MIT Commencement Program 2004 - Includes Address by Elias Zerhouni, President of the National Institute of Health

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KAISER: Welcome family and friends of the MIT graduating Class of 2004.


I am speaking to you up here at the head of the commencement stand. Can you all see me? I'll wave. Can you see me? Great. Hello. I think our picture is also on the big television screen over there, the jumbotron. My name is Jay Kaiser, and I'm an emeritus professor at MIT. And this is what emeritus professors do. We entertain you until your graduates come into this beautiful court.

I'm joined by my colleague Warren Seamans, who, for 32 years, was associated with MIT and known, most of all, as director of the MIT Museum. There's no one at MIT who knows more about MIT lore and history than Warren.

We will be visiting with you for the next hour or so as we await the arrival of the guests of honor-- your children. They are currently gathering in the Johnson Athletic Center on the west side of the campus, and they should be joining us at about 9:50. If you take a look at the screen, you can see them over in the Johnson Athletic Center now through the magic of television.

It is now 8:18. Please synchronize your watches. During this time, we will also have some video pieces to show. So make sure that you have a good view of the screen. And we'll share with you a variety of perspectives of the MIT experience that the students had when they were here.

This is a gorgeous day. Rarely has there been a day when I could say, look up in the sky, and you will not see a cloud. It's amazing. We have really been blessed with this beautiful day, and it's a beautiful day for us and for you. We've been dodging rain. It rained yesterday. It rained the day before. But no rain today, and that makes this commencement setting a special one.

The court has a rich and interesting history. And as I said, there are few people who know more about that history than my colleague Warren Seamans, who will tell you a little bit about the place you're now sitting in. Warren?

SEAMANS: Welcome, welcome, welcome. It is a great pleasure for me to be here again this year. I think it's important to know a little bit about this holy center of MIT.

88 years ago, in 1916, this was dedicated when this new campus was built and dedicated June of 1916. Since that time, it has served as really the Institute's public living room-- everything from graduation commencement ceremonies through the inauguration of new presidents to a lot of social activities, some of which you will see on our video screens today.

Over the years, it has served as a meeting place. Traditionally, over the history of the place, the first actual meeting of the freshmen class coming in was held here in-- it was known as the Great Court. In 1974, it was renamed Killian Court after James Rhyne Killian, who had just stepped down as chairman of the MIT Corporation.

This has served in many other ways as a center for MIT life. In 1930, June 6 of 1930, Karl Compton was inaugurated president in this locale. At that day, in comparison to today, it was 106 here in the Killian Court. It's also interesting to note that the ashes of at least two MIT presidents have been sprinkled or spread in to the Great Court. So it is truly a significant center of MIT.

I thought it would be interesting, since we are here, to take a look at the object that's directly behind us on the speaker's podium. That's the great seal of MIT. You will notice from looking at it that it has a lot of significance to the group meeting today.

1861 is the day of the actual signing of the MIT charter. That would be 134 years-- 33 years ago-- 143 years ago, and this has been always part of the MIT story. Over the years, they've tried to upgrade it, to change it, but it always comes back to use of the original MIT seal. "Mens et Manus," "Mind and Hand," are opposed to the Science and [AUDIO OUT] artist and the scientist.

And Science and Arts are repeated on the chapters-- on the spines of the books that are on the mantle of learning. So you'll get an idea of this, and you'll see this used in a lot of other places. With that, I'll turn back to Jay.

KAISER: If you look behind you, you'll see a glorious cityscape. It's one of the most beautiful, I think, in the United States. And so be sure you take a moment at some time to look at the cities-- the view of the city from the Killian Court here.

In the beginning when MIT was designed, I believe this court actually went all the way down to the river, and you could actually dock at the end there. Now, of course, Memorial Drive is a major thoroughfare. Well, as Warren said, the ashes of two presidents have been scattered here. So I'd like to ask you to be careful where you walk.

And while you're doing that, we're going to roll our first tape. This court provides many activities-- a place for many activities at MIT. And occasionally it's used as a flight test site for our robotic helicopter developed by students at MIT. If you'll take a look at the jumbotron, we'll show you video of what that looked like.


- This project is to demonstrate what automatic [INAUDIBLE] maneuvering for an aerial vehicle.

- In the Killian Court, we have done a flight in so-called control augmentation system, where the pilot gives very high-level commands, for example, go forward or go sideways or turn, go slightly higher, slightly lower. The pilot doesn't have to take care of stabilization of the system. That's done by automatic control system.

- The vehicle we did not work on. We purchased a vehicle directly from a miniature aircraft.

- Nice.

- We picked this machine because it's very cheap. It's mass manufactured, and we could outfit it with our own electronics very quickly.

- So this is our ground station. It's a very old laptop, about three years old. It's around [INAUDIBLE] time [? for ?] rating system. And it gets the data from the helicopter about the sensors and the state-- attitude, velocities, altitude, and everything else. And the ground station operator monitors that all of sensors are doing fine.

And then we take all this data, we analyze it. We record the trajectories of acrobatic maneuvers that Roger has performed, and we designed the controllers that follows this trajectory.

- So what happens is we use filtering technologies in order to synthesize this information into a complete and accurate estimate of where the helicopter is and what's it's doing.

- Now, previously on a small rotorcraft, and larger rotorcraft as well, when they were flown autonomously, have been flying very non-aggressive trajectories. And what we have contributed is autonomous aggressive maneuvering. So we were able to design the control laws that allow us to perform an aerobatic maneuver completely hands-off.

- The applications could include news gathering, so gathering video footage of hard-to-explore areas, top of mountains, top of volcanoes, fire situations, any environment which is very [? computated, ?] very contrived, and they require [INAUDIBLE] machines to operate.

- You can also use it for a number of [INAUDIBLE] applications, for example, [INAUDIBLE] and [? pursuit. ?]

- There's an aesthetic component to our research, which is to make such machines as graceful as possible. What we would want is that this machine eventually behaves and flies as well, if not better, than a bird.

- Altitude, altitude.



KAISER: Now, that tape that you just saw was the work of Eric Feron, and his office is in the new MIT Stata Center. Hi. And I met him recently. That's one of the great things about the center. It's very easy for people to meet one another.

And one of the things that the tape didn't show you was that Eric has this ability to write backwards. He can write backwards with either hand. Now, you might say, what good is that ability?

Well, his office has a glass door. And if you write backwards on the inside, you can read it right side up on the other side. And so that's what he does. He wrote his name and his office backwards in the Stata Center.

The students being honored today have been at MIT during a period of unprecedented growth in our student life and learning programs, resulting in the construction of new dorms, new classrooms, and a beautiful new athletic center.

For people like Warren and me, who have been at MIT for, well, 30, 40 years, MIT is really taking on a completely new look, and we hope you'll get a chance to enjoy that. The new dormitories, the new athletic center, even the Stata Center itself has just opened up. It all gives-- it's just MIT doesn't look the same anymore.

We recently produced a series of short video retrospectives where students talk about the MIT experience outside of their classrooms and laboratories. And if you'll watch the humongous-tron behind us, you'll catch a glimpse-- you may catch a glimpse of one of your children. So here we go.



(SINGING) We are, we are, we are, we are, we are the engineers. [INAUDIBLE] We can, we can, we can, we can.

- There's clubs for everything. And people are doing it, and MIT gives them money for it. And there's so much to do here, which I did not think. I thought everybody would just be holed away in their lab somewhere.


- They let you have a whole diverse group of opportunities for you to kind of follow, and you can easily transition from one to another.

- The expectations of today's students are different. They expect more of their universities than I think the generation of students maybe 20 or 30 years ago. They expect their universities to provide a range of services and opportunities, which many universities didn't provide 30 years ago when I came here.


- I think it helps keep them sharp. I think it contributes to the mental health. It's a great way to blow off steam from the intense classroom experience and then the sheer intensity of the place. That hasn't changed either, in fact, if anything, it's more intense. So I think it's just a key to leading a very well-balanced life. And gee, they have a lot of interests nowadays too.

- A lot of students who come to MIT were very involved in things in high school. I held several leadership positions in tons of clubs, and I wanted to continue that while I was here.

Because for me, learning isn't just about doing the curricular aspect of things, like just learning biology or learning about cells. It's about learning how to be a leader, how to be a better person through activities that you're in. And you gain a lot of skills from working with people and learning from people as well.

- Mr. Worthing and I are engaged to be married.

- Pardon me.

- Because MIT did have all of it, I definitely thought that it was the place for me.

- We've come to understand that the full experience for the student really needs to have this sense of community. And a community means what happens in residential groups? What happens in sports with intramural and formal sports events and collegiate sports events? What happens in music groups? What happens day to day as students work with each other and with the faculty?

- There are only so many things you can learn in the classroom. And I've been here for three and a half years now, and definitely the most I've gotten out of my college experience has not been things I've learned in the classroom. It's definitely been the opportunities I've had outside of it.

- These are going to be the future leaders, someone who is able to do the work at MIT and who are top-level athletes, musicians, drama stars. Whatever their passion is, we want to find the best. And it's not mutually exclusive with the academics.

(SINGING) Don't you lose your head.

- It's been something that's given me a lot personally, and I feel something that's going to give a lot back to the community at MIT and the rest of the world in the future.

- I think the current MIT student comes out and sees a much wider range of opportunities. They will lead companies. They will lead groups within companies. They will go to government, to nonprofit organizations. And all the skills they acquire, not just in the classroom, but in the full community life of being an MIT student, will be a tremendous value to them.

(SINGING) Yes, we are, yes we are. We are the engine-- we are, we are, we are, we are the engineers.


KAISER: Yep. All right, this is the part of the program where we'd like to meet some of you. And we thought it might be fun to talk to those of you who have come from the farthest distance. So if you think you've come the longest distance for this graduation, come up to us. We're standing right over here by the screen. You can all see me.

Come up, and we'll talk to you about where you're from. So those of you who have come the longest distance. Now, remember, longest distance is not London. That's just, I mean, London, just around the corner. And not Hoboken. Hoboken just seems far. Ah, here's somebody. Good, hi. And let's have some others. If you think you've come the longest distance, please come here.

In the meantime, let's check in and see how the students are doing over in the Johnson Athletic Center. Hi, can you hear me over there? You can hear me? Yes, can we work on the sound there, because I can't quite hear you.

JK: Mike, they can't hear me. You want me to go louder?

KAISER: Yeah, that's good. [INAUDIBLE].

JK: All righty.

KAISER: That's good. What's your name?



JK: Yep.

KAISER: That's my initials-- Jay Kaiser.


KAISER: What do you know, Where are you from, JK?

JK: I'm from India, but I grew up in the Middle East.

KAISER: And where did you grow up?

JK: In Muscat, the Sultanate of Oman.

KAISER: So how many languages do you speak?

JK: Fluently, or languages I assume I speak?

KAISER: Languages in which you could conduct a conversation.

JK: Four.

KAISER: And what are they?

JK: English, Hindi, Tamil, [INAUDIBLE].

KAISER: Amazing. That's wonderful. And what did you major in? What was your major?

JK: Aero/astro.

KAISER: And do you have a job?

JK: Yep, I'm on staff at MIT.

KAISER: Wow. Do you have a place to live?

JK: Yep, 1010 Mass Ave. My folks are in the audience right now.

KAISER: Oh, where are your folks? Raise your hand. Are your folks here?

JK: Yep.

KAISER: Where are they?

JK: I got--

KAISER: Boy, you've got a lot of folks.


KAISER: Where are they? Oh, there they are. JK, they're waiting for you.

JK: I know, I know. Hang on, let me introduce you to some people who are here.

KAISER: Terrific, please.

PRETORIUS: Hi, I'm [? Jakob ?] Pretorius from South Africa.

JK: Where are you from in South Africa?


JK: South Africa?

PRETORIUS: Johannesburg.

KAISER: I've been to Johannesburg.

JK: He's been to Johannesburg.

PRETORIUS: Oh, he has?

KAISER: Yeah. Where do you-- let's see, jacaranda. That's right, jacaranda trees grow in [INAUDIBLE].

PRETORIUS: Yeah, very nice. But Pretoria is actually the city for jacaranda trees.

