MIT at 150

The Institute celebrates with the Next Century Convocation and an open house

The Next Century Convocation

On April 10, thousands of members of the MIT community assembled at the Boston Convention Center to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the day the Institute received its charter (see “A Sesquicentennial Fete,”). Former chancellor Philip Clay, PhD ‘75, a professor of city planning and senior advisor to President Hockfield, and Institute Professor Sheila Widnall ‘60, SM ‘61, ScD ‘64, the first woman to serve as secretary of the U.S. Air Force, were two of the many Institute luminaries who addressed the gathering. The MIT Symphony Orchestra, the MIT Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus, the Rambax MIT Senegalese Drum Ensemble, and others performed a wide range of music, including several world premieres and a jazzed-up version of “Arise All Ye of MIT.” President Susan Hockfield also led a group of Institute leaders in signing a charter of renewal for the next century—using an iPad. (“A quill and parchment might have been easier,” she quipped.) Watch videos of the event at

Open House

On April 30, MIT opened its doors for Under the Dome, the Institute’s first campuswide open house in three decades. “Roughly 20,000 guests flocked to our campus, and you showed them wonderful things, including the fact that MIT is a place of confidence, excellence, enthusiasm, joy—and the occasional flash mob,” President Susan Hockfield told the MIT community in an e-mail. Matthew Honickman, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, rides a homemade Segway in Rockwell Cage. Visitors inspect a Terrafugia flying car, designed by Carl Dietrich ‘99, SM ‘03, PhD ‘07. Eight-year old Dylan reacts to a demonstration of electromagnetism. Tim the Beaver escorts President Hockfield through Lobby 7 shortly after a flash-mob dance performance began there and spilled out onto Mass. Ave., where it (briefly) stopped traffic. And children posed for photos in a space suit at the Aero Astro lab. For more on the open house, see “Under the Dome.”

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