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Provost Joel Moses has established 50 Walter A. Rosenblith graduate fellowships to be awarded to students in all six MIT schools in the next fiscal three years.
"This came as a great surprise to me," said Institute Professor Emeritus Rosenblith, a former provost. "It is a particular honor to have the fellowships distributed so widely across MIT, which obviously attempts to reflect my own broad interests."
The $7.5 million allocated for the Rosenblith Fellowships will be provided from a fund created last year by the MIT Corporation's Executive and Investment Committees. Provost Moses said he hoped this program would provide the impetus to create additional fellowships in the future.
"At the same time that there is increasing pressure to fund graduate education, we are witnessing increasing competition for the very best graduate students," Provost Moses said. "In order for MIT to continue to be at the forefront of graduate education, we must increase the number of our fellowships, both term fellowships and especially endowed ones."
This is the second major honor bestowed upon Professor Rosenblith by MIT. The Walter A. Rosenblith Professorship was established in 1994 and is held by Dr. Ann M. Graybiel of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, an internationally respected neuroscientist.
Professor Rosenblith served as provost from 1971-80. He is recognized as an international statesman of science and is one of the few scholars who is a member of all three National Academies -- Engineering, Medicine (in which he was a charter member), and Sciences, which sponsors a biennial lecture series on global science and technology issues in his name. Professor Rosenblith is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In a letter to Professor Rosenblith confirming the fellowships, President Charles M. Vest and Provost Moses wrote: "It is a great privilege for us to name this program in recognition of your numerous accomplishments as an engineer, scientist and educator. No other name but yours could be carried more proudly by the recipients of these fellowships."
Provost Moses believes the fellowships should be awarded to different first-year graduate students each year, "preferably to outstanding students who have clearly indicated an interest in pursuing the doctorate."
The School of Engineering will receive 19 Rosenblith Fellowships. The School of Science will get 16; Humanities and Social Science, six; Architecture and Planning, four; the Sloan School of Management, three; and the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology, two.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 1, 1997.