KAISER: Yeah, I've been to Pretoria too, nice town.

JK: He's been to Pretoria as well.

KAISER: And your name is, what, [? Jakob? ?]

JK: [? Jakob? ?]


KAISER: And are your parents here?

PRETORIUS: They should be there, and my wife should be on stage too.

KAISER: You're married?

JK: You're married?


KAISER: Good for you. You look like you're 16.

PRETORIUS: I'm not prepared to disclose that information right now, thanks.

KAISER: I don't blame you. All right, it's nice talking to you guys. We'll come back to you in a few minutes. But we're going to roll another tape over here to entertain your parents.

JK: All right, cheers.

KAISER: Take care. See you, JK. When I got a [INAUDIBLE], I'll come to you. When the Class of 2004 were sophomores, a good number of them took MIT's renowned engineering course 2.007. This is the much emulated course where students design, engineer, and build a machine that accomplishes a specific task. All this hard work culminates in an end-of-semester contest, which is the big event at MIT.

At this contest, students compete head to head in MIT's most exciting spectator sport. We offer you a look at some of the participants and their clever machines. You might recognize your graduate as they appeared when they were hard at work as sophomores. 2.007.



- 3, 2, 1, go!

- It's time again for the granddaddy of all the student engineering contests-- the annual battle of machines built by sophomores at MIT.

- And now comes the fun part-- calling my mom.


- This year's contest, hatched six months earlier, involves a teeter-totter beam and a swinging 8-pound ball. The challenge is to build a machine that starts out sitting on the beam and that after exactly 45 seconds has managed to tilt its side of the beam down working against an opponent trying to do the same thing. There's a 10-pound weight limit for each machine and a box of parts to make it from.

- There are a bunch of structural materials that they can--

- Each of the 100-plus students in the contest, which is actually a course in mechanical engineering, gets an identical kit of stuff, including several electric motors from home power tools, as well as things that seem like mechanical leftovers. What would you do with this?

- Nobody in the class knows what that is.


- We had a--

- So nobody-- you don't know what this is?

- No one knows how they're going to use it.

- Usually, people just do this-- pop it in and take the motor and do something with the motor and then toss that back in there. What it is good for is--

- It is a mistake to toss that away? After several weeks of brainstorming and designing their machines on paper and computer, the class sets to work manufacturing them. After 14 weeks of design, construction, and testing, the machines faced one last hurdle.

- Fit it in the box however you can get it in.

- Yeah.

- To qualify for the contest, every machine must fit within the box its parts came in.

- Did that go straight?

- Yeah, there.

- All right. Put the lid on, please.

- Woo-hoo.

- Before an expectant crowd at MIT's ice hockey arena--

- 2, 1, go!

- --Nick Martin's machine, flawless in tests, doesn't give him his money's worth.


- It fell over. That was of depressing. I'd never seen it before. And I tested it, ran it. But I guess that's what engineering is all about.

- The first semifinal, and now it's Will Lark's turn to face Will DelHagen's jack. Almost before the car has even jumped off the beam, the jack is hoisting it up. All Will DelHagen has to do is stand by and watch as Will Lark's car desperately tries to hook around the jack and yank it away.


- 4, 3, 2, 1.

- For Will Lark, it's the end of a great run.

- That's my only way I could've gotten it was was trying to mess him up, so.

- 3, 2, go.

- The second semifinal. It's Alex [? Jacobson's ?] mobile jack against a simple extender that has quietly made it through round after around. For a moment, it looks like Alex has gotten trapped by the corner, but then-- so for the finals, it's mobile jack against mobile jack.

- There was a lot of things I didn't get done that I wanted to get done. But everything I needed, I guess, I finished, so.

- We tracked Alex down behind the scenes, where it turned out he'd been conspiring with Will. Good friends who have been comparing notes ever since the class began, Will and Alex now plan a final collaboration. Carefully choreographed, the two robots jack the whole apparatus an inch off the ground with the beam dead level.

- Doghouse.

- The result is a tie.

- Double win?

- Double win. Double win.

- Or, in MIT speak, a double win.

- Double win.

- This has never ever happened before. And we're so happy it did, because we like doing things different.

- Double win.


SEAMANS: Scientific American-- the clip you've just seen is credited to Scientific American Frontiers. The 2.007 contest remains MIT's most widely attended spectator event. But a lack of spectators does not prevent MIT students from participating in athletics. In fact, it is not widely known, but MIT fields more NCAA athletic teams than any other school in the country, with the possible exception of that other school up the river. As this video illustrates, MIT students don't sit in the stands. They participate.



- MIT sponsors a uniquely expansive athletic department which features 25 intercollegiate sports, 40 club sport offerings, and 42 intercollegiate athletic programs.

- Athletics are part of this notion of building a community and building a complete individual's education.

- I certainly feel more well rounded because of it. I feel that I've had the chance to excel in different aspects of my life.

- MIT has the largest number of academic All-Americans in the country, with 114 since the program began in 1980. I think it showcases that our kids are doing exceptionally well in the classroom as well as on the field.

- At the beginning of each season, the football coach says, gentlemen, the first priority for you is going to be your academics. Second priority is going to be football. And if your list doesn't look like this, then you shouldn't be in this room.

- Nearly 60% of our undergraduates compete in organized sports at some level on campus.

- It's a good thing because I met a lot of people that I wouldn't have met otherwise, who I would see afterwards. And I'm like, oh, you're on my IM team. So how's it going? How's your research?

- They don't exist for themselves. They don't exist for the alumni to make the alumni feel good. We have them because they're part of the educational experience.


Out and into the water, down.


- The crew boat itself, a 70-foot boat, is a micromanaged system in and of itself. You got the administrator in your coxswain. And then you've got your powerhouse. You've got your stroke, who is your leader of your powerhouse.

And then you've got your 4 and 5 seats who are the peak of your boat. And then you've got your bow, who kind of guides you along in the little directions left and right. And so together you work as a team to the common goal.

- They learn incredible amounts about leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and courage, the willingness to take risks and push their abilities beyond what they think they can achieve.

- I have learned to push myself during races and during practices so hard and commit myself to a certain goal unequivocally and in a way that I never had before.


- The MIT I knew in the '60s and early '70s had a proper emphasis on athletics and a tremendous diversity of sports and really emphasized participation. That part hasn't changed. But what's happened is there is even a greater variety of sports today.

- If MIT doesn't have something, be it a club or an organization or a sport, if two people want to do it, they'll let you organize it, and you can have it. It's up to the individual, but MIT will embrace that.

- It always has been in the past and always will be about opportunity for all.

- One of the things that I think is particularly striking about the athletic program at MIT is the emphasis on participation in sports rather than spectator sports. You don't see the whole campus coming out to watch the football game on a Saturday afternoon like you might find on some college campuses.

But you do see an incredible number of students that are engaged. Currently, about 20% of the students are involved in a varsity sport. About 80% of the students are involved in intramural sports. And 100% of the undergraduates are involved in the physical education program.

- So it really lets students pursue their interests, whether they pursue them as an extracurricular activity through their school previously or whether it's something brand-new.

- We've been able to make major investments in facilities and support services that have enhanced an already vital program.


The biggest single change has been the opening of the Zesiger Center.


- The Z Center. That thing's just beautiful, man.

- It just seemed like the MIT campus became healthier because people were more willing to work out because there were more facilities and they were nicer.

- The new facilities have been made possible because there was a vision on the part of MIT, but then the facilities could not have been created without the financial support of the alums, who have come forth to say, yes, we recognize that that is an important priority, and we want to be able to support it.

- You'll be in there lifting weights, and your professor will be in there lifting weights also or something, and you'll say hi to him. And just little things like that, seeing people outside of the classroom and interacting not in an academic way, I think, really helps build the community.

- It's not just about the classroom or just about the laboratory, but it's about growing as a person. And part of that is working with other students or participating in sports or other sort of events, the arts, all of which will carry forward into their future lives.



KAISER: If you count Europe and Asia as a single continent, there are six continents in the world, and we have three of them represented here. We have the man who has come the farthest, from Perth, Australia, is Tan. Raise your hand, Tan. He spent, what, 25 hours on the plane.

TAN: 25 hours flying [INAUDIBLE] from Perth to Boston.

KAISER: And you have-- how many children are graduating?

TAN: I got one child who's graduating now, yep, and she's in the Sloan School of Management.

KAISER: Sloan School of Management. And the next farthest comes from Bombay, India. Her name is Amita Parekh.



PAREKH: One. He's graduating from the Sloan School of Management, and I'm very proud.

KAISER: Two comments, one graduate school. Our next comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hugo Batales. And your child?

BATALES: My child is Alexander Batales. He's [INAUDIBLE] in economics.

KAISER: In economics.

BATALES: Economics.

KAISER: And is he going to go back to Buenos Aires?

BATALES: No, I think he thinks to continue study in the school.

KAISER: Very good. And then finally, from Beirut, Lebanon, Michelle and Patricia Nabti.

NABTI: Hello. Yes, our daughter is Jumana Nabti and she's getting two masters, one in urban planning, one in transportation.

KAISER: Wow, that's wonderful. So tell me, Tan, since you've come the farthest, is this your first time you've been to the United States?

TAN: No, I've been here a few times, and I like America.

KAISER: Well, that's a relief.


It's good to hear that. I like Australia. And Hugo, is this your first time?

BATALES: No, I came many times. Actually, I was married with an American woman, and we got three kids, two born in Buenos Aries and one born in the States.

KAISER: And what do you do?

BATALES: I have an industry. I make fire extinguishers in Argentina.

KAISER: You make fire extinguishers. Would you give the people here a deal?


Hugo says, if there's anybody out there needs a fire extinguisher, see him. Tan, what do you do?

TAN: I'm a businessman. I make cakes.

KAISER: You make what?

TAN: Cheesecakes.

AUDIENCE: Mm, cheesecake.

KAISER: All right, now Tan is a friend of mine.

NABTI: He is my friend too.

KAISER: And what about you? What do you do?

PAREKH: I work in a bank in India, a private bank.

KAISER: I just changed allegiances. Michelle and Patricia, what do you do?

NABTI: Yes. Well, I established a volunteer center for the country of Lebanon. So the last six years that's what I've been doing.

KAISER: And you?

NABTI: I spent a career at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University as Middle East area specialist.

KAISER: So your area of specialty is Middle East.

NABTI: Modern Middle East.

KAISER: So it's your fault.


KAISER: All right. So what we got to do here is break out a little cheesecake and break out a little fire extinguisher and have fun. Thank you very much, folks. It's really been marvelous.

AUDIENCE: Oh, wait. Here comes a proud mother.

KAISER: OK, we've got this-- we've got to [INAUDIBLE] people [INAUDIBLE]. All right. Now, I want-- oh, we have somebody else here? Oh, where are you from?

PARENT: I am coming from Chennai.

PARENT: India.

PARENT: India. And I'm mother of JK, who just talk.

KAISER: Oh, very good. Well, is Chennai farther than Bombay?


KAISER: JK, your parents are here. They want to know what you're up to. Thank you very much, folks. It's really been wonderful. Thank you very much. Let's give them a big hand.


He's got two. Hang on just a second. Now then, I would like to invite all those families who have the most MIT degrees back to back. In other words, if you have a child and you went to MIT and your grandfather went to MIT and your great-grandfather, come on up.

In the meantime, Killian Court is not only the setting for MIT's grand commencement ceremony, but it's a favorite setting for relaxation and recreation. This is something very special. Killian Court has also become a preferred hunting ground for MIT's resident red-tailed hawks. Apparently, a number of nesting pairs of hawks have decided, as many of you did four years ago, that MIT is a great environment for maturation and learning.

We recently had the pleasure, due to their choice of nest location, to witness up close a four-week process in which two down-covered chicks grew into fledglings that left the nest just last week. We offer this retrospective as we wait for your prospective fledglings to arrive. Take a look at the humongous-tron.


- These baby chicks were hatched on April 9 in a tree just across the street from the Student Center. During the week of April 19, MIT's in-house video production department set up a video camera and shared these images 24/7 throughout the Institute via MIT's cable TV system.

