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

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

seeing is believing concept
seeing is believing concept

Our brains exist in a state of “controlled hallucination”

Three new books lay bare the weirdness of how our brains process the world around us.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration 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.