Between them, they spent 115 years at MIT. They saw computers appear, slide rules disappear and presidents come and go. The men stopped wearing white shirts and ties and the women became a presence. The faculty won 11 Nobel prizes.
Barbara Johnson, Joseph Wright and Richard Newcomb were among the 1996-97 retirees honored at a Faculty Club dinner on September 16. Ms. Johnson worked at MIT for 35 years, starting as an administrative assistant to Professor of Physics Albert G. Hill and following him to the office of the vice president for research before joining the Energy Laboratory as an administrator when he retired in the mid-1970s.
"Of course [MIT] was a good place to work," said Ms. Johnson, who bought a home computer when she retired and is contemplating researching her family tree. "I wouldn't have stayed as long if I didn't like it."
Mr. Wright joined Lincoln Laboratory in 1953 as a draftsman in the Design Engineering Department, and the job became a career. He traveled to the South Pacific, Hawaii and White Sands, NM, in the line of duty. "It was always a super great place to work," said Mr. Wright. "We were the best in the business and we were proud of it."
Mr. Newcomb came to MIT as a technician in the Magnet Laboratory and became an engineering assistant in the research group before joining the Purchasing Office in 1982. He worked for MIT for 36 years. Mr. Newcomb, who does not have a degree, took advantage of the educational opportunities. "They always encouraged you to take courses pertaining to your job to better yourself," he said.
Other retirees who attended the dinner, together with their length of MIT service, were Jiro Adachi of the Industrial Liaison Program, 10 years; Charles Billings of the Medical Department, nine years; Francis Jannetti of the Comptroller's Accounting Office, 26 years; Philip Philips of Lincoln Laboratory, 22 years; David Sun of Lincoln Lab, 19 years; Marcelino Villa of Physical Plant, 10 years; and Vincent Vitto of Lincoln Lab, 30 years.
The other 1996-97 retirees are:
Kitty Ayres of the Environmental Medical Service, 24 years
Joseph Brenner of the Medical Department, 35 years
Professor Elzbieta Chodakowska of the Program in Writing, 24 years
Accurzio Ciulla of Physical Plant, 17 years
Professor Malcolm Gefter of the Department of Biology, 25 years
Ray Gleason of the Clinical Research Center, nine years
Pellegrino Grieci of Physical Plant, 12 years
Professor Peter Griffith of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, 47 years
Professor Gary Hack of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 27 years
Mary Harris of the Comptroller's Accounting Office, 15 years
Daniel Langdale of the Graduate Education Office, 31 years
Robert McAulay of Lincoln Lab, 29 years
William McCaffery of Housing and Food Services, 10 years
Samuel Murray of Housing and Food Services, 18 years
Irene O'Brien of Physical Plant, 24 years
Raymond Roberts of the Campus Police, 32 years
Professor Ethan Signer of the Department of Biology, 31 years
William Washington of Lincoln Lab, 19 years
Mavis Williams of Physical Plant, 10 years.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 24, 1997.