To William Barton Rogers, MIT's founder and first president, the world in 1861 offered "daily increasing proofs of the happy influence of scientific culture on the industry and civilization of nations." To magnify this "happy influence" and accelerate America's industrial progress, that year he began the bold experiment in discovery and invention that became the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In the 150 years since, MIT's faculty, students, staff, and alumni have advanced the boundaries of fundamental science, helped launch whole new fields of inquiry and engineering, invented world-changing technologies, founded tens of thousands of companies, and reshaped teaching and learning around the world.
To reflect on our achievements and to sharpen our focus on the important challenges ahead, the Institute will begin 150 days of celebration next January, with symposia, performances, exhibits, a campus-wide open house, and competitions--all designed to highlight the many facets of MIT. On April 10, a sesquicentennial convocation will cap the festivities, showcasing exceptional talent across the MIT community.
Nearly all events will be open to the public, and I urge you to participate in as many as you can. Now and over the coming months, you can find an evolving menu of events for next winter and spring on the new MIT150 website.
I hope you will join in this celebration of MIT's remarkable past and exciting future.