Nearly 3,000 alumni/ae and their spouses are gathering on campus this week for a series of alumni/ae activities that-for the first time in recent years-coincides with Commencement.
Ordinarily, nearly a week elapses between graduation and the beginning of alumni/ae activities, but a later-than-usual end to the semester and other scheduling factors led to a new format combining the two events.
The MIT Association of Alumni/ae is taking advantage of the situation by finding ways of bringing the old and new grads together, aside from the expected, informal contacts.
"We've tried to include students in our events wherever possible to make this weekend a shared celebration," said Susan Tomases, program director for reunion and class events.
One of the major innovations, she said, will be a Class of 1996 Welcome Reception this afternoon (Wednesday, June 5) at 5pm in the Johnson Athletics Center, in which the 25th and 50th reunion classes will welcome the Class of 1996 and their families to the Association.
On Thursday night (June 6), the graduating students and their families have been invited to Tech Night at the Pops at Symphony Hall and to a post-Pops reception (see related story).
Ms. Tomases said the new format will be tried at least for another year or two and, if successful, could well become a tradition.
The 25th and 50th reunion classes will participate in Commencement ceremonies on Friday morning (June 7), which will be followed by Tech Day on Saturday (June 8).
Highlighting the day will be a program entitled "Miracle or Mirage: Technology at the Horizon," bringing together MIT faculty members, business executives and others to examine emerging technologies and their possible impacts on our future.
Speakers at the morning session in Kresge Auditorium will present an overview of expected future developments in science and technology, and turn specifically to new developments in biology, materials and recycling, and communications and information technology.
Afternoon panels at various locations will look at the changes technology may bring about in business, culture, education and the environment.
The annual Technology Day luncheon, when class gifts are presented, will be held in the Johnson Athletics Center.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 1996.