The Working Group on Support Staff Issues will have a formal role in inaugural festivities for the first time since its founding in 1975. The group is holding a luncheon on Tuesday, May 3, to give the MIT community a chance to meet and greet the new president.
The "Spring Garden"-themed lunch, served buffet-style with passed hors d'oeuvres and canapÃ©s, will allow support staff and their guests to mingle together and to chat with President Susan Hockfield.
"Everybody is ecstatic about this," said Barabara Smith, a co-convener of the event.
The luncheon at Morss Hall is scheduled to take place over a period of two hours to allow all support staff time to come, sample the food, chat and listen to the music, which will be provided by performers from the Working Group's Artists Behind the Desk series, which features the work of a number of artists who are also MIT employees.
For the first hour, flutist and Research Support Associate in the Department of Biology Cindy Woolley, a member of the Silverwood Trio, will perform a selection of classical music with the cellist from her group. "It should be exciting," said Woolley, who has played the flute for more than 35 years. The second hour will feature the music of former MIT employee Francis Doughty, a classical guitarist.
Both the classical music and the garden theme were chosen based on the new president's preferences. "We asked what sort of music President Hockfield preferred," Smith said.
Throughout the room, there will be high-rise cocktail tables as well as sit-down round tables to offer guests a choice in seating. The flier invitations to the lunch were delivered on April 25 to the 1,600 support staff at MIT. Though the event is open to the community at large, the invitations are targeted to support staff and their guests.