MIT President Charles M. Vest commented, "Although I am deeply disappointed to lose his service and leadership at MIT, David Baltimore is an inspired choice for the Caltech presidency. They have selected a brilliant scientific thinker and leader. There is a strong collegial bond between MIT and Caltech, and we at MIT look forward to working with David in his new role."
Caltech's MIT Origins
Dr. Baltimore will continue a tradition of MIT's involvement in Caltech which began before Caltech's founding in 1920. Astronomer George Ellery Hale, MIT Class of 1890, became a trustee in 1907 and began to reshape what was then Throop University, a Pasadena school of arts and crafts, into a scientific institute In 1913, Hale persuaded chemist Arthur Amos Noyes,. MIT 1886, acting president of MIT from 1907 to 1909, to establish a chemistry department, which Noyes headed until 1936. Hale, Noyes and Robert Millikan, University of Chicago physicist and the first head of the California Institute of Technology, developed the scientific focus of Caltech. Other MIT names associated with Caltech include Lee DuBridge, who left the MIT Radiation Laboratory in 1946 to become president of Caltech until 1968, and physicist, Richard P. Feynman, MIT 1939, who won the Nobel Prize for his work at Caltech.