Skip to Content
MIT Index

Historic commencements

April 15, 2020

MIT has had more than its share of memorable commencements, from the collapse of founder William Barton Rogers during his 1882 speech, to the arrival of 17 beavers who parachuted into Killian Court when NASA’s Daniel Goldin spoke in 2001. But all speakers, from heads of state to the legendarily goofy Car Talk brothers Tom Magliozzi ’58 and Ray Magliozzi ’72, have been united in their respect for the graduates and the gargantuan achievement of earning an MIT degree. Since the in-person celebration of the Class of 2020 must be pushed off to a future date, we revisit some notable commencement addresses from years past. Watch for more information from MIT about the virtual commencement scheduled for May 29.

"Formerly a wide separation existed between theory and practice: now in every fabric that is made, in every structure that is reared, they are closely united into one interlocking system -- the practical is based upon the scientific, and the scientific is solidly built upon the practical." _MIT founder William Barton Rogers on the mission of the Institute.

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.