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Paul E. Gray papers

Identifier: MC-0442

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents the personal and professional activities of Paul Edward Gray, Chair of the MIT Corporation, MIT president, MIT Chancellor, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and member of the Class of 1954.

The collection spans from 1953 to 2010, from his time as an undergraduate through his retirement. The bulk of the material in this collection documents Gray’s time as a student and as a member of the MIT faculty. Included are research notebooks, theses, publications, course notes, speeches, photographs, correspondence, and biographical materials. His involvement with MIT committees, programs, and the Alumni Association is also included. Gray's official MIT records form four separate collections in the Institute Archives: AC 180, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Office of the President; AC 397, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Office of the President and Chancellor; AC 55, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Office of the Associate Provost; and AC 438, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Chair of the Corporation. The collection is arranged into 3 series: Biographical Information and Correspondence, Speeches and Remarks, and Teaching Materials.

Series 1, Biographical Information and Correspondence comprises the correspondence, subject files, and research files of Paul Gray. Box 1 includes curricula vitae, biographical sketches, profiles, and interviews. Also included are biographical entries to various Who’s Who publications. Boxes 1 and 2 contain calendars, including planning calendars kept by Gray from 1963 to 1971. The calendars document the day to day activities of Gray as assistant professor through the first year he worked as chancellor. Calendars include address books, appointments, and notes covering both his personal and professional activities. Calendars dating after 1971 can be found in Gray's official MIT records as chancellor (AC 397), as president (AC180), and as chair of the Corporation (AC 438).

Boxes 2, 3, and 4 contain correspondence filed chronologically by Gray from 1968 to 2008. It primarily comprises personal correspondence, though some professional correspondence is interfiled. Additional correspondence can be found in boxes 5 to 9.

Boxes 5 to 9 consist of correspondence and subject files documenting Gray’s outside activities, interactions with colleagues, and his involvement with the Alumni Association. Materials in boxes 5-8 span 1967 to 2012, with the majority of the materials being generated after 1997. Boxes 7 to 9 contain materials generated by Paul Gray in the course of official MIT duties. While materials in this group date from 1980 to 2011, the bulk of these files were generated after Gray stepped down as Chair of the MIT Corporation in 1997. The contents of the boxes include correspondence with faculty and staff, and his involvement with committees. Boxes 5 to 9 are arranged with groupings generated by Gray.

Materials located in boxes 10 to 13 span from 1953 to 2010 and cover two distinct areas of research records of Paul Gray. Early materials in this grouping date from between 1953 and 1968 and focus on electrical engineering. The earliest materials date to Gray’s time as a student and include research notebooks, data, theses, and a draft of his doctoral dissertation. Other materials from this time period include research notes for the Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee (SEEC), reports, reference manuals, and publications. Later writings included in this series, dating 1996 to 2010, comprise writings on administration and biographies of MIT faculty and administrators. Material is arranged roughly chronologically by project.

Boxes 14 and 15 contain photographs kept by Gray as well as individual photographs kept in his office. The bulk of material consists of professional portraits of Paul and Priscilla Gray. Also included are photographs from events attended by Gray and group photographs of MIT programs that Gray was involved with.

Series 2, Speeches and Remarks, consists of six boxes of speaking notes, transcripts, correspondence, and background materials relating to public statements and speeches made by Gray from 1964 to 2012. A limited number of recordings of events and lectures also appear in this series, including audio cassettes, DVDs, and VHS cassettes. Events covered in this series include faculty meetings, reports, memorial services, award ceremonies, seminars, and lectures for a wide variety of audiences both at MIT and other organizations. Few speeches appear in this collection from between 1979 and 1997, speeches from this time can be found in Paul Gray’s official MIT records.

Series 3, Teaching Materials, documents Gray’s career as a professor of engineering. Material in eleven boxes spanning the years 1957 to 2007, this series includes materials from before and after Gray’s time in administration. During Gray’s time as an administrator, 1971 to 1997, there is a gap in teaching records (although he always continued as a faculty advisor). Most material is course notes written by Gray, it also includes course notes by other professors utilized by Gray, title pages of theses he supervised, and correspondence. Among the courses documented is Principles of Transistors (6.34) an elective course first presented by Paul Gray in 1962. The course was developed as part of Gray’s work with the Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee. Additional course notes from Gray’s early career include Electronic Control and Measurement (6.20), Introductory Circuit Theory (6.01), Electronic Devices and Circuits (6.02), Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering (6.18), and a Lowell Institute course in transistors. Also included is material from a Freshman Advising Seminar entitled “What Can America and Japan Learn from Each Other?” (6.A11), which Gray taught during his time as Chair of the Corporation. Later materials date after Gray’s return to full-time teaching in 1997, which include course notes for Circuits and Electronics (6.002), Signals and Systems (6.003), and Microelectronic Devices and Circuits (6.012).


  • 1953 - 2017


Access note

This collection is open.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to Distinctive Collections. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.


Paul Edward Gray, 1932-2017, was 14th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and professor emeritus of electrical engineering. He was born February 7, 1932, in Newark, New Jersey. After completing his secondary studies at Grover Cleveland High School in 1950, he entered MIT as a freshman in electrical engineering, He earned an SB in 1954 and an SM in 1955. He then served in the US Army Signal Corps for the next two years. After his discharge in September 1957, he had reached the rank of first lieutenant. In fall 1957, Gray returned to MIT to pursue his doctorate and begin work as an instructor in electrical engineering. He received his ScD in electrical engineering in 1960. He then joined MIT’s faculty where he served as assistant professor, 1960-1964; associate professor, 1964-1967; professor, 1967-1968; and MIT Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering 1968-1971. In addition to his teaching duties, Gray also served in MIT’s administration as chair of the Freshman Advisory Council, 1964-1977; associate dean for students, 1965-1967; assistant provost, 1967-1968; associate provost, 1968-1970; and dean of the school of engineering, 1970-1971. From 1968-1973, he was chair of the Task Force on Educational Opportunity which addressed the recruitment and retention of minority students.

