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Students look forward to receiving degrees

Two weeks ago, hackers--rumored to be seniors--attached a happy face to Alexander Calder's Great Sail sculpture in McDermott Court.

It pretty much matched the prevailing mood on campus as final exams neared their end and commencement approached.

Now happiness becomes reality.

With preparations completed for MIT's 130th commencement on Friday (June 7), some 8,000 relatives and friends of the graduates are gathering in Cambridge for the festive ceremonies.

They will begin at 9:45 with the traditional academic procession from the 77 Massachusetts Avenue entrance to Killian Court. The graduation program, which begins at 10am, includes a speech by Vice President Albert Gore and the annual charge to the graduates by President Charles M. Vest. Dr. Paul E. Gray, chairman of the Corporation, will preside.

Some 1,800 seniors and graduate students will receive degrees individually as their names are read to the Commencement audience. Those receiving doctoral degrees on Friday will be hooded the previous day, Thursday, June 6, in a special ceremony in Rockwell Cage at 1pm.

Following the commencement program, President Vest will hold a reception for the graduates and their guests at several locations in or near McDermott Court.

Only severe weather could cause a change in plans. Any decision to cancel the outdoor exercises will be made early in the morning on Commencement day. Information will be available through radio announcements or by calling 253-SNOW for a recorded message.

In such an event a backup program would be held in Rockwell Cage. This would be open to graduating students, faculty and participants in the program, but not to relatives and guests because of limited space.

Families and friends would view the ceremony over closed-circuit television at a number of locations. Following the ceremony, bachelor of science degrees would be awarded by President Vest in the Johnson Athletics Center, while advanced degrees would be distributed by School deans at five different locations.

At 6pm on commencement day, a commissioning ceremony will be held for about 21 graduating cadets and midshipmen in MIT's Army, Air Force and Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) units under the masts of the frigate USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard Historical Park.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 1996.

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