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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Paul E. Gray

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0180

Series List

Series 1 Calendars, Logs, and Chronological Files, 1981-1989 Series 2. MIT Correspondence, 1970-1990 Series 3. MIT Subject Records 1975-1990 Series 4. Outside Activities Records, 1978-1991 Series 5. Speeches and Writings, 1970-1990 Series 6. Development Correspondence, 1970-1990

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of the records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Office of the President,from 1981 to 1990, during the tenure of Paul E. Gray as president. The collection also includes some records created when Gray served as the chancellor of MIT from 1971 to 1980.

Scope and Contents note

The correspondence and subjects series of this collection reflect issues that Gray faced during his term as president. For example, they document work with the faculty and the Committee of Educational Policy to revise undergraduate academic requirements, the creation of a task force to review the Institute's financial aid policy, and the launch of Project Athena.

Scope and Contents note

As president of MIT, Gray was involved with resource development for the Institute and also met often with MIT alumni and alumnae and at alumni club meetings. Three series, "MIT Correspondence", "Speeches and Writings", and "Development Correspondence" contain materials that highlight Gray’s efforts to encourage support for Institute initiatives. The president of MIT has an opportunity to shape national science policy, and his role in working with national science agencies and their activities are documented in the series "Outside Activities." Boxes 167-183 contain resource development correspondence and are restricted according to MIT policy.


  • 1970 - 1990


Access note

This collection must be reviewed to identify any restricted material before access can be granted. Please submit your requests at least ten business days before your desired visit to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within five business days to let you know whether your requested material is open. For complete information on this policy, see our Statement on Accessing Institute Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical note

The position of president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was established at the first organizational meeting in 1862 following the incorporation of the Institute on April 10, 1861. Currently, the president is elected by the MIT Corporation and serves as the chief executive officer of the Institute and an ex officio member of the MIT Corporation and of the following Corporation committees: Membership Committee, Development Committee, and Executive Committee. The president presides over Executive Committee meetings and sets the agenda. As the chief executive officer, the president makes recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding the organizational structure of MIT and oversees the Institute’s faculty and Academic Council. The president is also responsible for initiating budgets, tuition increases, changes in the educational and research programs, new plant and facilities needs, and all other matters relating to Institute operations on which Executive Committee action or concurrence may be necessary or appropriate. In all matters that do not require Executive Committee action or concurrence, the president is responsible for both initiation and action.

President's Office Organization Chart

Corporation Organization Chart

Biographical note

Prepared by the Institute Archives, MIT Libraries

Paul Edward Gray, 1932- , B.S. 1954, S.M. 1955, Sc.D. 1960, in electrical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was an instructor at MIT, 1957-1960, assistant professor, 1960-1964, and associate professor, 1964-1967; he became professor in 1967 and was MIT Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering, 1968-1971. He was associate dean for student affairs, 1965-1967; associate provost, 1969-1970; dean of the School of Engineering, 1970-1971; and chancellor, 1971-1980. He was the fourteenth president of MIT, 1980-1990, and chair of the MIT Corporation, 1990-1997. After his retirement as chair, he continued teaching and advising activities.


66.4 Cubic Feet (197 manuscript boxes and 3 half manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Related Materials

Administrative Records

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, records of President Howard Johnson and records of Chairman of the Corporation, Howard Johnson, 1965-2001. (AC 118)
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Chairman of the Corporation records of David Saxon, 1983-1990. (AC 262)
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Chairman of the Corporation records of Paul E. Gray, 1977-1997. (AC 438)
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President and Chancellor. Records of President Jerome B. Wiesner, 1960-1984. (AC 8)
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President and Chancellor. records of Chancellor Paul E. Gray, 1965-1981. (AC 397)
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of President Charles M. Vest, 1990-2004. (AC 510)
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, President's Reports. (AC 597)

Manuscripts Collections

  1. Paul E. Gray papers (MC 442)
  2. Jerome Bert Wiesner papers (MC 442)
  3. Walter A. Rosenblith papers (MC 55)
  4. Walter A. Rosenblith oral history (MC 574)


  • Annual Reports to the President, 1980-1990.
  • Paul E.Gray Inaugural Address, Preserving Our Focus and Transforming Our Programs.Technology Review, November-December 1980.
  • Interview with Paul E. Gray. MIT Infinite History, March 6, 2006.
  • "A Perspective on Change: An Interview with Paul Gray, '54."Technology Review, July 1997.
  • "Alumni Profiles: Paul Gray, Devoting a Lifetime to MIT. "Technology Review, September/October2010.
  • "Paul Gray and the 80s; A Decade of Advancement for MIT" MIT Tech Talk, 1990.


The following boxes have been screened:

-Box 7 (DH, 1/15/14); restricted material put into box 7a -Box 10 (DH, 11/21/13) -Box 11 (DH, 12/2/13) -Box 15 (DH, 12/9/13) -Box 18 (DH, 12/17/13); restricted material put into box 18a -Box 24 (DH, 2/28/14) -Box 29 (NM) open -Box 29 (DH, 5/28/14) -Box 34 (CT, 3/11/15) -Box 43 (DH, 5/28/14) -Box 44 (NM) -Box 47 (NM) -Box 58 (NM) -Box 61 (NM) -Box 63 (DH, 2/13/14) -Box 66 (NM) -Box 64 (DH, 2/14/14) -Box 70 (DH, 1/28/14) -Box 70a (DH, 1/28/14) -Box 82 (CT, 3/11/15) -Box 91 (NM) -Box 109 (NM) box open -Box 121 (NM) box open -Box 161 (DH, 2/18/14); only South Africa folders were screened, rest restricted 50 years -Box 193 (DH, 2/21/14); only South Africa folders were screened, rest restricted 50 or 75 years -Boxes 167-183 have not yet been screened(3/7/2014) but are resource development files; have put a restriced note for those boxes at the collection level. LA

Processing Information note

MIT certificate of accreditation, box 19, folder 4 was orginally designated as AC 121. Transferred to AC 180 box 19 in 1995. There is a box 70 and a box 70A, thus 198 boxes total.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Guide to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the President,
Records of Paul E. Gray
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 August 25: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.
  • 2022 March 14: Edited by Thera Webb to include full names of women in collection.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US