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Alumni Volunteer Connection

2003 Technology Day Program Unveiled

Every year, the Technology Day committee strives to plan a compelling, topical, and balanced program for alumni at Tech Reunions. But this year, there’s been an additional challenge: a change in the traditional reunion schedule.

The most significant differences involve Commencement (traditionally on Friday of Tech Reunions) and Tech Night at the Pops (traditionally on Thursday). Because of a religious holiday, Commencement has been scheduled for Monday, June 9, and the Pops event will take place on Saturday, June 7, after the Tech Day program.

Undaunted by the switch, the committee members used the schedule change as a springboard to consider alternative program themes and formats. The committee members “are a very committed and dedicated set of folks, highly intellectual and well-read,” says Kim Francis ‘78, chair of the committee. “They understand the importance of Tech Day and the need to provide a good sampling of the current Institute focus.”

The resulting program, “Fast Times at MIT: What’s New, What’s Next-Now What?” on Saturday, June 7, will include a diverse set of topics, from cloning to voting technology. Five faculty-one from each of MIT’s five schools-will speak about their current research, prospects for the future, and ethical dilemmas in their fields.

The speakers include Rudolf Jaenisch, professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute; Stephen Ansolabehere, professor of political science; Lawrence J. Vale, SM ‘88, professor and department head of urban studies and planning; Richard M. Locke, professor of entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management; and Edwin L. Thomas, professor of materials science and director of MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies.

Unlike previous years’ events, the entire symposium will take place in Kresge Auditorium.  After the program, alumni will gather for a special Tech Night dinner and the Pops performance.

“I think this year’s program is novel and will be well received,” says Francis. “I also hope that this year’s program gives future Tech Day committees the courage to investigate other formats and venues to keep this tradition’ growing and changing with the times.”

For complete details about the Technology Day program, visit

On-Campus Services Benefit Alumni

Most alumni know about recent campus renovations and building construction, as well as the enhancement of student services. But many in the MIT community may not be aware of the benefits these improvements afford alumni.

From planning a reunion event at the MIT Museum to scheduling time to swim a few laps in the Albert and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center pool during the Alumni Leadership Conference weekend, the Institute and the Association are offering alumni a wide range of programs and services.

The MIT Museum, which reopened after a major renovation in the fall of 2001, now offers free admission to alumni (and their guests), as well as access to reception and meeting space. In the last year, several reunion and alumni functions have been held in the museum’s galleries-to great fanfare. The galleries and the museum’s caterers can accommodate from 75 to 250 people.

A highlight for many returning alumni is the state-of-the-art Albert and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center. Complete with 50- and 25-meter swimming pools, diving towers, six squash courts, and 1,200 square meters of workout space, the “Z” Center is a hit with the entire MIT community. The center was dedicated last October, and with links to the Johnson Skating Rink and the Rockwell Cage, it is the heart of MIT’s athletic facilities. With the purchase of an annual, six-month, monthly, weekly, or even daily athletic-facilities pass, an alum may use all the Institute’s facilities, including the sailboats at the MIT Sailing Pavilion.

Profile: Making the Career Connection

If Charles Kolb ‘67 seems like the model volunteer for the Association’s Externship and Institute Career Assistance Network programs, it is no accident. Kolb, president and CEO of Aerodyne Research in Billerica, MA, has focused on connecting graduate and undergraduate alumni through the development of departmental and professional affiliations. His rsum also includes stints on the Alumni Fund Board and the Association Board of Directors, a variety of volunteer roles, and the Bronze Beaver and Lobdell awards. It should surprise nobody that when the career network and externship programs started, Kolb was among the first alumni asked to volunteer.

Over the last six years, Kolb has given advice and direction through the career network, a database that lists alumni willing to talk with fellow alumni and students who are looking for career insight and connections. Since 2001 he has personally sponsored several externships, through which students spend time in the workplace during the Independent Activities Period each January, and he has encouraged his employees at Aerodyne to do the same. “Adding students in with the many other postdocs and MIT grads we have here is not a challenge,” says Kolb. “Externships offer students another valid data point of work experience by which they can make their career decisions.”

Behind Kolb’s rsum lies an inherent understanding of networking, which is fundamental to the career programs at the Association. “When you come to MIT, you are joining a community for life, a community that is able to respond and help you with issues that you face throughout life,” says Kolb.

Kolb’s personal experiences helped shape this understanding and desire to become involved. “I came to MIT from an Appalachian high school. It was quite a cultural change and challenge,” says Kolb. “But I was treated extremely well by a lot of people who went out of their way to help me. With a wife and child before I graduated, I was even given the opportunity to work on campus in a job that made it feasible to stay. I was very grateful and wanted to give back.”

Although Kolb graduated in 1967, he possesses an understanding of what today’s students face at the Institute.”Students today are focused on the same challenges, and they are interested in solving the same sort of problems my classmates and I focused on.” Kolb also understands the unchanging rigors of an MIT education. “When I left [the Institute], I was well prepared for everything that came afterwards,” he recalls.

For more information on Institute Career Assistance Network programs, visit

Alumni Activities Calendar

Tech Reunions will be held at the Institute on June 58, 2003, with a streamlined schedule of events. Events include an Enterprise Forum Satellite Series to be broadcast on Thursday, June 5, and a series of campus and Boston-area tours and events on Friday, June 6. On Saturday, Tech Reunions will feature morning and afternoon Technology Day programs, a Tech Day dinner, and the celebration of Tech Night at the Pops at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Reunion Row and the Tech Challenge Games will be held on Sunday, June 8. Commencement will be held on Monday, June 9. As always, each reunion class will be hosting events and celebrations on and around campus, with many classes holding resort getaway gatherings before or after Tech Reunions. Registration for reunions is now open, and all alumni are invited to attend Saturday’s events. For more information on Tech Reunions 2003, visit

For information on the following events, as well as links to Institute-wide calendars, visit the Association Events Calendar online at

 Mar. 2123  Pan-Arab Conference, Dubayy
 Apr. 1112  Campus Preview Weekend
 Apr. 12  MIT on the Road, Washington, DC
 Apr. 24  Young Alumni Seminar Series, Boston
 May 3  Club of New Mexico 50th Anniversary Event
 May 14  Alumni Travel Program, Normandy, France
 May 14  Alumni Travel Program, Russia
 June 58  Tech Reunions 2003
 June 5  Enterprise Forum Satellite Series Broadcast Kresge Auditorium
 June 7  Technology Day
 June 7  Tech Night at the Pops
 June 9   Commencement 2003

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