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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Inaugural Committee records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0036

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists of records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) president inaugural committees since 1900. The records are primarily documents with some photographs and memorabilia. The inaugurations of Henry Pritchett, Richard Maclaurin, Ernest F. Nichols, and Samuel Wesley Stratton are documented in notebooks which contain minutes of committee and subcommittee meetings and copies of inaugural addresses. The inaugurations of James R. Killian, Julius A. Stratton, Howard W. Johnson, and Paul Gray are documented in more extensive files containing minutes, agendas, and working papers of the committee and subcommittee chairs, invitation lists, correspondence, news releases, inaugural programs, posters and brochures, and videotapes and audiotapes of speakers and entertainers at inaugural events. As of 2012, there is little material from the inauguration planning committees for the Charles Vest, Susan Hockfield, Rafael Reif inaugurations.

Audio and video recordings can be found in boxes 4, 6, 8, 10; posters in boxes 11 and 14.


  • 1900 - 2005


Access note

This collection is open.

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 first formal inauguration ceremony of a president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was that of Henry Pritchett in 1900. From 1900 until 1923, the inaugural committee consisted of only members of the MIT Corporation. In 1930, members of the faculty and alumni served as well, and since 1949 the inaugural committees have been composed of members of faculty and administration.

The presidents of MIT, the dates of their inaugural ceremonies, and the chairs of the inaugural committees since 1900 are Henry Pritchett, October 24, 1900, Alexander Wheeler, chair; Richard Maclaurin, June 7, 1909, Thomas L. Livermore, chair; Ernest F. Nichols, June 8, 1921, Elihu Thomson, chair; Samuel Wesley Stratton, June 11, 1923, Francis W. Fabyan, chair; Karl Taylor Compton, June 6, 1930, Walter Humphreys, chair; James R. Killian, April 2, 1949, Everett M. Baker, chair; Julius A. Stratton, June 15, 1959, Edward P. Brooks, chair; Howard W. Johnson, October 7, 1966, Carroll Wilson, chair; Jerome Wiesner, October 7, 1971, Peter Elias, chair; Paul Gray, September 26. 1980, Kenneth Hoffman, chair; Charles M. Vest, 10 May 1991, Claude R. Canizares, chair; Susan Hockfield, May 6, 2005, Steven R. Lerman, chair; and Rafael Reif, September 21, 2012, Duane S. Boning, chair.

The start date of a president's term is not the same as the inauguration date. Further information about MIT presidents can be found at:


7.4 Cubic Feet (6 record cartons, 3 manuscript boxes, 1 flat document box, 1 half manuscript box, 2 folios, 1 cassette box)

Language of Materials



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

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.

Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Inaugural Committee, 1900-2012
Ready For Review
Language of description
Script of description

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