1969 Professor Wadleigh was named vice president with responsibilities for carrying out special projects, including further development of the student residential system. The Registrar's Office, repository of the permanent records of the university, and the Medical Department were added to his responsibilities in 1970. In 1975 he became dean of the Graduate School as well.

Born in Passiac, NJ, in 1921, Professor Wadleigh received SB and SM degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1943. After service in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he returned to MIT as an instructor and was appointed assistant professor in 1949. In 1953 he received his ScD degree and the first Goodwin Medal honoring "conspicuously effective teaching" at MIT.

A specialist in applied fluid dynamics and thermodynamics, Professor Wadleigh was a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University in 1953-54. He returned to MIT as associate professor in 1954, was named professor in 1961 and retired in 1984. In his retirement, he had been active on several town boards in Swansea and was enjoying sailing.

Professor Wadleigh is survived by his wife, Jeanne Stockbarger Wadleigh of Swansea; a daughter, Karen Wadleigh of Wilbraham, and two granddaughters.

Remembrances may be sent to MIT's Independent Residence Development Fund, c/o Treasurer's Office, 238 Main St., Suite 200, Cambridge 02142 or to the WGBH Educational Foundation, 125 Western Avenue, Boston 02134.

A version of this article appeared in the August 17, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 2).

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