The following week, we began sharing the development of these chicks with the world via a 12-hour per day webcast. We were amazed at how quickly they grew. Many viewers wrote to tell us that they had detected visible growth within a single day.

Not unlike the graduates we honor today when they were just babies, the single mission of these youngsters was to be fed and to sleep. The parent hawks constantly doted on the chicks, delivering a nonstop assortment of Cambridge-area prey. Their first tentative steps resulted in the inevitable stumble and header. The parent hawks continued to fortify the nest as the babies grew.

These chicks also experience some of the same character-building New England weather that your children have been exposed to these past years. At different times, the outstretched wings of the mother protected the babies from a 2-inch dusting of snow or from several downpours.

And through it all, the chicks ate and grew and ate some more. During their sophomore period, the down gave way in places to feathers, and the now juveniles became more adventurous. More aggressive attempts at negotiating the nest earned similar results-- a face plant.

But as the footing became surer and the balance improved, it was time to stretch those wings and exercise those muscles. Now, as juniors, these students were learning as much as they could handle. Mother explained that the food they ate didn't just grow on trees. Lessons were provided in the value of the hunt.

And as the last bits of down were preened away and feathers continued to grow, the youngsters enthusiastically tested their abilities at defying gravity. As is usually the case, one of the siblings was far more the risk-taker, the trailblazer. Though only separated by perhaps a day at birth, it was clear that one of the siblings was far more anxious to explore life outside the nest.

Finally, graduation week had arrived. And just a week ago Tuesday, the more precocious sibling, who we named Kitty Hawk, jumped from the nest and glided safely to the other side of Mass Ave., landing on a bicycle rack in front of the Student Center.

MIT Campus Police, aided by a number of onlookers, secured the area, while the fledgling practiced take-offs and landings by flying from handlebar to handlebar. Over the next few hours, Kitty Hawk made its way, seemingly a branch at a time, up a nearby evergreen to an elevation where it gained enough confidence to attempt a return flight back to the nest, encouraged by cries from its mother.


Kitty Hawk provided encouragement to the less daring sibling, Mitzi, also known as Chicken Hawk. But Mitzi wasn't quite ready. Days passed, and Mitzi, although the spirit seemed willing, couldn't bring himself to venture beyond the nest.

We speculated that yet another torrential downpour might provide the necessary incentive, but Mitzi toughed it out. Food continued to be provided, and he now had a room all to himself. Why leave?

Parental and sibling encouragement continued, to where last Friday Mitzi jumped, flew to the highest point in the tree, and looked like he was ready. A gust of wind and a flurry of wings, and the less than gracious hawk stumbled downward--


--luckily landing in the nest below. Failure breeds success, and Mitzi undoubtedly learned from that failed attempt. The very next morning, Saturday, 5:00 AM, Mitzi took his maiden flight. Perhaps he was waiting for a smaller audience or for the sun to finally shine.

But later that day, he and Kitty Hawk were spotted together on the highest ledge of the Student Center and have since been spotted on ledges and windowsills throughout the Institute. You may even see them flying about today.

This is indeed a place where the young learn while they mature and test their limits and learn from their mistakes and finally leave, with confidence and a sense of great accomplishment to stretch their wings and explore new horizons where possibilities are boundless. We wish them the very best.



KAISER: Right now we're going to go back over to the Johnson Athletic Center to interview your children and see who we've got. So take a look at the screen, and I'll see who I can see. Who have you got over there?

LEE: How are you doing?

KAISER: Pretty good. What's your name?

LEE: My name is Kenny Lee. I'm class of '04, Sloan School.

KAISER: Oh, yeah. OK, Kenny. Everybody's Sloan School. But tell me, who are the people around you?

LEE: These are my best friends at MIT. I'm going to let them introduce themselves.

KAISER: Yeah, please do.

GOLDMAN: My name is Megan Goldman. I am class of 2004, undergraduate.

KIM: Mark Kim, class of 2004, MBA. Shout out to all those on the West Coast. Let's hear a cheer.

BUTLER: Hi, I'm Katie Butler. I'm an [INAUDIBLE] EECS of 2004. Whoo!

LEE: Nice.

[? MABLEY: ?] Hi, I'm Mandy [? Mabley, ?] class of 2004, Sloan. Hi, mom, dad, Scotty, Kelly, Molly.

LEE: Hi, my name's David Lee, class of 2004 at Sloan, from Fairfax, Virginia. What's up, mom, dad?

KAISER: So tell me, what's your name again, tell me?

LEE: Kenny.

KAISER: Kenny, did you meet all of these guys at MIT? You're at Sloan School, right?

LEE: That's correct.

KAISER: Did they all live with you or were you in the same dorm?

LEE: Part of it-- they want to know if we were all in the same dorm, did we live together?


LEE: So there's a few of us from the Sloan School here. We all took the same classes, lived in the MIT graduate dorms.

BUTLER: Some of us live off campus.

GOLDMAN: I'm at Sydney Pacific. Hi mom and dad and Jan and Donnie.

KAISER: This is management. Tell me, will you guys-- do you think you'll be able to keep in contact with one another after you've graduated?

LEE: Do you think we'll be able to keep contact with one another after we graduate?

LEE: Oh, I definitely think we're going to stay in contact. I think one of the big things from MIT that I think I'll take was the networking, all the great friends we made while we been here.

KAISER: How about the others? What do you think?

MABLEY: Absolutely. The friendships will definitely last a lifetime.

KAISER: That's marvelous.

MABLEY: We'll stay in touch.

BUTLER: We'll definitely stay in touch, mostly because a lot of people are moving to California, like me, yeah.

KIM: I think the great thing about MIT are all the great people that you meet. So definitely stay in touch. A lot of these people will be my lifelong friends, especially Megan and Katie here.

KAISER: All right.

GOLDMAN: Yes, it's been very nice meeting Mark today.

KAISER: All right.

GOLDMAN: But I definitely will stay in touch with all of my friends.

KAISER: OK, Kenny?

LEE: Yeah, go ahead.

KAISER: I want you to, on three, I'd like you to have you and all of your friends wave to all of their friends and parents here in Killian Court. 1--

LEE: Well, actually, can I just interrupt? We've been working on a move for the past three days--

KAISER: Excellent, let's do it.

LEE: --perfecting it. On the count of three, we're going to do our move. Is everyone ready?

KAISER: Everybody, look at the screen.

LEE: We're kind of limbered up here. All right, you give us the count.


LEE: 1.


LEE: 2.


LEE: 3. Hey.

ALL: Yay.

LEE: Love you.

KAISER: Great, Kenny. That's the MIT wave.

LEE: Thank you.

KAISER: Wow, that looks like they're having a very good time over there. I wonder if they'll ever come over here. MIT has just recently celebrated the completion of the long-awaited Ray and Maria Stata Center, a Frank Gehry-designed building that is the home to the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories, the lab for Information and Design Systems, and the Departments of Linguistics and Philosophy.

I'm a member of the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, and I have an office in the Stata Building. If you haven't seen it, you must go see it. It's on Vassar Street, and it's that very odd-shaped-looking building.

None of the lines are straight up and down. They're all sort of at angles. In fact, the worse fear of the architect is that there will be an earthquake and straighten the building. So we're going to see a video tape that's going to compress into a few moments the building of this remarkable edifice.




- I'm sure that the legacy of the great accomplishments that were born in Building 20 that you've all heard about here today are going to be preserved and extended and enhanced in this new space that will replace the time-honored building.

- We are thrilled that we will be able to move there, and our generations of students and researchers to come will be able to continue to innovate and help us lead better lives.

- This piece of land in this part of the campus will mark the information science, cognitive science, and biology parts that will drive much of our economy and much of our knowledge in this next century.

- We have the best faculty and the best students. And soon they will have the group of buildings of the quality they deserve.


- This is also a building that pushes the edge of design and construction technology. It's a building that was built entirely from a three-dimensional digital model.


- One of the things that we really wanted from the start was room to think, and this literally gives us plenty of room to think. There's light. There's air.

- It's like an ecosystem. It has everything we need.

- I love it. It's like living in a diorama.

- It's made me use my imagination, and I think that's what it's all about.

- The transition from the inside world to the outside world is gradual, and there seems to be a union between the inside and the outside.

- Just amazing space, amazing space. You see, we have the two floors here, the first floor, the second floor. Each slab is organized that way.

- The space is really original. And I really like the fact that a lot of the neighborhood organized around open spaces that really encourage collaboration and informal meeting, just bumping into each other.

- I thought it was rather traditional.

- I love the fact that I don't have to go outside to get to the main campus.

- I was really excited to see how beautiful the space is. It's really just these lofted ceilings and a lot of community areas.

- There was always a community, but it was a community in spite of the architecture. Here we have a community abetted by the architecture.

- What I have is a view not of Boston or Harvard, but a view looking right into the building. So I get to see Frank Gehry every day as I look out of my window, and I like that.

- Stata is a building that's bubbling over with the joy of invention, the pleasure of space and light, the satisfaction of making something well, and the enjoyment of being members of a vital, argumentative, bursting with ideas community. This is a building that combines superb technology with humanity and fun.



KAISER: We are about to interview the MIT generations. But before we do, I'd like to make a brief announcement. The MIT News Office has produced a brochure that outlines the accomplishments of Chuck Vest's administration and career at MIT. That brochure is available at the tent behind you, and you can pick it up any time you like.

It's a very interesting brochure, and it picks up every one of the important points of Chuck's career, which, as you know, will come to an end as president with this commencement after having been president for 13 and 1/2 years. So the MIT News Office has made that available to all of you.

Now we have behind me the generational MIT group. So we're going to first start with you, ma'am. What is your name?

[? LAPIN: ?] Marian [? Lapin. ?]

KAISER: And tell us how many generations?

[? LAPIN: ?] We have three generations in my family-- my husband class of 1935, my son class of '64, and now my grandson, who's getting his master's in 2004.

KAISER: That's unbelievable. Your husband was class of '35?

[? LAPIN: ?] Yes, he was an electrical engineer, and he worked for RCA for many years.

KAISER: That was the year I was born. May I ask how old you are?

[? LAPIN: ?] Yes, 91.

KAISER: How about that? May I have this dance?

[? LAPIN: ?] I'd rather play tennis.

KAISER: Do you play tennis now?

[? LAPIN: ?] Yes, I do, I do, several times a week, indoors in the winter, outdoors in the summer.

KAISER: Is that what you attribute your good health and--

[? LAPIN: ?] Yes.

KAISER: --to tennis?

[? LAPIN: ?] Yes.

KAISER: All right, everybody, take up tennis. And this man here is her son.

[? LAPIN: ?] But not the one that went to MIT.

KAISER: Yes, he went to Penn. That's Okay, Penn's good, Penn's good. And you, ma'am?

KELLER: Hi, I'm Margie Keller, and I'm here with my husband Rob Keller. Our daughter Karen Keller is graduating in 2004. I graduated in 1968 in physics. My husband graduated in 1970--

KELLER: '70.

KELLER: --a PhD in physics. And my daughter's grandfather has a master's in chemistry in 1948.

KAISER: How about that? And you, ma'am?

[? SHEREN: ?] Elizabeth [? Sheren. ?] My father-in-law is class of 1930, Sloan School, and I come back for my 30th reunion, also from the Sloan School. And my son is graduating today in Course 8.

KAISER: All right, folks, that's it. If I counted correctly, there's something like 12 generations of MIT graduates represented in this line. That's really amazing. Thank you so much, and especially to you. You are wonderful.

[? LAPIN: ?] I want to know what happened to the tar hut. I remember coming on a fancy day in May, and young men were trying to climb this hut that was covered with black tar.

KAISER: Oh, I know what happened. Do you know what happened? Warren will tell you what happened.

SEAMANS: [INAUDIBLE] rush, is what that was, yeah.

[? LAPIN: ?] It was funny.

KAISER: Didn't somebody get hurt or something?

SEAMANS: No, tar is carcinogenic.

KAISER: Oh, tar is carcinogenic. It was bad for your health.

[? LAPIN: ?] The paddles came out the top of the roof. The paddles came out the top of the roof.

KAISER: Thank you, old folks.

