Dr. William G. Bowen, president of Princeton University from 1972-88, will deliver the inaugural Margaret MacVicar Lecture on February 6 in Bartos Theater (Building E15).
Dr. Bowen, now president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will speak for about 45 minutes, followed by a panel discussion involving the MacVicar Fellows. The 1998 Fellows will be announced at a luncheon preceding the lecture.
In a letter inviting Dr. Bowen to deliver the first MacVicar lecture, President Charles Vest explained that it was established at the request of the Fellows. "The lecture will be designed to draw strong attention to undergraduate education," he said. "The MacVicar Lecturer should be someone who has unusual insight into the challenges of excellent teaching at the university level." In conclusion, he said, "I know you would find the Fellows an extraordinary group of educators, and they would be honored and inspired by your presence."
"I think Dr. Bowen coming to campus, giving a lecture that's open to the public and that will involve discussions with faculty and students, really begins to give the MacVicar Fellows the attention they deserve," said Rosalind Williams, dean of students and undergraduate education. "It's a great thing that he's coming. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say."
Nominations for the 1998 MacVicar Fellows must be received by Provost Joel Moses no later than Friday, Oct. 31. The new Fellows are appointed by the provost with advice from a committee made up of MacVicar Fellows, faculty and undergraduates.
Each nomination should consist of a letter documenting the nominee's contributions and no more than three supporting letters. All faculty are eligible for the fellowship, which provides $5,000 annually for each Fellow's 10-year term to support educational activities, research, travel and other scholarly expenses.
The fellowship program, created in 1992, honors Margaret MacVicar, former dean for undergraduate education, who died in 1991 at age 47. The purpose is to recognize and enhance outstanding contributions to undergraduate education at MIT.
"Appointment as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow is to be regarded as a reward for exceptional and creative service, with emphasis on recent and current activities," Provost Moses said in inviting members of the Academic Council and department and section heads to submit nominations. "It should not carry obligations, nor should it be regarded as payment for anticipated service. The program is not intended to fund proposals for new educational ventures."
Dr. Bowen, a graduate of Denison University, received the PhD from Princeton in 1958, after which he joined the faculty in the Department of Economics. He served as provost from 1967-72 before assuming the presidency.
In addition to heading the Mellon Foundation, Dr. Bowen serves on the boards of directors of American Express, Denison University, JSTOR, Merck and Co., and TIAA-CREF. He has written or co-authored 15 books, including Ever the Teacher in 1987.
There are currently 29 MacVicar Fellows. They are: Professors Harold Abelson, electrical engineering and computer science; Thomas J. Allen, Sloan School; Richard P. Binzel, earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences (EAPS); Gene M. Brown, biology; Wit Busza, physics; Edward F. Crawley, aeronautics and astronautics; Rick L. Danheiser, chemistry; John M. Essigmann, chemistry and toxicology; Woodie C. Flowers, mechanical engineering; Thomas J. Greytak, physics; Daniel S. Kemp, chemistry; and Monty Krieger, biology.
Also Paul A. Lagace, aero/astro; Lowell E. Lindgren, music and theater arts; Ole S. Madsen, civil and environmental engineering; Arthur P. Mattuck, mathematics; Alan V. Oppenheim, EECS; Margery Resnick, foreign languages and literatures; Michael F. Rubner, materials science and engineering (MSE); Donald R. Sadoway, MSE; Robert J. Silbey, chemistry; John B. Southard, EAPS; Arthur Steinberg, anthropology and archaeology; Charles H. Stewart III, political science; Irene Tayler, literature; Marcus A. Thompson, music and theater arts; Graham C. Walker, biology; James H. Williams, Jr., mechanical engineering; and August F. Witt, MSE.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 29, 1997.