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Duehay event nets $10,000 for MIT-aided tutoring program

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A retirement party for former Cambridge mayor Francis Duehay held in Walker Memorial raised more than $10,000 for Tutoring Plus, an after-school program started in 1964 with help from MIT.

Mr. Duehay, who has been a long-time board member of Tutoring Plus, retired from the Cambridge City Council on January 2 after 14 consecutive terms, including two terms as mayor. During his 28-year tenure as a council member, he worked with MIT staff to improve town-and-gown relations and find ways to increase MIT's involvement with city programs.

Before being elected to the City Council, Mr. Duehay served on the Cambridge School Committee for eight years, giving him a combined total of 36 years of civic service (MIT Tech Talk, March 31, 1999.)

He said that holding his retirement party in Walker Memorial was "particularly interesting because my high school prom was held there -- in 1951."

The 500-plus attendees at the December 10 event included US Rep. Michael Capuano, members of the Cambridge City Council and School Committee, the city manager, school superintendent and other community leaders, as well as members of the MIT community who have been involved with city organizations like Tutoring Plus.

Tutoring Plus provides one-on-one tutoring and after-school homework help for public school students in Cambridge's Area IV, one of the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city. The MIT Social Service Committee helped start the nonprofit agency 35 years ago, and the Institute has continued to provide significant support, supplying both money and volunteers through the Public Service Center.

During the past decade, MIT has launched a number of other initiatives that provide for interaction between faculty, staff and students and the Cambridge public schools. According to Paul Parravano, co-director of the Office of Community and Government Relations, Mr. Duehay has actively encouraged that involvement by visiting campus frequently and "encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and get involved."

"Frank has worked very collegially with MIT. He has also represented Cambridge well throughout the country through his participation on the board of directors of the National League of Cities," said Mr. Parravano.

After retirement, Mr. Duehay said he plans to cut back on his work week but will actively participate in the push to improve public school education and will continue his efforts to increase the involvement of MIT and Harvard students in community service.

"I do hope for fewer evening meetings and emergencies," he said. "I haven't seen my backyard in about six months."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 26, 2000.

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