SEAMANS: Okay, I think we're--

KAISER: MIT's motto, as Warren told you, is "Mons et Manus"-- "Mens et Manus," which stands for "Mind and Hand." At MIT, students learn by doing, as illustrated in these next three easy pieces. Look at the "hugeatron."



- 3, 2, 1, go!


- Yeah!

- More and more, our students are looking for their MIT experience to be the foundation of a career and life that has many dimensions to it. And I think we're seeing more of those students, and I think we're serving them much better, as we quite consciously try to expand the range of activities that go beyond the classroom and laboratory.

- In the end, when you see your project helping people rather than just going up and getting dusty on a shelf somewhere, it really inspires you and shows you what you're really doing with your life or why you really want to learn the engineering that you're learning.

- It's a great market. It's waiting to change, and we believe we can change it. Thank you.

- One of the things that the Institute does is it fosters, like, individual initiative and creates opportunities for that to happen.

- Good evening, everyone. Welcome to our last Senate meeting of the term.

- Through the MIT Washington program, I spent the summer on the Senate floor working on legislation. And I brought that experience back here to MIT to be the MIT [INAUDIBLE] speaker.

- Extracurricular activities are really important in that they're the way that students get to apply all the theory that they learn in the classroom.

- [INAUDIBLE] steps on the [INAUDIBLE], leans forward, and lowers himself to the garden.

- We're not simply educating the mind of the student, but we're trying to educate the student to be able to actually accomplish things.

- --and stand himself back up.

- For the first time since I came to MIT, I really feel like I have a purpose beyond my four or five years here or beyond the next problem set.

- They learn incredible amounts about leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and courage, the willingness to take risks, and push their abilities beyond what they think they can achieve.

- Just being able to deal with lots of different types of situations. There's one type of competence that you have and being able to sit at a lab bench and solve a scientific problem. It's a different skill set to be able to interact with different kinds of people to accomplish some task.

- Participating in these extracurricular activities has given me the confidence to lead an organization and the experience in working with other people that I really believe that I can walk into any kind of a situation and have had some kind of experience that has prepared me for anything that might arise.


- Robosnail is being developed in the Hatsopoulos Microfluids Lab here at MIT. We're interested in the fluids lab at studying fluids at very small scales. Microfluidics is becoming increasingly important today, mostly because of medical and biological applications.

People are learning to build these labs on a chip, in which you have fluids that flow through very small channels, maybe chemical reactions take place in those channels. And the first thing you need to know, if you're really going to design these chips effectively, is you have to understand the fluid motion at those small scales.

A real snail moves by a series of stretching and compression waves. Basically, the only way the snail interacts with the substrate is through a thin layer of fluid. The slime is actually incredibly interesting. It's not a Newtonian fluid, which means that the characteristics of the fluid change depending on how you stress it.

And when you go to very, very small scales, suddenly you have a completely different set of forces that become important. And you have to learn to either beat those forces or use them to your advantage. Robosnail is answering the question of, how can we use these high pressures in thin films to actually get something to propel itself?

- From back here?

- Okay.

- But the--

- The current version of Robosnail is a prototype. We built him mostly as a proof of concept to show that you really can generate forward momentum using the pressures that build up in these lubricating layers.

- Upside down?

- Yeah.

- Okay.

- I haven't really gone through it with Brian yet to know what he--

- Robosnail was really initiated and designed by a graduate student, Brian Chan. Brian is one of the most creative students I've ever come across. The guy can build anything mechanical. You give him-- you tell him, I need something that walks on water, he'll build it.

- Last year I had to take-- I was taking a fluids course, and we had to do a course project. And I saw some web pages on water snails and how they move, and I decided to make a robosnail.

I just went to California and took a look at the banana slugs, which are these huge slugs. They grow to like 7 or 8 inches. And since they're so big, you could see what's going on. And if you look closely at the bottom, you could see that-- you could see that they also have these compression waves, which is actually how I got the idea for this machine.

- We are extremely good at designing things that move on flat surfaces. If we build a road, we can design a vehicle that goes on it. But snails can climb up a vertical wall, and that's something that we have not been able to design yet. And that's something where, I think, we can learn a lot from looking at these natural systems.

- I noticed that a lot of times people, they think of bugs or snails, and they just get grossed out, and they don't really care. But if we take the time to actually observe these creatures, we can learn a lot.

- It's taking a biological creature that, after all this time, still exists, and so his motion must have some advantage to him, or it would have fallen out of the evolutionary chain. And we're looking at it, saying, okay, well, if it has applications in real life, then maybe there's a way to model it to have applications in something else that we want to do later on.


KAISER: All right. I just looked at my watch, and my watch says that it is 9:23. The guests of honor are beginning to process, and they will be here in about seven minutes. You could take a look up on the screen, and you'll see them getting ready to come here to Killian Court.

This is a good time for me to outline some of the protocols when they come. First of all, we know that each of you is going to be very anxious to get the best possible view or photograph of your graduate. But I urge you to be considerate of the fellow guests around you.

Please do not stand on the chairs to take pictures. We've had people in the past do that and they've actually hurt themselves, and we don't really want that to happen to you. So whatever you do, don't step on the chairs.

And also, remember when you're taking pictures to be mindful of the people around you so that you don't block their view as well. So you might take a moment now to introduce yourself to those people around you if you don't know them so that you can work this out among yourselves.

We would also like to request that you now take the time to put your cell phones in a non-audible mode. In the unlikely-- and we hope it doesn't occur-- in the unlikely event that you'll need medical attention, the medical tent is located at the rear of Killian Court.

The words to the national anthem and the MIT school song are printed in the commencement program, in addition to some helpful information regarding logistics. So you might want to take a look at that. There will be some people who will be wearing red jackets in the procession, a very interesting group of people. And Warren Seamans will tell you about them.

SEAMANS: The red jackets, which you will see I am wearing one of those red jackets-- I'll tell you why I am in a minute-- but these mark the 50-year class. You can only wear the red jacket, the cardinal red jacket, when you reach the 50-year class. And so as part of the procession coming in today, there will be members of the class of '50--


SEAMANS: --'54, coming in as a group, and they will be seated as a group. You can become an honorary member of a class and thereby wear a red jacket. I very proudly wear my class of 1935 jacket because I'm an honorary member of that class.


SEAMANS: The class coming in today includes [? Alec ?] Dreyfus and our former president and chairman of the Corporation, Paul Gray.

KAISER: Thank you very much, Warren. I'm going to say goodbye to you all. For Warren and myself, it's been great visiting with you. And now we're going to introduce one last tape and then say good-bye for Commencement 2004. MIT has been visited by many interesting folks over these past years. Here is a sampling and a compilation we call "Voices at MIT."



- MIT is admired around the world as a crucible of creative thought, a force for progress, a place where dreams of generations become reality. MIT has done much to make this the American century.

- The Boston area boasts of several excellent institutions of higher learning, but there is only one MIT.

- MIT has shown a standard of excellence in education and research that sets a benchmark for universities everywhere.


- Right now, China is very short of talented managers. What we would like to see more than anything else is to see MIT helping us to train these high-level managerial persons.

- I promise I will pay what you are paid here.



Thank you.

- I personally, and Microsoft, have been an incredible beneficiary of the kind of work that goes on here and in other places like this. Here at MIT, over 50 years ago there was a vision laid down by Vannevar Bush that we're probably about, oh, 20% of the way to achieving.

- I can't tell you how much I have personally benefited from this institution. As part of this wonderful campaign, I would like to put $100 million on the table.


- If one is unfortunate enough to be disabled, this is the age in which to be so. The disabled have a lot to thank technology for. I probably wouldn't have survived, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to write a best-selling book if I had been born any earlier.

- Managing innovation and figuring out how to actually turn good ideas into products is a really interesting thing that you probably don't learn about in universities. It's not about just technology. It's about the way people are treated. It's about how you motivate people.

- What was that inspiration which led suddenly to the world wide web? For me, I wanted the thing to be a project management tool that allows all to work together, not management from the top down, but management in there working together way. So I then said, it should be intercreative, universal space for people to communicate through sharing knowledge.

- We are at the dawn of a true innovation age. It's estimated that the entire store of human knowledge now doubles every five years.

- I would like to thank MIT for this incredible honor, which is, I have to say, the first academic honor I've ever received. So it's nice to start at the top. This is such a great institution dedicated to the search for the new and to the openness of thought that that search requires.

- This case is the great test of where we stand on the issue of freedom and solidarity and the future of our own culture.

- For in the end, I believe the real challenge of history is to resist the tendency so prevalent today to label, to stereotype, to expose, to denigrate, and instead to bring common sense and empathy to our subjects so that the past can truly come alive, if only for a few moments, in all of its beauty, glory, sadness, and complexity.

- Young people like you are always the vanguard of any social movement, setting an energetic tone of courage and commitment. And now we need you to, once again, lead us to a higher and more noble destiny.

- 21st-century America belongs to you. Take good care of it. Thank you and God bless you.



KAISER: Hello again, everyone. I'm now talking to Larry Isaacson who is the director of Mass Brass. The Mass Brass is the ensemble who will be providing the music for the commencement this morning. And Larry is currently assistant director of the music division at the Boston Conservatory. He was actually on the faculty of MIT, on the staff of MIT, from 19-- what, 1990?

ISAACSON: 1990 to 2000.

KAISER: And now you're at the Boston Conservatory. And what are your duties there?

ISAACSON: Well, actually, I produce their concerts. There are about 30 concerts a year that we do, both orchestra, wind ensemble, musical theater, dance, opera, and I oversee all of those.

KAISER: I wonder if you could tell the folks a little bit about the music that they're going to be hearing as the graduates process into Killian Court, Larry.

ISAACSON: Sure. We put together a really good combination of music, things that you would be familiar, things like Copland and Anderson and Gershwin, and also music that's been written either for the MIT Brass Ensemble or for this graduation in particular.

We had Kevin [? Kaska ?] write a piece a few years ago for us, and we actually will do that as well as part of the processional for the students, in addition to Pomp and Circumstance. So it's a lot of familiar, a lot of older things, and a lot of new things that we sort of introduce as well. Should be very enjoyable.

KAISER: I understand that there's something of your own in this program as well.

ISAACSON: Yes, the fanfare when the color guard comes in. It's actually John Williams. I didn't write it. I arranged it for this grouping. It's his Olympic Fanfare, one of his Olympic Fanfares, and we'll use that for the color guard today.

KAISER: I'll be looking forward to hearing that, because, as you know, I play a brass instrument myself, and I don't think there's a lovelier sound than brass. Tell me, what are you going to do next?

ISAACSON: Well, I'm going to head off to Aspen in about a week and do their July 4th concert. It's only-- I gather there's 10,000 people here today-- it's only 5,000 in that audience. It's a small audience.

KAISER: A comedown, but not much of one. Larry, it's always a pleasure to hear you and the Mass Brass and to hear your wonderful music. What would commencement be without it? Thank you very much.

ISAACSON: Thank you, Jay.

KAISER: And the stage is now yours.


ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the academic procession will enter Killian Court in about 10 minutes. At this time, please welcome the MIT Campus Police Color Guard.



Ladies and gentlemen, the academic procession, led by the Chief Marshal, will now enter Killian Court.


SEAMANS: Welcome to the-- can you hear me, Larry? OK, OK. Welcome to our 136th MIT Commencement. The first one in 1868 had 13 graduates. We have a few more than that today.


The president of the MIT Alumni Association carries the mace, which is the symbolic instrument for the Institute. There's Chuck Vest, current president.

KAISER: There's Rafael Bras who's the chair of the faculty. And this is what-- did you mention it's the 138th?

SEAMANS: 136th.

KAISER: 136th.

SEAMANS: It's hard to tell because in 1944, there were two graduations during World War II.

KAISER: Ah, right.

SEAMANS: So it's either 136 or 137.

KAISER: President Vest is wearing the recently minted MIT gown, the crimson and gray. This year, there are going to be 2,205 undergraduates and graduate students scheduled to receive 1,114 bachelor's degrees, 1,161 master's, 211 doctorates, and 10 engineering degrees.

SEAMANS: This is the procession of the faculty coming in to be seated on the stage. The stage is covered by a huge sail made by the MIT ocean engineering faculty.

