A Letter to the Class of 2018
Greetings to you the graduates – and to your families!
We join with the thousands of family members and friends gathered for Commencement, in sharing the excitement of your graduation. MIT’s Faculty value and take pride in your accomplishments as MIT’s new class of 2018. Teaching and mentoring you has been a source of deep satisfaction. As you have learned and grown, absorbing and generating knowledge and conceiving new insights, so have we. Now, as you take the next steps along career paths, your contributions to your communities and to society will be among the most gratifying results of our academic efforts.
We hope you will look back on your years at the Institute aware that your presence and involvement enhanced the MIT environment and contributed to the experience of the coming classes. Note that by remaining active as alumni you can continue to have a positive impact on the Institute’s work and environment.
You will be entering a world of considerable uncertainty and an increased level of social and political polarization. After the last presidential election, you rose to the challenges presented by the new administration and its method of governing. Many of you joined efforts to protect international members of our community from the threat of exclusion or deportation. You became attentive to issues such as immigration, climate change, nuclear disarmament, the reduction of global poverty, and the need to protect fundamental democratic rights. Many of you joined or supported the Women’s March, the March for Science, and the March for Climate.
The values of scientific investigation and assessment, previously taken for granted, have now become arenas for contention and even denial. Defending these values will require the urgent involvement of us all. In the international area, conflicts among nations that may have once seemed very far away have intensified. We have to take more seriously our responsibilities as citizens to ensure that our nation’s actions in the world increase the prospects of peace and prosperity for the world’s peoples, rather than undermining them.
During your years with us, we on the faculty have watched the burgeoning of your many talents, your creative ambitions, your resilience in the face of setbacks, your thoughtful and quirky self-expression, your creative and entrepreneurial energy, and your myriad achievements. We hope that, as your various individual paths become clearer, you will put your powers to work on solving some of the problems that confront us all, and on making our society more responsibly productive and more supportive of those in need. On behalf of the entire faculty, we wish you vision, strength, commitment, wisdom, success, and much happiness in addressing these challenges.
The Editorial Board of the MIT Faculty Newsletter