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Gen. Newton to give first Taylor lecture

US Air Force General Lloyd Newton will deliver the inaugural Robert Robinson Taylor Lecture on Tuesday, March 2 from 5-7pm at the Faculty Club. He will be introduced by the former Secretary of the Air Force, Professor Sheila Widnall of aeronautics and astronautics.

The program is sponsored by the Office of Minority Education (OME). Prominent minority alumni/ae and other professionals from the education, science, political and arts communities will be invited to give the monthly lectures.

"They will be asked to speak about their personal accomplishments and the obstacles they had to overcome to achieve their goals," said Dean Leo Osgood, director of the OME. "Their accounts will be reminders of the serious situations that confront minorities today and the degree of focus that is needed to remedy them."

General Newton was the first African American to be named to the elite Aerial Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, in 1974. He served tours in the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam, where he flew 269 combat missions.

A graduate of Tennessee State University, he was named to coordinate the Air Force's 50th anniversary celebration by Secretary Widnall in 1997 and was promoted to general last April. He now commands 43,000 personnel on active duty and 14,000 civilians at the Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas.

Robert Robinson Taylor, Class of 1892, was the first African American student to attend MIT. Upon graduation, he taught architecture at the Tuskegee Institute and designed more than 20 buildings on its campus. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Mu and Phi Beta Sigma fraternities, the Society of Arts in Boston, the American Economic Society and the Business League of Tuskegee.

Future speakers will be chosen by the OME Student Advisory Council. The lectures are free and open to the MIT community. A question-and-answer session and a light dinner will follow General Newton's talk.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 25, 1998.

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