KAISER: There's a glimpse of all of the degrees that are going to be handed out. And you can see what a logistic problem it is to get them all stacked up in the right order so that when their student comes up onto the platform as her name is pronounced, that you gets the right diploma.

SEAMANS: That close-up of the mace you saw has the beaver, MIT's mascot, on its top, and the bottom of it is an acorn.

KAISER: You're looking at Steve Lerman there. He is the master of the new graduate dorm on Albany Street, very active member of the MIT community.

SEAMANS: And there's a partial view of the audience for the commencement ceremony. Most of those people started gathering here about 7:30 this morning. So they've been out there for, most of them, for two to two and a half hours already.

KAISER: The sail works as, of course, a protection from the sun when you're sitting there. But it's also, in the past it's acted as an umbrella when there have been really inclement commencements.

SEAMANS: We should point out that this is sort of a miracle day. The last two weeks have been almost continuous rain here in the Boston area, and yesterday it rained off and on most of the day. Yet today came forth just this beautiful, cool, wonderful day. Rain is predicted again for tomorrow. So it's this sun is shine brightly on MIT today.

KAISER: Yes. I mean, if the weather were traffic, MIT would be-- let's say if the weather were New York traffic, MIT would be a New Yorker trying to get across the street. We've managed to dodge so many different storm systems yesterday and today.

We had yesterday the Hooding Ceremony, and it rained before it. Then when the ceremony started, the sun shone. And when the ceremony was over, the clouds came back in again, and it rained some more. And just look at the sky above the dome now. There isn't a cloud in the sky. I can't remember in recent years a commencement which has had a cloudless sky like this.

SEAMANS: For those of you who may be watching who are not familiar with MIT, this is MIT's Great Court, Killian Court, which was dedicated in 1916, 88 years ago. And it has traditionally served as MIT's open living room, where everything from graduations, commencements, to inauguration of new presidents, to scientific happenings, to celebrations of the end of World War II, just whatever has been happening is sort of reflected by the events in the Great Court, Killian Court.

KAISER: Yes. Now, there is the president of MIT, Chuck Vest. As I said, this is going to be probably his last commencement as president. Of course, everything depends on who the new president is and when the new president can come.

But Chuck announced several months ago that he was stepping down. Right now, he's talking to Elias Zerhouni, who is director of the National Institutes of Health. And Dr. Zerhouni will provide the principal address.

SEAMANS: Now you see entering the 50-year class with their red jackets. This is a symbol of MIT's longevity. But since 1966, the 50-year class has been allowed to wear the cardinal red jacket. So these are all members of the class of '50-- '54 coming in.

KAISER: In that previous shot, kind of a poignant picture there, that was of Paul Gray, who is now taking his seat with the other 50-year [? corps. ?] Paul has, of course, spent, I think, 41 years attending commencements at MIT sitting on this stage. And now this will be the first one that he'll spend sitting with his comrades.

SEAMANS: There's [? Phil ?] Curry, who is the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Studies.

KAISER: Social Sciences.

SEAMANS: Social Sciences.

KAISER: And there is Tom Magnanti, who's dean of the School of Engineering, with the orange tie. And who's that? That's the dean of the Sloan School. I believe that's Dick Schmalensee, Dick Schmalensee.

So there are three deans, three of the five deans, and the chair of the faculty in the lower left. There's Eleanor Westney, the woman in the orange cap. She is also Sloan School. Her specialty is Japan. And--

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen,

KAISER: --she's going to go back to--

ANNOUNCER: --the guests--

KAISER: --Japan next year--

ANNOUNCER: --of honor--

KAISER: --for her sabbatical.

ANNOUNCER: --the Class of 2004.

SEAMANS: We're just about to have the procession of the Class of 2004. They come in from Memorial Drive on to the stage.


KAISER: Now, I know on the right there is Larry Benedict, who is the dean for Student Affairs at MIT. And although he's shaded, I can't tell yet, that should be-- to Larry's right that should be Bob Redwine. But it doesn't look like Bob, who is-- Bob Redwine is the dean of Undergraduate Education.

It's getting closer. Those are the two deans, the two most important deans in the undergraduate life of these students-- Bob Redwine on the screen left and Larry Benedict, screen right. A terrific duo. They've been in their offices now, I guess, for three years, and they've just done an absolutely splendid job. MIT is incredibly lucky to have two gifted--

SEAMANS: The group standing on either side, but you can see to the right now, are the families. This morning we found that there were people from as far away as Perth, Australia and Argentina, India, of course. People from around the world have come for this glorious event.

KAISER: Other speakers at the event today, beside President Vest and Elias Zerhouni, will include the president of the Graduate Student Council, Erich Caulfield, and Maria Hidalgo, who's president of the Class of 2004, who will present the class gift.

The Invocation will be delivered by another MIT long-timer, Reverend Robert M. Randolph, who is Senior Associate Dean for Students at MIT and an affiliate minister at Harvard University's Memorial Church.

SEAMANS: We should indicate, perhaps, that the commentary as we are doing it, in case you've joined recently, is being given by Jay Kaiser and by Warren Seamans, myself.

KAISER: Yes, I'm Jay Kaiser. And to my right is--

SEAMANS: Warren Seamans.

KAISER: Warren was-- Warren was director of the MIT Museum for many, many years before he retired in 1996. Warren retired two years before I did, and both of us can attest to the glories of retirement.


And there's the mace, the MIT mace, standing up above the crowd there.


Dr. Zerhouni is the 15th director of the NIH. He took office in May of 2002, and his major focus at the NIH has been in laying out new pathways of discovery in clinical research enterprise and research teams for re-engineering clinical work, primarily concerned with biomedical research.

SEAMANS: As the graduates file into the Killian Court, they must get into a certain order, because as their names are called they go under the awning and receive their diploma. At the time they do this, they are read simultaneously. The grad students and the undergrads are read.

So they are divided. So they go up, and you'll see two diplomas being given out almost simultaneously. Earlier you saw the stacks of diplomas, which must be exactly in order so that each person gets exactly the diploma he's entitled to. There we see the stacks of diplomas.


KAISER: There's the MIT mace carried into the procession by the--

SEAMANS: President of the MIT Alumni Association.

KAISER: President of the MIT Alumni Association. That mace goes back how far, Warren? The beaver's on top of the mace, right?

SEAMANS: Yes, the beaver's on top, and an acorn is on the bottom.

KAISER: Uh-huh. And what's in the middle there? It's an urn, right?


KAISER: And there are ashes in that urn, right?

SEAMANS: I do not really know what's in there. This particular urn only-- particular mace is only, perhaps, 20 to 22 years old. So a relatively new tradition in the entire proceedings.

KAISER: I see, carrying the mace is a new--

SEAMANS: Carrying the mace.

KAISER: Well, we know what the-- we did a hooding ceremony yesterday, as I said, 211 doctorates were hooded yesterday. I might say a word about what that means. When you become a PhD, you get a hood. And you could see the backs here of the faculty, all of those colorful things there, the yellows and the blues. Those are hoods.

Those hoods go back to medieval times when they reflect a time when scholars were mendicants. And they would lecture, and for their pains, they would be given money or food or things of that sort, which were kept in these hoods.

Now they're strictly ornamental, and what they do is they reflect the school that the graduate came from. For example, my PhD was from Yale, and it's a very deep blue. The MIT hood will be crimson and gray--

SEAMANS: Cardinal.

KAISER: Cardinal, of course, cardinal and gray. And yesterday, we gave the hoods to the PhD candidates, which means that this ceremony can be cut by about an hour. It took that long to-- we used to give the hoods in the same ceremony. But dividing these ceremonies in two was a wonderful idea because not only did it give special recognition to PhDs, but it also enabled this ceremony to move along at a faster clip.

SEAMANS: The books that everybody is holding is the commencement program, which also lists all of the graduates in the order by the school, and usually it lists the hometown as well. Kathryn Willmore, vice president and secretary of the Corporation, Allan Bufferd, treasurer.


KAISER: So we've got what? What did I say, 2,000?

SEAMANS: We have 2,200 or--

KAISER: 2,200. People are marching in from Howard Johnson Athletic Center, across Mass Avenue, and up into Killian Court.

SEAMANS: Chuck Vest, outgoing president.

KAISER: Dr. Zerhouni next to him.

SEAMANS: Killian Court was dedicated 30 years ago this year in honor of James Rhyne Killian, former president and chairman of the Corporation at the time of his retirement from the latter. Prior to that time, it had been known as the Great Court. And it always, as I indicated earlier, had always been the center of MIT activity.

However, graduations traditionally were not held in the Great Court. Starting in early 1920s, they decided to try to hold the graduation ceremonies in the court. But in '23, the tent fell down that they were under, and they moved back to Symphony Hall for most of the next 20 to 25 years.

Then after the Rockwell Cage was built post-war, they moved graduation to that facility, where it remained until about 20 years we moved back outside. And weather has usually cooperated, although there have been times when raincoats were furnished to everybody attending, and umbrellas were usually, in those two or three years, were the primary thing you saw looking out from this direction.

For those of you familiar with this view of the court, you turn around and see the view going back toward the Boston skyline. There's now a large tent across there, which blocks off the view of the river and Memorial Drive and pretty well hides the view, which is always spectacular.

KAISER: Those flowers that you see there are not always there. They are brought in especially for the commencement exercises. And what will happen after the commencement exercises is that they'll all be taken in to the lobby beneath the dome, which you now see, and they're sold to the general public, and the proceeds go to some charitable--

SEAMANS: Community Service Fund, I believe.

KAISER: The Community Service Fund. So that's always a great event to go down and buy some of those beautiful flowers. They don't go to waste, go to a very good cause.

SEAMANS: The dome you currently see has been the scene of some of MIT's most famous hacks-- the police cruiser on the dome, the helicopter earlier this year. It's always been a student-central thing to have been-- to have done a hack on the main dome.

KAISER: Yes, the students know how to get up there. They're very clever about getting up there.

SEAMANS: Even though it's illegal, of course.

KAISER: The most recent hack there was a beautiful, beautiful reproduction of the Kitty Hawk.

SEAMANS: The Wright brothers' plane.

KAISER: The Wright brothers' plane. And the hawks, the red-tailed hawks that have taken up residence at MIT, one of them is named Kitty Hawk.


KAISER: And I think that he was named Kitty Hawk not after the Wright Brothers plane, but after the MIT hack. The hack is-- it does cause some consternation on the part of officialdom at MIT because on the one hand, it is a remarkable expression of student ingenuity. On the other hand, it's dangerous to go up on to the dome. But these are MIT students, and if you block all of the known entrances to the dome, they'll find another way.

SEAMANS: They'll find another one.

KAISER: And even if it means scaling the columns from outside. There is Dr. Vest now, and a good shot of Dr. Vest and Dr. Zerhouni, who came to the United States from Algeria in 1975. He earned a medical degree from the University of Algiers.

And he was accepted as a radiology resident at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he became chairman of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, radiologist-in-chief, and president of the Clinical Practice Association, executive vice dean, and professor of biomedical engineering. He singly or jointly holds eight patents for various computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging inventions.

And it's significant that our speaker today would come from the biological sciences. That is one of the burgeoning areas in most institutions of higher learning and particularly in MIT. It will be interesting to see what Dr. Zerhouni has to say. In the upper left-hand corner there, you saw Bob Silbey, who's dean of the School of Science.

SEAMANS: Those who have received a commission to ROTC will be wearing their uniform for the respective service that they did their ROTC training in.

KAISER: What I've been looking for, as the graduates have processed down the center aisle, is I've been looking for some originality in their costume. And I don't see any.

SEAMANS: No, it's been very staid. And only one or two cell phones as well.

KAISER: I mean, I don't see a single adorned--

SEAMANS: Not one.

KAISER: --mortarboard. Amazing.

SEAMANS: A few minutes ago-- a few seconds ago, we saw the class of '04's banner. Each class has a banner that's prepared for them by the Institute, and then this is brought out for reunions and other events that the class has. It's something maintained by the Institute.

KAISER: There's [INAUDIBLE] cell phone.

SEAMANS: This too goes-- that tradition goes back to 1868, the class banner.

