Rosalind Williams, dean for undergraduate education, will lead a conversation with MIT faculty and students on "What Makes an MIT Education So Special?" on Saturday, May 17 from 2-3:30pm in the Tang Center's Wong Auditorium.
Special guests will include Dr. Paul E. Gray and Priscilla King Gray, who will be honored later that evening at a party for major donors to the Institute hosted by President and Mrs. Charles M. Vest. The panel discussion of life and learning at MIT is open to the MIT community.
The topic is especially fitting since Dr. Gray--who will complete his service this June as chairman of the Corporation and return to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--has long referred to MIT as "this special place." Students, he has often said, choose MIT in great part because of the strength of its faculty, and faculty in turn are attracted to MIT because of the caliber of its students.
As associate provost in 1969, Dr. Gray was instrumental in the establishment of UROP as a way to involve undergraduates in faculty research. Both Dr. and Mrs. Gray have also played a major role over the years in raising funds for scholarships. Two special endowed funds for UROP and for the Public Service Center have been established in their names to honor their continuing commitment to MIT's students and faculty. People interested in contributing to these funds may contact Lucy Miller or Jenny Hertig in Resource Development, x3-2066, <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
In addition to Dean Williams (who is also the Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing), other faculty participants in the discussion will be Woodie Flowers, Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the New Products Program; Martha Gray, J.W. Kieckhefer Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and interim co-director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Daniel Kemp, professor of chemistry; Alan Oppenheim, Ford Professor of Engineering; and Charles Stewart, associate professor of political science and housemaster of McCormick Hall.
Undergraduates will be represented by Jamie Buller, a sophomore in management; Brandon Porter, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science; and Avital Rodal, a senior in biology. Questions and comments from the audience on their own MIT experiences will also be welcomed.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 14, 1997.