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Tech Reunions draw thousands of alumni to campus

Alumni, many in red jackets, will attend some 140 events from June 7-10 to celebrate and renew their MIT connections.
Charles Phillips '61 and Jerry Saltzer '61, SM '63, ScD '66 — fully decked out in red jackets and insignia — enjoy a 50th reunion gathering last year.
Charles Phillips '61 and Jerry Saltzer '61, SM '63, ScD '66 — fully decked out in red jackets and insignia — enjoy a 50th reunion gathering last year.
Photo: Darren McCollester

More than 3,400 MIT alumni and guests are expected to flock to campus this weekend for the June 7-10 Tech Reunions to enjoy traditions as old as Tech Night at Pops, now in its 115th year, as well as newer events such as special graduate alumni events on Saturday. As ever, alumni who are celebrating their 50th reunions or beyond may wear the traditional red jackets with insignia. Expect to see red coats everywhere!

On Friday, MIT Alumni Association President Greg Turner '74, MArch '77 will head the Commencement procession, bearing the beaver-adorned mace, and Class of 1962 alumni will lead the graduates into Killian Court. The Alumni Association will be joining the #MIT2012 tweeting campaign to update alumni worldwide about Commencement Day happenings. Alumni will also attend departmental receptions as well as some 140 reunion events over the weekend.

Reunion highlights:

Tech Day 2012 on Saturday will present faculty talks on American Transformations: the Next Industrial Revolution. Speakers include President Susan Hockfield, who will introduce the talks, and Associate Professor Olivier de Weck SM '99, PhD '01, head of Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE), a new MIT study on the current state and future of U.S. manufacturing.

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Tech Night at Pops's featured performer is MIT Music and Theatre Arts Professor Marcus Thompson who will perform on the viola. Hear samples of his recordings.

More than 950 alumni and guests will gather for the Cardinal and Gray Academy, a Friday event with faculty lectures and lunch for alumni who have celebrated their 50th reunions and beyond.

Saturday afternoon, alumni and families will gather outdoors at Steinbrenner Stadium for Tech Challenge Games including a limerick contest and an Angry Birds design competition.

Technology Day lunch, where reunion classes report their giving success for the year, will feature exceptionally successful fundraising by the Class of 1962 and a special acknowledgement of President Susan Hockfield's contributions to the association and the Institute. The Senior Class has set a new record with more than 80 percent making a donation.

Toast to Tech 2012, in North Court from 10 p.m. until midnight, is a reception for alumni, echoing the MIT150 Toast to Tech last year.

Sunday morning's Reunion Row, starting at the Pierce Boathouse at 7:30 a.m., welcomes everyone to cheer the participating class crew teams.

Curious about the red jackets? Learn about the tradition. Read about a Class of '59 alumni who wore a jacket owned by his father from the Class of '24.

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