KAISER: Yeah. Yes, I've noticed that over the last-- for several years the classes has been less adventurous.

SEAMANS: Yeah, there's another cell phone. There's two cell phones. Last year, almost everybody who came in had a cell phone as they were talking to somebody.

KAISER: Yeah, and they were usually talking to the person next to them.

SEAMANS: Maybe that is something that has become passe. Let's hope so. But I think it's fascinating that there's so little adornment.

KAISER: Yeah, yeah. I believe that we're going into a conservative cycle. Oh, boy. That's Bob Brown on the right. He is provost of MIT.

SEAMANS: Provost is the chief academic officer of an institute.

KAISER: And the word "provost"-- and I don't know if you knew this, Warren-- but the word "provost" actually comes from the same root as the word for "preposition."

SEAMANS: Really?

KAISER: That's right. It's the same word. It's the Latin [LATIN], and it's from the past participle. And a provost is someone that you should never end an argument with.


SEAMANS: As I say, he is the chief academic officer, and everybody else reports through him to the president.

KAISER: We've been talking about Dr. Zerhouni giving the principal address. The president of MIT, of course, also delivers an address each year. And when the president delivers the address, it's called the charge. And so what the president actually does is, I think the proper usage is the president charges the class, which seems to be a bit unfortunate since he's been charging the class for the last four years.

SEAMANS: We won't say in which way. Behind--


SEAMANS: Behind him-- behind the flag is Ike Colbert, who's dean of the Grad School.

KAISER: Yeah, dean of the Graduate School. There's a great shot of the adornment. I wish I knew the names of those flowers. I don't, so I'll just point them out. There's some blue ones, and there's some pink ones.

SEAMANS: Ageratum and--

KAISER: Geraniums. Are those--

SEAMANS: Yeah, the orange ones are--

KAISER: Are those blue ones--

SEAMANS: The pinkish ones are geranium.

KAISER: Are the blue ones hydrangeas?

SEAMANS: No, they're ageratum.


SEAMANS: Ageratum.

KAISER: Ageratum. This is a family show, Warren. So ageratum, ageratum yourself.

SEAMANS: I could call it ageratum.


SEAMANS: Could call it ageratum, I suppose.

KAISER: How do you know that?

SEAMANS: I was a horticulture major in college.

KAISER: Well, will wonders never cease? A horticulture major, really?

SEAMANS: Yeah, I switched early on--

KAISER: I'll be darned.

SEAMANS: --to something else.

KAISER: I'll be darned. Well, I mean, here's some department heads. There's--

SEAMANS: Stan Anderson.

KAISER: Stan Anderson, architecture.

SEAMANS: Head of architecture.

KAISER: And Ian Hutchinson. What is-- I'm not sure of his department. That's Ian Hutchinson in the blue. And I don't recognize the man with the yellow next to him. That's Steve Lippard in the MIT gown there. Well, it's not an MIT gown, is it? Looks a little like it. And Steve Lippard is head of chemistry, and he's talking to Lester Thurow, the man who used to be dean of the School of--

SEAMANS: Management.


SEAMANS: Sloan School.

KAISER: The Sloan School. And next to him, I don't know who he is, but he looks awfully comfortable. He's got his feet up on the railing there.

SEAMANS: The dark glasses.

KAISER: All right. Yes, John Belcher is talking-- that's John Belcher with the tassel over his left eye-- and he's talking to Steve Lerman, who is on his right and directly in front of him.

Now, the next person we're going to see is the mayor of the city of Cambridge. And he's the one nearest us, and he's talking to Phil Clay, who is the chancellor. He was from the Department of Urban Studies. And the mayor, of course, presided last a few weeks ago over that historic evening when same-sex marriages were allowed in Cambridge.

And Phil Clay is sandwiched in between the mayor on the left and Mr. Mead, who is the new chairman of the Corporation. He's now adjusting his cuff. That's him. And right above him-- that's it.

SEAMANS: We're reaching just about the end of the procession, I believe. Takes about a half an hour for all the 2,200 people to get into the great Killian Court.


KAISER: All right. Now you can see the PhD candidates. They already have their hoods. There was one PhD candidate yesterday who actually came up on the platform, and she already had a hood. This was her second PhD. And you might catch a glimpse of her.

I don't if she's allowed to wear two hoods, but it'd be interesting to see if you do that. Well, I mean, not allowed. I'm sure you could allow. There isn't any hood policemen around. But I wonder what the protocol is if you have two PhDs. And she's now enrolled in a program to get a third doctorate, the MIT-Harvard Health-- joint medical health program.

The music in the background, as I'm sure you can hear, is Mass Brass, directed by Larry Isaacson, the brass ensemble that entertains the commencement every year. Larry was actually a member of MIT teaching staff from 1990 to 2000.

He is now assistant director of the music division of the Boston Conservatory. And right after today's event, well, just within a couple of days, he's going to be hopping a plane to Aspen, Colorado, where he will lead the Aspen Festival Concert.

SEAMANS: This is a view from behind the speakers podium, where very soon the Commencement ceremonies will start.


There are Priscilla Gray and Becky Vest, the current and immediate past presidents' wives. OK. We are ready to sign off because the Commencement is coming. It's commencing.

KAISER: This is Warren Seamans and Jay Kaiser saying goodbye for another year.

PRESENTER: The Corporation and the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now declared convened together with this assembly on the occasion of the Commencement Exercises of this Institution for the conferring of degrees.

The stage assembly and the audience will please rise for the Invocation by Dean Robert Randolph and remain standing to join the MIT Chorallaries in the singing of one verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

RANDOLPH: Almighty God, known by many names, heard in many voices, we invoke your presence with us this day. Today we celebrate the accomplishments of those who receive diplomas and of those who begin new chapters in their lives. We invoke your blessings upon them.

There are those here who have passed through MIT and seldom looked to right or left. There are those here who have struggled and arrive here today battered and bruised. Make each mindful, we pray, of what they have accomplished. Let success mend self-esteem and give perspective to achievement.

Bless as well, Almighty God, those who have supported them in their work, in the classroom, at home, and on the way-- teachers who have given of themselves in ways that will only be understood with the passage of time, families who have sacrificed much, friends who have learned from them and taught them, as only peers can.

We ask special blessings on President Charles Vest and his good wife Rebecca. They have given much to this Institution, and we ask that the next chapter in their lives be as successful as their time with us.

We pray for the security of our nation and for the safety of those who defend freedom, whoever and wherever they are. Make us ever mindful of those on whose shoulders we stand, as well as those who follow in our path. And as we celebrate accomplishment and transition, may we continue to seek wisdom. Hear our prayer. Amen.


(SINGING) O, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


PRESENTER: Please be seated. I'm pleased to welcome to the platform the honorable Michael A. Sullivan, mayor of the city of Cambridge. Mayor?


I'm also pleased to welcome Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, who will now give the graduation address. Dr. Zerhouni.


ZERHOUNI: Thank you very much. It's really a privilege for me to be here and celebrate with you on this beautiful day. I also wish my mother-in-law was here to see what I was doing today, because I still have to convince her on a daily basis that her daughter made the right choice many years ago.

I'm honored to be here because I also, as a parent myself, can feel the joy of your parents and friends who are here. As a parent, I remember the birth of my first son as if it was yesterday. And I can tell you, your parents also remember those 22 years ago and days when you were born.

For you, those 22 years may have seemed very long and arduous. But I can tell you, for parents they are very short. They all remember you as a baby, and they can't believe how you've become such a formidable graduate of one of the most prestigious institutions in the world.

And that's an illustration of what I call the relativity principle of time and aging. The older you are, the faster time seems to go by and the faster tuition bills seem to come through as well.

But you know, you are the legacy of your parents to this world, and they all deserve our heartfelt recognition for doing such a good job. And I'd like all the graduates, if you don't mind, to give a round of applause to your parents.


It's also a great honor for me to give this address in the last year of President Charles Vest's extraordinary tenure at MIT. There's no question that Dr. Vest, from my point of view as a federal agency official, today is one of the most influential thought leaders in higher education.

He has this rare combination that you don't find a lot in life that combines vision and flawless execution. Well, last night he conducted the Boston Pops with a flawless execution, I hear. President Vest, we're impressed.

Recently, my younger son Adam actually was initiated in a fraternity called Phi Kappa Psi. And as I was checking to make sure that this was a good fraternity, a decent one, I found out that Dr. Vest was a member of that fraternity. So when people ask me now about my son Adam, I say, oh, don't worry. He belongs to the exact same fraternity Dr. Vest belongs to. So I'm very proud to do this in his last year.

But when I was preparing my speech, what can you say to 2,200 very bright graduates that will make a difference in telling them about where you see life and where you see your field of science, where you see yourself? And as I was preparing my speech, I was looking at, what was the best strategy to do that?

And I came across the story of a commencement speaker at Yale University who had the great idea of using every letter of the Yale name as a starting concept. So he used Y for youth, and he went on and on about youth. And then he used A for ability, which you all have, and he went on and on. And from the back of the room somebody said, thank god we're not the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


So I give up on that strategy. I'm not going to use that strategy today. Instead, I'll tell you about what I think are the very critical both scientific challenges of the 21st century, but also, what is your role in it? The challenge, frankly, for us in the 21st century is one that we have brought upon ourselves.

And I'll just go back in history a little bit to give you the perspective of how I see it. When you think about the universe, you hear that about 13.7 billion years ago there was a big bang, and off of that big bang came the universe. And then planets and solar systems and galaxies organized themselves. That was the first big bang, but there were other big bangs.

The Earth came about 5 billion years ago. And about 4 billion years ago, with a mysterious event, life appeared. And what happened is that through replication of very special molecules, DNA and RNA, something very unique happened, where by natural evolution allowed, through multiple variations and survival of the fittest, the emergence of a very diverse life on Earth.

But there is a third big bang. And this is the one you're living in today, which you have to take account of, and that is the big bang of knowledge. It occurred about 100,000 years ago, when about 10,000 individuals, at most-- as we look at the genome and we look at the variation of the genome across the human population, it is very clear that all of us have come from the same founding population of 10,000 individuals in Africa about 100,000 years ago.

So we're not that different from each other in historical terms. And yet that changed the game of life, because through knowledge, through our ability, through our intelligence we're able to transfer information from one child-- from one parent to a child, from a parent to another one.

And through generations, we're able to develop tools of adaptation the world has never seen. We've been able to change our environment at a speed, at a velocity, that is much faster than what we can adapt to ourselves through our natural mechanisms of natural evolution.

Let me give you an example. Obesity is an emerging public health threat. This year, the Center for Disease Control said that obesity will be the second-- is the second cause of premature mortality and morbidity in this country. Now, why is that? Because for millions of years, our genes evolve in the context of food scarcity. There was not a lot of food around us for millions of years.

And all of a sudden, because of our intelligence, because of our knowledge, we changed that in less than 50 years. Most of our genes are, in fact, designed to allow you to accumulate energy and keep that energy, which then translates itself into overweight and obesity.

Well, what are we going to do about it? What I will dare to say to you is that life sciences and their applications will be the defining challenge of the 21st century, bar none. And the reason is that we are changing our environment at a speed which will require us to understand life sciences to a degree we do not understand today.

And let me tell you, it will require the intelligence and commitment of many classes of graduates like yours. It is not coming from biology. The solution will not come from biology alone. It will come from the integration of biology and computer sciences and mathematics and physics and chemistry. And we want to encourage that to happen.

Why is this a great opportunity for you? Let me tell you a little story. About a few weeks ago, I was at a meeting of the annual convention of all the biotechnology executives. All the CEOs of the many biotechnology companies in this country were there assembled in New York with their investment bankers.

Now, you know this must be a very important meeting for someone who is trying to get funds for their idea. And I just conducted a poll, and I said to them, I am the director of the NIH. I'm supposed to-- as the nation's medical research agency, I want to ask you a question.

How much do you think you know of what you need to know to be effective in combating obesity or diabetes and any of the health challenges that we have in front of us? And I asked the question, do you think you know 90% of what you need to know? And no one answered that. 50%? No one raised their hand. 20%? No one raised their hand.

So I say, what about less than 10%? Everybody raised their hand. This is from the leaders of life sciences today. So think about it. Think how much opportunity there is in front of you. 90% of what there is to discover is still ahead of us.

