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Grads to collect 2,500 diplomas at Commencement

World Bank Group President James D. Wolfensohn will deliver the principal address Friday as MIT awards 2,427 degrees to some 2,187 undergraduates and graduate students at the Institute's 136th Commencement.

"Jim Wolfensohn is an individual of wide-ranging accomplishments who is passionately committed to reducing poverty and advancing health, education and empowerment in the developing world," said President Charles M. Vest. "He is viewed by many as a reformer within the bank. I believe that he will have important things to say that will be of value and challenge to our graduates. I believe that our campus and community will give him a fair hearing."

Vest will deliver the traditional charge to the graduates and present the S.B.s, S.B./S.M.s, S.B./M.Eng. and advanced degrees in the School of Science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Due to world events, security checkpoints will be established at the entrance to Killian Court, and movement in and around the site will be limited. In a letter sent recently to families and guests of the Class of 2002, the Commencement committee said, "Great care has been taken to provide a celebratory and safe environment for our graduates and their guests."

Since access to Killian Court will be limited to guests with tickets, members of the community are invited to watch the ceremonies on closed-circuit television in selected rooms in Buildings 1, 2 and 4; Rooms 10-250, 16-160, 26-100, 34-101, 56-114, E25-111, E51-145 and E51-149; the first floor of the Johnson Athletics Center; Kresge Auditorium and Kresge Little Theater.

Provost Robert A. Brown will join Vest in awarding degrees. Brown will present the advanced degrees in the School of Architecture and Planning; the School of Engineering; the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; and the Sloan School of Management.

Exactly 1,085 bachelor's degrees will be presented, 1,093 master's degrees, seven engineering degrees and 242 doctorates. Degrees will be awarded to 700 women. Some students receive more than one degree.

A special hooding ceremony for Ph.D. recipients will take place Thursday, June 6 at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Athletic Center. Chancellor Phillip L. Clay will preside.

Twenty students--10 undergraduates and 10 graduate students--will meet with Wolfensohn in a closed discussion prior to the Commencement exercises on Killian Court. The undergraduates include five seniors, four sophomores and one junior.

Student groups working with the MIT administration have organized several events to air views critical of World Bank policies. These include a screening of "Life and Debt," a film portraying the impact of foreign economies on individual Jamaicans; a talk by the director of "Life and Debt"; and a concert by reggae artists Yami Bolo. These will take place in Room 54-100 at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 6.

Former NASA scientist Cheick Modibo Diarra, now head of the African Virtual University (AVU) in Nairobi, will attend the ceremony as the guest of the Center for Advanced Educational Services. The center and AVU, which was started by the World Bank, have collaborated on a distance-learning course based on 1.00 (Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving) that was taken by 190 students from eight sub-Saharan African countries. The six-week course, which ended in May, will be offered again in July.

Other Commencement information:


The East Garage and CRA lots will be closed to regular commuters on Friday. Permit holders for these areas may park without charge at the Technology Square parking garage. The garage entrance is on Broadway. Driving directions may be found at


Graduates may pick up guest tickets in the Information Center in Room 7-121 today from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and tomorrow (June 6) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Commencement day, family members may pick up tickets by showing a graduate's MIT ID card from 8 to 10 a.m.

Each graduate is entitled to four tickets. A ticket is required for each guest in the seating area, including children three years and older. Students must show both a photo ID and a regalia rental receipt from the MIT Coop to receive their tickets. Selling Commencement tickets is not permitted.


The formal activities begin at 9:45 a.m. with the traditional academic procession from 77 Massachusetts Ave. to Killian Court led by the chief marshal L. Robert Johnson (S.B. 1963), the 2001-02 president of the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae. The exercises will be held in Killian Court regardless of the weather.

Alexander V. d'Arbeloff, chair of the MIT Corporation, will introduce Wolfensohn and the other speakers: Dilan Seneviratne, president of the Graduate Student Council, and Sudeb Dalai, president of the Class of 2002. Dalai will also present the class gift to Vest.

The MIT Chorallaries will lead the singing of the national anthem and the school song during the closing exercises. A brass ensemble will perform in Killian Court prior to the ceremony. John Wuestneck, MIT's Protestant chaplain, will give the invocation.

A reception will be held beneath a tent in Steinbrenner Stadium following the exercises.


A commissioning ceremony for Air Force and Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) graduating seniors is scheduled for Friday, June 7 at 5 p.m. under the masts of the U.S.S. Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard Historical Park. The speaker will be Rear Adm. Paul Sullivan, director of submarine warfare requirements in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Twenty MIT graduates will receive commissions--eight apiece in the Air Force and Navy, and two apiece in the Marine Corps and Army.


Participants in the annual Technology Day program on Saturday, June 8 will discuss the role of scientists outside the laboratory in addressing the theme "When Worlds Collide: Science, Politics and Power in the 21st Century."

Speakers at the morning session in Kresge Auditorium will include EPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry Ronald G. Prinn (Sc.D. 1971), head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and co-director of the Joint Program of the Science and Policy of Global Change; and Institute Professor John M. Deutch (S.B. 1961, Ph.D.). They will be joined by Shirley Malcom, director of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs for the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and author Daniel Charles, a former Knight Science Journalism Fellow.

Panel discussions in the afternoon will explore the same theme. Technology Day is sponsored by the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae.

For additional information on Technology Day and class reunions, see the Technology Day web site .


Faculty members who have made rental arrangements for regalia with the Commencement committee office may pick up their robes in Room 8-119 on Wednesday and Thursday, June 5-6, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All regalia must be returned to the Information Center in Room 7-121 by Tuesday, June 12.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 2002.

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