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Students set to get degrees at 138th Commencement

Rhododendrons in bloom are dressing up the campus for Friday's Commencement exercises.
Rhododendrons in bloom are dressing up the campus for Friday's Commencement exercises.
Photo / Donna Coveney

About 2,205 undergraduates and graduate students are scheduled to receive 1,114 bachelor's degrees, 1,161 master's, 211 doctorate and 10 Engineer degrees at MIT's 138th Commencement on Friday, June 4 on Killian Court.

Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the principal address. President Charles M. Vest will charge the graduates. Other speakers include R. Erich Caulfield, president of the Graduate Student Council, and Maria Hidalgo, president of the Class of 2004, who will present the class gift. The Rev. Robert M. Randolph, senior associate dean for students at MIT and an affiliate minister at Harvard University's Memorial Church, will deliver the invocation.

Since becoming its 15th director in May 2002, Zerhouni has initiated a new research vision for the NIH, focusing the attention of the biomedical research community on new pathways of discovery, research teams for the future and reengineering the clinical research enterprise.

"Dr. Zerhouni is an innovative scientist and administrator who has made significant contributions to the world," said Vest. "His is just a great American story. Arriving on these shores as a young student and now a distinguished scientist leading our largest research establishment, he exemplifies the benefits of an open and accessible research community."

Zerhouni came to the United States from Algeria in 1975. After earning a medical degree from the University of Algiers, he was accepted as a radiology resident at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he advanced to become chairman of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, radiologist in chief, president of the Clinical Practice Association, executive vice dean and professor of biomedical engineering.

He singly and jointly holds eight patents for various computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging inventions.

Commencement exercises

Vest will present the following degrees: bachelor of science; bachelor of science/master of science; bachelor of science/master of engineering; and advanced degrees in the School of Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. Provost Robert A. Brown will award advanced degrees in the schools of Architecture and Planning; Engineering; and Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and in the Sloan School of Management.

Following the exercises, a reception will be held for graduates and their guests on the West Campus Plaza.

A special hooding ceremony for Ph.D. recipients will take place on Thursday, June 3 at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Athletics Center. Chancellor Phillip L. Clay will preside.

Remote viewing

Access to Killlian Court is permitted by either Commencement badge or ticket. Security around Killian Court will be strictly controlled.

Members of the community are invited to watch the ceremonies on closed-circuit television in selected rooms in buildings 1, 2 and 4; rooms 6-120, 10-250, 16-160, 26-100, 34-101, 56-114, E25-111, E51-145, and E51-149; Kresge Auditorium; Kresge Little Theatre; Rockwell Cage and Johnson Athletics Center. Tickets are not required for admission to these locations.

The ceremony will also be webcast live. The URL will be posted at

Parking restrictions

West Garage, the West Garage Annex Lot and the East Lot will be reserved for Commencement guest parking and will be closed to MIT parkers for the entire day. No visitor passes will be accepted. However, those who require handicapped and medical reserved parking spaces will be accommodated. Contact the Parking and Transportation Office if you normally park at West Garage, West Garage Annex Lot or the East Lot and have an urgent business need to park on campus on Commencement day.

Plant sale

The MIT Community Service Fund will host its annual fund-raising sale of the plants displayed on the Commencement podium and surrounding stage at 4 p.m. Proceeds from sales of the plants, which are made available by the Office of Conference Services and Special Events, support service to the local community by MIT staff and student volunteers.

Complete Commencement information, including the complete schedule, is available at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 2, 2004 (download PDF).

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