Now I turned to the investment bankers, and I said, well, I don't understand this. Now, you are investing good dollars on people who just admitted in front of you that they know less than 10% than what they need to know. Can you imagine?

And the reason is simple. It is such a great challenge, and the risk-reward is so great. If you can find just the cure for one of the major diseases of mankind, you will affect the relationship between our environment and ourselves.

So it's important, I think, to keep that in perspective and to understand that there is a real race going on between our ability to understand how we respond to our environment biologically and our ability to change that environment in ways and consequences that we-- with consequences that we may not always predict.

So as the NIH director, I have to give you some advice about how to conduct yourself, then, for the next challenge, if that's the challenge that we think is there. And now I can only do this with no certainty, obviously, about what the right answer is. I can only talk to you about myself and the rules I've used in life to go around and do this.

First and foremost, I learned one thing because I came from another country actually. I came from Algeria when I was 24 years old to America. And I immigrated, and I had $300 in my pocket, a new wife, and no friends, and no family. And basically, this is where I learned that you can't make a contribution unless you're connected to others and you're able to connect to others.

So I developed these rules called my 50-50 rules. You have to have a balance in life because you never know when you are going to need the interactions of others. So what are these 50-50 rules?

Well, the first rule that I'd like to share with you is this. Today you're going to receive a diploma. What you know today, I can assure you, is 50% wrong and 50% right. The challenge for you now is to figure out what part is right and what part is wrong.

Now, don't take my speech as an excuse to go and ask for a reimbursement on your tuition. I don't think they will do that. But on the other hand, I think it's a very important way to look at the knowledge fund that you have as new scientists, new graduates of MIT.

I think it is important to also realize that in life many of your contributions will not come from your core discipline. They will come from disciplines that you probably have no contact with typically.

And this is the other 50-50 rule that I will like to leave you with. Read 50% of what you read in the area that you're interested in, but make sure that 50% of what you read is unrelated to what you have to do. And I did this consistently because I had to learn a new language. I had to connect with new friends and new disciplines.

50% of what I read was in radiology. I loved medical imaging because it combined mathematics and physics, which I love, and medicine, which I think gave me the human contact, and that's why I worked and made these contributions. But 50% of the time I would read things outside of radiology.

It's really fun to see the world that way. But it's also more fun to understand that you are smarter when you're in the company of smarter people than you. It is amazing to see the enrichment that you get from interacting with others. So my rule is that 50% of my friends have to be from walks of life that are not directly related to my walk of life.

And more importantly, I try to make sure that at least 50% of my friends are smarter than I am. Because you can be assured that at least half of your life contributions will be stimulated by others that are interacting with you, and you will stimulate others as well.

Often you hear about the spark of genius that somebody had, this unique individual, and we all admire these individuals. But it's rarely true that it happens to people who are completely isolated. Throughout scientific history, you've always had that interaction of people, founder groups that got together and created new advances.

Witness Watson and Crick. Watson was a zoologist, and Crick was a physicist. And coming together, they created the field of molecular biology. Look at laboratories around the world that have been very productive. They've been productive because they have, in fact, encouraged the clustering of people from diverse backgrounds coming from diverse horizons with different ideas.

Now, this process is admittedly social. It is not an individual process. It is a process you have to participate in. But now I'm going to tell you about some of the exceptions that I've learned as well.

People will tell you that if you go and talk about things you do not understand to people who do not know you, you will tend to look a little stupid. And the objection that I hear a lot is, but you can look foolish asking questions about fields you do not understand and those people who do not know you.

Well, that's true. That's very true. I asked a lot of stupid questions in my life, and you will too. But the one thing I can tell you is that it's not deadly to ask a stupid question. What's deadly is to not ask the right question at the right time.

The other is people will also tell you if you talk too much about your ideas, someone will steal them from you. Well, my response to that is that if you have ideas that are so easy to steal from, they must not be that good.

In fact, my experience is different. With truly original ideas, the response is that most people don't believe you. One of the three or four things I did in my life that were semi-original were fiercely disbelieved and criticized and initially rejected for both publication, and most importantly, NIH funding, which is the agency that I direct today. So don't despair.

I even carried this further, this 50-50 rule further, because I spent half of my life in our country and half of my life in another country. I don't recommend you push that to that extent.

But as any rule that you make for young colleagues that you talk to, there are big exceptions. First, this rule doesn't mean that you should develop a split personality. It shouldn't split your integrity. Your integrity has to be constant, 100%. Another one is that in affairs of love, I don't think you should play the 50-50 rule. That would be deadly, so don't do it.

And last but not least, I would say you should have big dreams, full dreams, not half dreams. It's very simple. You can't put a large box in a small box. Well, you cannot put a full life in a small dream box. What you need is to have a box, a dream box, and a life that is as full as the potential you have today.

For universities and teachers, there's just no greater satisfaction than seeing you graduate and enter your professional calling. I think you have the potential to transform our understanding of the relationship between humanity and environment this century. I think you need to do it. And you know something? There's nothing greater than coming from a university like MIT to be able to do that.

I actually read that if you asked yourself about the 100 governments that existed in 1900, how many of the 100 governments that were active in 1900 are still unchanged today? You know what the answer is? Two. There are only two governments in the world that stayed stable for the past 104 years-- the United States and Great Britain.

If you asked yourself the question, what about universities? Well, let me ask you, if you took the year 1500 and you took the 100 universities that were active in 1500, how many of them do you think have survived intact in 2004? The number is 75 out of 100.

So what I can tell you is that universities beat governments hands down. There is no institution that can survive as long as a university if it's cared for by its graduates and alumni. The only institutions that last longer are the institutions of the church.

So I'm sure that MIT will certainly be here at the end of the century and many more centuries to come, thanks to you, as newly minted graduates and future alumni. I understand the Class of 1954 is here, and I want to salute them for coming back to their institution. This is--


Because you know? We're all engaged throughout the world on the global basis with a game that has no frontier, a game that has no nationality, and that is to build the fund of knowledge of humanity to the service of humanity.

This was my message. Believe in yourself. Life sciences are a great challenge. We have a lot to do, and I hope you'll join us in this fight. Good luck to you, and God may bless you all.


PRESENTER: Thank you, Dr. Zerhouni, for your wisdom and your insights. And also thank you for the great service that you're rendering to our country with your leadership of the National Institutes of Health.

Now Mr. Erich Caulfield, president of the Graduate Student Council, will present a salute to MIT from the graduate student body. Following Mr. Caulfield, Miss Maria Hidalgo, president of the senior class, will present the class gift to President Vest, after which the president will deliver his charge to the graduates.

CAULFIELD: Good morning, family and friends of MIT. From the dawn of the human experiment, we have grappled with the challenge and the potential inherent in our existence.

Today, my graduate student brethren and my sistren, you join a grand procession that has marched across the sands of time, marshaled by the first human being who gazed up at the magnificent majesty of a midnight sky and asked the question, what more can I know, culminating at this time, at this place, at this junction in the space-time continuum with you and this august and awe-inspiring assembly of the academically accomplished.

For whether you are the first in your family to attend college or of the fifth generation to finish graduate school, you represent the collective dreams of countless of your comrades and ancestors, some no longer with us, who have aspired for centuries to join with you in this moment here today.

For you have become the embodiment of accomplishment, of drive, of passion, of perseverance, of ambition, of strength, and hope. For in graduating today from one of history's great wombs of wondrous ideas, cradles of creativity, nursery for Nobel Laureate, you prepare to take your place amongst the great thinkers and movers of our time.

For indeed, you have ascended to the top of the Mount Olympus of the modern academic world. However, ascending to the top and becoming the scholastic and pedagogical gods and goddesses of your department does not signify that your journey is over. But to the contrary, it merely means that you have a more excellent view of a future that is pregnant with a plenitude of possibilities.

And so now that you've come to MIT and flexed your magnificent mental muscles, made mighty by the methodical mastery of mathematically menacing, scientifically sophisticated, and econometrically intimidating systems of equations and such--



--you have proven that you are now ready to leave, for you have outgrown this place. When I take time to consider the significance of this moment, I am compelled to ponder the proclamations of the poet who confessed, "I'm tired of sailing my little boat far inside the harbor bar.

I want to go out where the big ships float, on the deep where the great ones are. And should my frail craft prove too slight for the waves that sweep those billows o'er, I'd rather go down in a stirring fight than drowse to death by the sheltered shore."

For in the purest sense, the poet captures the essence of this experience exactly. For whether you've been here for one year, or two years, or three years, or n years, or n plus 1 years, in a career that will last nearly a half-century, your greatest deeds have yet to be done.

And you can scarcely imagine the impact that you'll have on society and, indeed, on human history. And so I encourage you not only to reflect on and appreciate the awesomeness of your contributions thus far, but also to marvel at the magnificence of future feats yet to come.

And so now as you prepare to set sail for the great world outside of MIT, it is my hope that triumph will be your ever present companion. May passion fuel your every endeavor. May innovation infect your every invention. And may a preternatural propensity for progress pepper your every project. And may a blazing torch of morality light your path.

And as you go forth, I would urge you to stand boldly at the great helm of history and steer a course such that future generations will say, with passionate regard, that you graduated from MIT, and the world is a better place because of it.

And so, you daughters and sons of MIT, it is with the greatest of pride and elation, heartfelt joy and awestruck admiration, and the deepest respect that, on behalf of the Graduate Student Council, I bid thee [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

In other words, congratulations on an outstanding display of academic magnificence.


Go ye forth, gentle geniuses--


--history is waiting to hear from you. Thank you.


HIDALGO: Good morning. Everyone here expects a lot from us. This is because they think we have a lot to contribute to the world, and we do. But you know what? I'll bet we expect a lot more from ourselves, because we know just how much we can give.

Just look at what we've accomplished in only these past few years. It's exhausting to think about it. We're tired, and the overall sentiment is that it feels so good to be done. But we aren't finished.

We may be done here at MIT, but we're only getting started. We have so much to contribute. Today can't be the end. Today is merely a pause, an opportunity for us to catch our breath and reflect on our most recent accomplishments.

Tomorrow, we'll continue down our individual paths and join thousands of others whose achievements have changed and will change society forever. We will become MIT alumni. And now, as a symbol of our graduation, we remove our brass rats, and we turn them to face outward at the world we are about to join.

And as we leave MIT, we, the Class of 2004, leave behind our gift to the Institute. Dr. Vest, it is a particular honor to present this year's class gift. Those of us in the Class of 2004 are aware that you, too, will soon be graduating, moving on from your current role as president of MIT. We salute you for all you've done for the Institute, and we wish you all the best as you move into the next stage of your life and career.

At this time, it is my privilege to present this gift on behalf of the graduating Class of 2004. The HUGE Fund-- HUGE stands for Helping Undergraduates Gain Excellence-- will provide budgetary assistance to undergraduate students who require additional funding for major projects. This includes additional research funding for UROPs, theses, and other class projects. So far, 29.3% of the Class of 2004 has raised $31,736.67.


283 members of our class have donated thus far, and we only need seven more gifts to get to 30%. So if anyone out there has $10 bills, wave them up in the air, and we'll be by with a collection basket in a few moments. And last, I would just like to say, for lack of a better word, congratulations. Enjoy today and enjoy the weather.


VEST: Thank you, Miss Hidalgo and Mr. Caulfield. I am most grateful for your words and your gifts, but especially for all that you and your fellow students have meant to this great institution.

I thought long and hard about what my parting message to you should be, and it is this. Thank goodness I will never again have to speak after Erich Caulfield.



Be that as it may, here we are again, gathered in Killian Court to celebrate accomplishment, heritage, and passage. It is a major passage in life for you, and it is a major life passage for me. Together we end an important phase of our lives and education and commence a new chapter.

It may perhaps seem odd that a community so dedicated to the future gathers here wearing strange and colorful medieval regalia. But it is fitting and seemingly fulfilling of deep human needs that such rituals take place. This ritual reminds us of the continuity through the ages of our role in an unbroken, centuries-old chain of human discovery and accomplishment.

