President Charles M. Vest and former President Paul Gray and their wives were among more than 64 invited guests who honored Associate Dean Leo Osgood for his 12 years as dean on call at a dinner at the University Park Hotel on May 19.
Among the guests were Dean Osgood's mother, Sara Osgood of Boston; 10 other relatives; numerous colleagues from the dean's office; and other co-workers, friends and admirers from the MIT community.
Both President Vest and Professor Gray thanked Dean Osgood for his friendship, counsel and service to the MIT community. Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams presented him with a plaque with a bronzed beeper. The inscription read: "If a beeper beeps in the middle of the night and you are not the dean on call, does it really beep?"
The dean on call responds to a variety of student-related matters and all emergencies involving students on weekends and evenings, initiating the appropriate response within and outside the system. Dean Osgood resigned from the position in September 1998. It was announced at the gathering that four ODSUE members will fulfill the responsibility of the dean on call.
"When I was appointed the dean on call, my personal goal was to make sure that students who were having difficulty at MIT had a dean they could call during the day, nights and on weekends to discuss their problems and issues, no matter how small or large they seemed, and in cases of suicide and sudden death, to make sure the grieving families were treated with dignity and respect, [so parents] left MIT with a positive feeling for the Institute regarding the time their daughters or sons spent in our community," said Dean Osgood, who also heads the Office of Minority Education.
"It has been a very demanding but wonderful 12 years, and I leave with the thought that I made a difference in people's lives and a signficant contribution to the MIT community during my tenure as the dean on call."
A version of this article appeared in the June 9, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 33).