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Community picnic to honor former ombudsperson Mary Rowe

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to Sept. 30 event celebrating MIT's culture of service.
Dominick Reuter

Update: Due to inclement weather, the community picnic will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in the Johnson Athletics Center Ice Rink.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, the MIT community is invited to attend a community picnic in celebration of the Institute’s culture of service and in recognition of the career of Mary Rowe, who retired as ombudsperson on Sept. 14 after 41 years of distinguished service to the Institute.

The picnic will run from noon to 2 p.m. on Killian Court. Its theme is “Our Community, Together in Service.”

MIT invites community members to bring items to the picnic for donation to local charitable organizations. Requests include canned or nonperishable foods for Cambridge’s Food for Free; school and art supplies for after-school programs at which MIT community members volunteer; and new or gently used books to be sold at the Community Giving at MIT book fair next month.

Community members who wish to donate food, supplies, or books in advance of the picnic may do so in Memorial Lobby (Building 10).

The picnic also honors the extraordinary career of Rowe, who arrived at MIT in 1973 as special assistant to the president and chancellor for women and work. In 1980, MIT President Paul Gray established the Ombuds Office and appointed Rowe and Clarence Williams as MIT’s first ombudspersons.

Among her many contributions to the MIT community, Rowe helped to create some of the Institute’s earliest mentoring and internal mediator programs. She has also helped to shape MIT’s policies around harassment and discrimination, conflict of interest, and other research-integrity issues.

From academic integrity to policy to dispute resolution, the Ombuds Office serves as an independent, confidential, neutral, and informal resource on a broad range of matters within MIT’s conflict-management system. Ombudspersons Toni Robinson and Judi Segall will be on hand at the picnic to provide additional information.

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