But above all, it celebrates your accomplishments during your student years. This is not to say that you have accomplished the remarkable feat of graduating from MIT all on your own. We are indeed surrounded by parents, family, friends, spouses, partners, and children who have supported and sustained you through the years.

You will recognize them today by the smiles brought about by their great pride in your accomplishments and, no doubt, by a great sense of relief to their bank accounts. Let us then, yet again, express our deep appreciation to all who have come to Cambridge today to join you in your Commencement ceremony. Thank your parents.


It is also especially wonderful to see the babies and small children who have come to see their mothers and fathers graduate. They, too, are welcome. And as this ceremony stretches onward, I give them special presidential approval to comment on the proceedings at any time and in any manner they see fit.

Each of the last 13 years, I have had the honor of briefly addressing those gathered for MIT's Commencement ceremony. And each year, I have concluded with the same charge, the same brief statement of advice and challenge to our graduates.

Before I do so yet again, I want to explain what the elements of that charge mean to me and why I think they are important for you, as graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

First, you should ponder the unthinkable. You each have completed an intense, rigorous education with a strong scientific or quantitative bent. This is true regardless of the intellectual field in which you concentrated and regardless of the level of degree you are receiving today.

Armed with this education and experience, you have an opportunity and a capability to ponder ancient questions in new ways and also to think, of course, about new challenges in new ways. The world in all of its dimensions is evolving at an ever increasing rate. You have an unprecedented opportunity to expand knowledge and to create wealth and jobs.

At the same time, there is a tragic expansion of misery, inhumanity, and illness in our world. And it will take new vision, new thinking, and new levels of determination to alleviate these problems and create a more civil and humane society. In other words, to make a difference in the condition of the world, you must start by pondering the seemingly unthinkable.

Is it unthinkable that we might truly be dedicated to sustainable development? That is, to using our energy and material resources in a way that not only respects the natural environment, but offers the developing world a chance to reach the same levels of health and well-being that we enjoy?

Is it unthinkable that we should find ways of cutting through the increasing clash of multiple, unmovable fundamentalist views and get to the core of humanity beneath them? Is it unthinkable that we could at last truly bridge, once and for all, the racial divides in this country and see that our best hope for the future rests in pulling together rather than pulling apart? That's the first challenge-- think the unthinkable.

A corollary to that is to question the status quo. If we are to advance the condition of society to create what could be, we must first question what is. By definition, advancing means changing and moving in more positive, more productive directions.

The status quo, therefore, will not correct the inequities and ineffectiveness that are rampant in so many of America's primary and secondary schools. The status quo will not stem the tide of AIDS in Africa or vanquish the now constant threat of terrorism in every corner of the world, including our corner.

But as MIT graduates, as educated men and women, you have a responsibility to question the status quo in an informed, fact-based manner. It is your passion and compassion that will drive you.

But to make a difference, you also need clear eyes and heads and the ability to objectively analyze the problems you care about. That is what can set you apart. That is what gives you the opportunity not only to ponder, but also to act, to dedicate your lives and work to important, worthwhile things.

And when you think about the things you want to do, consider the entire world as your field of opportunity. In other words, live in the world as well as in your own nation. You are citizens of the world as well as citizens of the United States or China or Iran or Italy or wherever you were born or gained citizenship. Each of you shares the Earth with every other human being.

In this troubled time, there is a continual tension between fragmentation and integration. The very electronic communications that we developed here at MIT connects us to each other as never before in human history.

But simultaneously, we seem to be fragmenting into increasingly more isolated geographical, economic, political, religious, or cultural enclaves. We stare at each other with suspicion rather than with welcoming. We accuse rather than enlightening. We raise walls rather than open doors and open minds.

Integration, mutual respect, and mutual understanding must, in the end, win out over fragmentation and isolation. But that will not happen by default. That will happen only if we use our minds and our actions to create a spirit and a reality of openness.

The cornerstone on which great American research universities are built is openness-- openness of our national boundaries and openness of our campuses to immigrants, visitors, students, faculty, and scholarly colleagues from all over the world.

MIT, I'm proud to say, stands as a prime example. Our MIT Nobel Laureates were born in the United States, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Japan, and India. Even our responsibility to protect those who live and learn and work on our campus and in these United States, protect them from the reality of terrorism, must not undermine this enriching and empowering openness.

MIT will continue to work aggressively and effectively with our federal government to develop and implement sound policies that will keep our colleges and our universities open to international students and scholars and that will allow open and productive scientific communication and collaboration among international colleagues. I ask that each of you join us in that important mission.

But world citizenship extends beyond these important concerns. It extends to a deep understanding of the fact that we all inhabit the same Earth, that our every action affects people in far-flung parts of the world, and that their actions, in turn, affect us.

We must not be blind to evil or to real threats, and they must be countered. But they are best countered by making common cause. Force has its place, but so do humility and the forging of collective efforts based on shared values and cultural reality.

Share your talents. The best way to forge collective efforts is to share your talents, and they are legion. And you have honed many of them in important ways during your days at MIT. But they are not yours alone. Society is entrusted to talented people such as you.

There is a world to feed, energy to be provided, natural resources to be used efficiently and wisely, human communication and learning to be improved. Good health and security need to be spread across the lands. And this can only happen by your sharing your talents.

Commune with all people. Now, sharing is both easier and more effective if you can see yourself as part of the greater world community, embracing all the variety and richness that the different cultures have to offer. Every survey we make of MIT students and graduates shows that you greatly value the diversity of friends and colleagues you got to know here.

In all that you do, you should be steady friends and bold companions. Friendship, in both personal and global sense, cannot come or go at the wisp of a moment. There is both beauty and practicality in enduring companionship and dialogue.

It is on such enduring friendships that productive societies are built. And it is from such relationships as they continue through the changes of time and changes of events that wisdom comes. But be bold companions as well. Progress comes from such boldness in the context of common values and aspirations.

And so as you embark on the next stage of your journey, I offer this now traditional charge to you, the graduates of MIT. Ponder the unthinkable. Question the status quo. Live in the world as well as in your own nation.

Dream of a better future, but contribute to the present. Share your talents. Commune with all people. Be steady friends and bold companions. Address the truly important issues of your time. Be honest in all that you do.

Take your education, your talent, and your energy and build a nation and a world community that consider knowledge a gift to be shared, a healthy planet a place to be cherished, and human dignity and opportunity fundamental conditions to be enjoyed by all people. Men and women of MIT, I wish you godspeed and the very best of good fortune.


PRESENTER: Thank you, President Vest. And thank you and Becky for your dedicated and inspiring leadership of MIT during the past 14 years.


By virtue of the authority delegated to them by the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and on the recommendation of the faculty, President Vest will now present the following degrees-- Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science/Master of Science, Bachelor of Science/Master of Engineering, and the advanced degrees for the School of Science and Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Provost Brown will present the advanced degrees for the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and for the Sloan School of Management.


Thank you. As they approach the ramp, undergraduate degree recipients will be greeted by the Chancellor, the Dean for Student Life, and the Dean for Graduate Education-- Undergraduate Education. Graduate degree recipients will be greeted by the school deans. The first graduates to be recognized are the class marshals who are seated on the stage.

[? PRESENTER: ?] Recognition will now be given to the officers of the Class of 2004 and the officers of the Graduate Student Council who are seated on the stage. Maria E. Hidalgo, president of the Class of 2004, is awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science, as recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Matthew N. Styczynzki, treasurer of the Class of 2004, is awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. R. Erich Caulfield, president of the Graduate Student Council, is pursuing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Michael R. Folkert, vice president of the Graduate Student Council, is pursuing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Architecture and Planning who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Art and Design, Carrie A. Brown.

PRESENTER: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Architecture and Planning who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Architecture--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Planning--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Engineering who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Anna M. [? Albier. ?]

PRESENTER: Master of Science in Architecture Studies--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering Science--


PRESENTER: Master in City Planning--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Urban Studies and Planning--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Media Technology--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Real Estate Development--


PRESENTER: Master of Science Without Specification of Field--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science as Recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering--


PRESENTER: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of science in Materials Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Engineering who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science as Recommended by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Archeology and Materials as Recommended by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Material Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Ocean Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Naval Construction and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Ocean Systems Management--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Engineering in Logistics--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Bioengineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Engineering and Management--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Technology and Policy--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Toxicology--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Transportation--


PRESENTER: Master of Science Without Specification of Field--


PRESENTER: Naval Engineer, Naval Construction and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science as Recommended by the Department of Chemical Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering--


PRESENTER: Doctor of Science, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering--


PRESENTER: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


Who's that? I already called him.


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Economics--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Political Science--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Literature--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Music--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Writing--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Humanities--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of science in Humanities and Engineering--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Science--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Linguistics and Philosophy--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Comparative Media Studies--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the Sloan School of Management who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Management Science--


PRESENTER: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Science in Political Science--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Science Writing--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Linguistics--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies--


PRESENTER: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Science who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Chemistry--


PRESENTER: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the Sloan School of Management who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Business Administration, Sloan Fellows--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Biology--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Management, Sloan Fellows--


PRESENTER: Master of Business Administration--


I said that. I said that.

PRESENTER: Say it again.


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Biology--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Physics--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics--


PRESENTER: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Computer Science--


PRESENTER: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Science who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Science in Physics--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Earth and Planetary Sciences--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Geosystems--


PRESENTER: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


ANNOUNCER: The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer joint programs of education and research in oceanography and applied ocean science and engineering. John W. Farrington, Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is here to participate with President Vest in awarding the following joint degrees-- Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto, Jeffrey A. Gebbie.


Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Science in Health Sciences and Technology--


ANNOUNCER: Master of Science in Medical Informatics--


ANNOUNCER: Doctor of Science, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


ANNOUNCER: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Management--


PRESENTER: Master of Science in Operations Research--


PRESENTER: Master of Science Without Specification of Field--


PRESENTER: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--



ANNOUNCER: Congratulations. It's now my pleasure to introduce Paula J. Olsiewski the Chief Marshal, who will greet the graduates. Dr. Olsiewski is a member of the class of 1979 and is currently serving as the president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT. Paula?

OLSIEWSKI: Thank you, Dana. It is my great honor to recognize the distinguished members of the 50th-year reunion Class of 1954--


--and their very special class president and dear mentor of mine, Paul Gray.


This is the first time in 44 years that Paul has not been on this stage during commencement as either a participating faculty member, chancellor, president, or chairman. Congratulations on your reunion, Paul.


Now I invite the class of 1954 to join me in congratulating all of the 2004 graduates and officially welcoming you into the alumni family, your infinite connection to MIT.


PRESENTER: Thank you, Paula. The 138th Commencement exercises of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now concluded.


A reception will follow on Kresge Oval in the West Campus plaza. And the audience and graduates are requested to remain at their seats until the stage assembly has recessed. And now please join the MIT Chorallaries in singing the school song.


(SINGING) Arise all ye of MIT, in loyal fellowship. The future beckons unto thee, and life is full and rich. Arise and raise your glass up high; tonight shall ever be a memory that will never die, for ye of MIT.

Thy sons and daughters, MIT, return from far and wide and gather here once more to be re-nourished by thy side. And as we raise our glasses high to pledge our love for thee, we join all those of days gone by in praise of MIT.


(SINGING) Oh, I wish that I were back again at Tech on Boylston Street, dressed in my dinky uniform so dapper and so neat. I'm crazy after calculus; I never had enough; t'was hard to be dragged away so young, it was horribly awfully tough. Hurrah for technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh, glorious old technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh.

Back in the days that were free from care in the 'ology varsity shop, with nothing to do but to analyze air in an anemometrical top. The differentiation of the trigonmetric powers, the constant pi that made me sigh in those happy days of ours. Hurrah for technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh. Oh, glorious old technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh.

Take me back on the special train to the glorious institute. I yearn for the inspiration of the technological toot. I'd shun the quizzical physical profs, the chapel, and all that, but how I'd love to go again on a scientific bat.

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Do, do, do, do, do. La, la. Do, do. Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da. Oh, M-A-S-S-A-C-H-U-S-E-T-T-S I-N-S-T-I-T-U-T-E O-F T-E-- and then it's-- C-H-N-O-L-O-G and Y comes after G. It's the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hey!