James O. Freedman, president emeritus of Dartmouth College, will deliver the Margaret MacVicar Lecture on Feb. 5, 1999 in Bartos Theater (Building E15).
Professor Freedman will speak for about 45 minutes, followed by a panel discussion involving the MacVicar Fellows and undergraduate students. The 1998-99 Fellows will be announced at a luncheon preceding the lecture.
The MacVicar Lecture, designed to draw strong attention to undergraduate education, was established at the request of the Fellows; the first was delivered last February. The lecturer is chosen as someone who has unusual insight into the challenges of excellent teaching at the university level.
"The purpose of this event is twofold," said Rosalind Williams, dean of students and undergraduate education. "First, it honors MIT's MacVicar Fellows, drawing attention to them as a cache of truly exceptional educators. Second, it gives the whole community--especially undergraduate students--an opportunity to think together about the challenges of university teaching. I hope that many undergraduates will join Professor Freedman and the MacVicar Fellows for an event that promises to be as lively, engaging and open as last year's inaugural MacVicar Day."
The fellowship program, created in 1991, 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. Each year since 1991, new MacVicar Fellows are appointed by the provost with advice from a committee made up of MacVicar Fellows, faculty and undergraduates.
Professor Freedman, a graduate of Harvard College, received the LlB from Yale Law School in 1962, after which he was law clerk to Judge Thurgood Marshall for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 1963-64 Professor Freedman was an associate in the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison. From 1964-82 he was at the the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as dean during his last three years. Professor Freedman was president of the University of Iowa from 1982-87 and president of Dartmouth College from 1987-98.
Professor Freedman, who is now on sabbatical in Cambridge writing an autobiography and making public appearances, has written two books, including Idealism and Liberal Education (1996).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 18, 1998.