• Rob Lyons, left, and Kathy Coletti, gardeners in MIT's Department of Facilities, plant flowers in preparation for MIT's Commencement exercises on June 3.

    Photo / Dave Broderick, MIT Audio-Visual Services

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  • MIT Facilities workers assemble scaffolding to hold the giant video screen that will allow Commencement proceedings to be visible to all attendees on Killian Court.

    Photo / Dave Broderick, MIT Audio-Visual Services

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  • MIT gardener Robert Kuykendall prepares a flower bed for MIT's Commencement.

    Photo / Dave Broderick, MIT Audio-Visual Services

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MIT readies for 139th Commencement

MIT's 139th Commencement exercises will be held on Friday, June 3, at 10 a.m. in Killian Court. During the ceremony, 2,177 undergraduates and graduate students are scheduled to receive 1,094 bachelor's degrees, 1,078 master's degrees, 257 doctorates and 12 engineer degrees.

Admission for ticketed guests begins at 7:30 a.m. Graduates will robe and assemble in the Johnson Athletics Center, on the second floor, at 7:30 a.m.

Irwin M. Jacobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Inc. and an MIT alumnus (S.M. 1957 and Sc.D. 1959), will deliver the principal address. President Susan Hockfield will charge the graduates. Other speakers will include Barun Singh, president of the Graduate Student Council, and Rohit Gupta, president of the Class of 2005, who will present the class gift. Hindu Chaplain Swami Tyagananda will deliver the invocation.

Jacobs is known as an innovative entrepreneur and engineer who greatly values research. He advocates improving U.S. math and science education.

"The extraordinary technological contributions of Irwin Jacobs have transformed global telecommunications. Dr. Jacobs' career, which began with graduate study and a first faculty position at MIT, has changed countless lives, not only through invention and entrepreneurship, but also through remarkable support of secondary math and science education, and of the arts," said Hockfield. "We are honored and delighted that he is returning to MIT to inspire our graduates and their families, and to share his unique perspective on technology and education."

San Diego-based Qualcomm holds nearly 1,400 patents and has more than 2,000 patents pending. The company has been compared to a think tank with thousands of employees.

Hockfield will present the following degrees: bachelor of science; bachelor of science/master of science; bachelor of science/master of engineering; and advanced degrees in the School of Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. Provost Robert A. Brown will award advanced degrees in the Schools of Architecture and Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and in the Sloan School of Management.

Following the exercises, a reception will be held for graduates and their guests on the West Campus Plaza.

A special hooding ceremony for Ph.D. recipients will take place on Thursday, June 2, at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Athletics Center. Chancellor Phillip L. Clay will preside.

New policy

A new policy on the protocol for demonstrations at commencement and other academic exercises has been finalized.

The policy is designed to accommodate the free expression of ideas while ensuring that Commencement runs smoothly. Commencement exercises require complex and precise planning and the coming and goings of guests must be free of obstruction or interference.

In accordance with this policy, Killian Court will only be accessible to members of the graduating class, faculty, stage assembly and ticket-holders. Access to Johnson Athletics Center will also be limited. In both Killian Court and Johnson, everyone will be electronically scanned as they enter.

For more specific details, please see the Statement by the Chancellor's Committee on Protocol for Demonstrations at Commencement and other Academic Exercises at: web.mit.edu/commencement/2005/ProtocolforDemonstrations.html. Questions regarding locations for demonstrations may be directed to Gayle Gallagher Executive Officer for Commencement at gayle@mit.edu.

For those unable to get into Killian Court, a live online webcast of the Commencement Exercises will be available on and after June 3.


For guests attending the Commencement Exercises on Friday, complimentary parking will be available in the West Parking Garage on Vassar Street.

Paid parking will also be available in the Marriott Hotel Parking Garage (entrance at corner of Ames Street and Broadway) and the Technology Square Parking Garage (entrance on Broadway) on Thursday and Friday.

Following Commencement, the MIT Community Service Fund will host its annual fund-raising sale of the plants displayed on the Commencement podium and surrounding stage at 3 p.m. on Killian Court.

Proceeds from sales of the plants, which are made available by the Office of Conference Services and Special Events, support service to the local community by MIT staff and student volunteers.

In the event the Commencement Exercises in Killian Court are canceled due to severe weather conditions, the speeches will be held in Rockwell Cage for the stage assembly and graduates only. Guests may view the speeches on closed-circuit television in viewing locations throughout the campus.

Complete Commencement information, including the complete schedule, is available at web.mit.edu/commencement/2005.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 1, 2005 (download PDF).

Topics: Commencement


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