In 1996, a parade of Rosenfields marched in the Commencement Day procession. Jennifer K. (SB 1996 in biology) marched with the grads. Her mother, Nancy (SB 1971 in mathematics), marched with the 25th reunion class. And her father, Donald B., a senior lecturer at the Sloan School of Management, director of the Leaders for Manufacturing Fellows program and also an MIT graduate (SB in mathematics, SM in operations research and EE, all in 1971) marched with the faculty.
In 2001, Nancy and Jennifer were in the audience with 14-year-old Adam Rosenfield to watch Donald march with the faculty again and to witness the latest Rosenfield graduating from MIT: Todd Rosenfield, who received the SB in mechanical engineering.
"MIT has been a huge part of our lives," said Donald, who except for a seven-year hiatus has been associated with the Institute since he entered in 1965 as a freshman. "I've studied here, I've worked here, I met my wife here, and now two of my three children have graduated from MIT."
His wife Nancy transferred to MIT from Smith in 1969. "That year the men's Ivy League schools went coed and I considered applying to Yale or Dartmouth," recalled Nancy, who directs a software development group for Harte Hanks. "However, given my interest in math and computer science, I decided MIT was the perfect fit for me."
It was, in more ways than one. While studying here, Nancy not only got her degree, she also met Don.
The Rosenfields' oldest child, Jennifer, went on to Harvard University after graduating from MIT, where she earned an MA in genetics. She now works as a technical specialist in biotech patent law.
"I'm not surprised Todd chose MIT," said Jennifer. "He, like the rest of the family, is very math-oriented." This year's Rosenfield graduate has accepted a position in the mechanical engineering services group at Westinghouse in Windsor, CT.
"I chose MIT because I had always liked math and science and MIT has the reputation of being the world's best technical school," Todd said. "There was no pressure from my family for me to go to MIT. They actually had to pressure me to look at other schools."
Todd was co-captain of MIT's indoor track team. He competed for four years, placing fourth in his junior year in the New England Division III 400 meter competition. This spring, for the third time, he was part of MIT's 4x400 relay team that won the NE Division III championship. He was also president and treasurer of Theta Xi.
Todd's brother Adam, although only a freshman at Lexington High School, is two years ahead of his peers in math. The youngest member of the school's math and computer science teams, he placed eighth in MathCounts, a national middle school math competition. In May, he went to Florida to participate in the National American Computer Science League, where his team came in fourth and Adam was the top-scoring ninth-grader. In his spare time he likes to write his own computer games, play the clarinet and watch the Red Sox.
And yes, like the rest of his family, Adam wants to go to MIT.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 13, 2001.