Skip to Content
MIT News magazine

William R. Dickson '56

Former senior VP served MIT for nearly four decades
January 8, 2007

William R. Dickson ‘56, a retired MIT administrator praised for his genial manner and his wise management of building projects that tripled the size of the campus, died August 14 after a heart attack. “Bill was a bridge from the MIT of the 1950s to the MIT of the 21st century,” says MIT president emeritus Charles Vest. “We all benefited from his dedicated work, his straight talk, and his inherent wisdom.” ­Dickson, who earned his SB degree in building construction and engineering, began his MIT career as an assistant to the director of the physical plant. When he retired in 1998 as senior vice president, he was responsible for most of the Institute’s operations and much of its financial planning and activities. Dickson, a lifelong resident of Framingham, MA, was noted for his knowledge of and devotion to MIT, his sense of humor, and his respect for people. Upon retirement, he told the Tech that his proudest accomplishment was helping the Institute grow from 3.5 million square feet of built space in 1960 to 10 million square feet when he left. Building projects undertaken during his tenure include Kresge Auditorium, the Green Building, Eastgate, Westgate, McCormick, the Whitaker Building, Building 16, and the Stata Center. MIT’s award-winning cogeneration plant was named for Dickson.

William R. Dickson ‘56

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.