In July 1971, Gray was appointed to the newly reestablished position of Chancellor. With this position, he became an ex-officio member of the MIT Corporation and resigned as a member of MIT’s faculty. In 1980, Gray was named the 14th President of MIT, a position he served in for a decade. As president, he encouraged curriculum reforms that strengthened the humanities, social sciences, and biology in the undergraduate curriculum. After stepping down in 1990, he returned to teaching part-time and took over as chair of the Corporation. Gray returned as a full-time member of the electrical engineering faculty in 1997 when he resigned as chair of the Corporation. In 2007, Gray became a professor emeritus and Corporation life member emeritus. At MIT, he helped establish several programs including: the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, and the affiliation with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Gray also was actively involved with the Alumni Association as both a fundraiser and as part of the Class of 1954 Executive Committee.

His public service includes four years on the White House Science Council and membership on the Council's Panel on the Health of Universities; he was also vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness. His field of research is semiconductor electronics and circuit theory. He is the author of two basic texts, The Dynamic Behavior of Thermoelectric Devices (1960) and Introduction to Electronics (1967), and co-author of five other books including a major text, Electronic Principles: Physics, Models and Circuits (1969), written with Campbell L. Searle of MIT.

MIT News Office memorial:


1932 February 7
Born in Newark, New Jersey
Enters MIT as a freshman
SB, electrical engineering, MIT
SM, electrical engineering, MIT
Officer, US Army Signal Corps, Army Security Agency
ScD, electrical engineering, MIT
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
Associate Dean for Student Affairs, MIT
Assistant Provost, MIT
1968 February-September
Visiting professor, University of Wales
Chairman, Task Force on Educational Opportunity
Associate Provost, MIT
Helps establish MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
Dean of the School of Engineering, MIT
Chancellor, MIT
14th President of MIT
Member, White House Science Council
Trustee, Kennedy Memorial Trust (London)
Chairman, MIT Corporation
Life member emeritus, MIT Corporation
Professor emeritus of electrical engineering, MIT


Television Shares Management Corporation Teaching Award
C. E. Tucker Award for Teaching, MIT
Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Bronze Beaver Award, MIT Alumni Association
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Imperial Decoration of Japan
Founders Medal, IEEE


11 Cubic Feet (31 manuscript boxes, 1 large flat box)

Language of Materials



This collection documents the personal and professional activities of Paul Edward Gray, president emeritus and professor emeritus of MIT. The collection spans from 1953 to 2010, from his time as an undergraduate through his retirement. The bulk of the material in this collection documents Gray’s time as a student and as a member of the MIT faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Included are research notebooks, theses, publications, course notes, speeches, photographs, correspondence, and biographical materials. Records documenting Gray’s role in MIT’s administration are not included in his personal papers, but comprise four separate record collections.


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

Related Materials

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Provost, Records of Associate Provost Paul E. Gray, AC 55.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President and Chancellor, Records of Chancellor Paul E. Gray, AC 397.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, Records of Paul E. Gray, AC 180.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Chairman of the Corporation, Records of Paul E. Gray, AC 438.
Guttag, John V., ed. The Electron and the Bit: EECS at MIT, 1902-2002. Cambridge, MA: MIT, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, 2005. (T171.M4224.E43 2005)
Two interviews with Paul E. Gray were conducted as part of the MIT150 Infinite History Project. These interviews are available in the MIT150 records, AC600, and online at'54-sm-'55-scd-'60-part-1 and'54-sm-'55-scd-'60-part-2. An interview with Priscilla K. Gray is also available in AC600 and at

Separated Materials note

Travel files and calendars dating after 1971 have been transferred to AC 397, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Office of the President and Chancellor.


  • Gray, Paul E. and Campbell L. Searle. Electronic Principles; Physics, Models, and Circuits. New York: Wiley, 1969. (TK7816.G7814)
  • Gray, Paul E. Introduction to Electronics. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1967. (TK7816.G781)
  • Harris, John Nathaniel, Paul E. Gray, and Campbell L. Searle. Digital Transistor Circuits. Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee 6. New York: Wiley, 1966. (QC612.S4.S471 v. 6)
  • Thornton, Richard D., David DeWitt, Eugene R. Chenette, and Paul E. Gray. Characteristics and Limitations of Transistors. Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee 4. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1966. (QC612.S4.S471 v.4)
  • Searle, Campbell L., A. R. Boothroyd, E. J. Angelo Jr., Paul E. Gray, and Donald O. Pederson. Elementary Circuit Properties of Transistors. Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee 3. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964. (QC612.S4.S471 v.3)
  • Gray, Paul E., David DeWitt, A. R. Boothroyd, and James F. Gibbons. Physical Electronics and Circuit Models of Transistors. Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee 2. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964. (QC612.S4.S471 v.2 – Missing)
  • Gray, Paul E. The Dynamic Behavior of Thermoelectric Devices. Cambridge, MA: Technology Press, 1960. (TK2950.G781)

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 Papers of Paul E. Gray
Chris Tanguay
2015 December
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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