Soundings - home
Fall 2000

 

MIT
a brief record
50 years: highlights of humanities, arts, and social science at MIT  
1861
Governor Andrew signs act chartering the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and granting block of land in Back Bay, to include a “Society of Arts, Museum of Arts, and School of Industrial Science”
 
1876
Alexander Graham Bell gives first demonstration of telephone to MIT's Society of Arts
 
1916
MIT moves campus from Back Bay to Cambridge site
 
1946
Research Laboratory of Electronics, peacetime sequel to Radiation Laboratory, established
SHASS
50 years
 
1949
Winston Churchill speaks at Mid-Century Convocation on social implications of scientific progress

James R. Killian, Jr. inaugurated 10th president of MIT

1949
Committee on Educational Survey—the Lewis Committee—recommends establishing School of Humanities to replace Division of Humanities, founded in 1932
 
  1950
School of Humanities and Social Studies officially opens with John E. Burchard as dean and three departments—Economics and Social Science, English and History, and Modern Languages
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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  1951
Center for International Studies created (featured right, books connected with CIS)
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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1952
Sloan School of Management founded
   
  1954
Establishment of Department of Humanities, incorporating Department of English and History and related areas
 
1955
Dedication of Kresge Auditorium and Chapel, designed by Eero Saarinen
1955
Launch of Course XXI, allowing students to major in humanities or social sciences combined with engineering (XXI-A) and science (XXI-B); 19 students enroll
 
1956
Julius A. Stratton, Class of 1923, becomes 11th president of MIT
   
  1957
Jacob Bronowski, Carnegie visiting professor of humanities
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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1958
Roman Jakobson appointed Institute Professor
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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1958
Doctoral program in Political Science established; 13 candidates admitted to inaugural class

1959
Name of school changed to School of Humanities and Social Science

 
 

1960
Aldous Huxley arrives as Carnegie visiting professor of humanities
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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  1960
Doctoral program in Psychology created
 
1961
MIT Centennial celebrated by week-long gala; speakers include British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and author Aldous Huxley

1961
Doctoral program in Linguistics established; 7 candidates in inaugural class (Head of Department of Modern Languages William Locke)
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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  1963
Doctoral program in Philosophy inaugurated (Head of Philosophy section Huston Smith)
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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1964
Robert L. Bishop appointed dean
Photo (right): MIT Museum

 

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1964
Psychology section of Department of Economics becomes a department in its own right

1965
Department of Economics and Social Science (Course XIV) terminated. Economics and political science become departments (Course XIV and XVII respectively)

 
 

1966
Paul A. Samuelson appointed Institute Professor
Photo (right): MIT Museum

 

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1966
Howard W. Johnson becomes 12th president of MIT

1966
American Council on Education study ranks Economics doctoral program first in the country for effectiveness

1966
Linguistics doctoral program rated first in the nation for quality of faculty

 
  1967
Eric J. Hobsbawm, visiting scholar
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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  1969
Lillian Hellman, visiting professor of humanities; visits again in 1975
 
 

1970
Paul A. Samuelson awarded Nobel Prize in economics
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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  1970
Franco Modigliani appointed Institute Professor
 

1971
Jerome B. Wiesner inaugurated 13th president of MIT

1971
Philosophy section becomes a department
 
  1972
Nikki Giovanni, visiting writer
Photo (right): Barron Claiborne
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1973
Harold J. Hanham appointed dean
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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1973
Lewis Mumford, visiting scholar

1973
Launch of Cambridge Humanities Seminar series, a collaboration of Boston-Cambridge universities to diversify humanities curriculum

 
 

1974
Friends of the Humanities, initiated by I. Austin Kelly III; I. Austin Kelly Prize offered annually to promote scholarly work in the humanities
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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1974
Institute requirement in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) takes the place of freshman and sophomore core program

 
  1974
Leonard Bernstein appointed Institute lecturer
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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  1975
Visiting writers include E.L. Doctorow and Harold Bloom
 
 

1976
Noam Chomsky appointed Institute Professor
Photo (right): Donna Coveney

 

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1976
Department of Philosophy combined with linguistics program to form Department of Linguistics and Philosophy (Course XXIV)

1976
Cross-registration and cross-teaching of languages with Wellesley College

 
  1977
Center for Materials Research in Archaeology
and Ethnology (CMRAE) established
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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  1977
Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) inaugurated
 
 

1978
Defense and Arms Control Program at the Center for International Studies established; name changed to the Security Studies Program in 1996
Photo (right): Brian Fleske

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1978
Worst blizzard of century closes Institute for a week
1978
Visiting writers include Bernard Malamud
 
 

1979
Visiting writers include Toni Morrison (right) and Jorge Luis Borges
Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

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1980
Paul E. Gray ('54) becomes 14th president of MIT

1980
Writers Read at MIT series, including guest appearances by Russell Baker and Norman Mailer

 
  1981
Morris Halle appointed Institute Professor
Photo (right): MIT Museum
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1981
Creation of MIT Japan Program, within Center for International Studies

1981
Writing Center, connected to Writing Program, offers individual instruction Institute-wide

1982
Six sections in Department of Humanities—Anthropology/ Archaeology, Foreign Languages and Literatures, History, Literature, Music, and Writing—become autonomous

1982
Economics and Linguistics doctoral programs rank first in nationwide survey conducted by Conference Board of Associated Research Councils

 

1983
Writing requirement instituted

1983
MIT announces Project Athena

1983
MIT establishes Media Laboratory

1983
Visiting writers include V.S. Naipaul and Derek Walcott (right).
Photo: Chester Williams

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1984
Ann F. Friedlaender appointed dean
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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1984
29 percent of students admitted into the Class of 1988 are women

1984
Women's Studies Program launched

1984
Integrated Studies Program established

 
  1985
Franco Modigliani awarded Nobel Prize in economics

Photo (right): MIT Museum

1985
Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar established at Center for International Studies

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1986
Visiting writers include Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer
Photo (right): Jerry Bauer

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1986
Humanities Undergraduate Office renamed Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Office

1986
Creation of Burchard Scholars Program, recognizing MIT undergraduates with exceptional ability in the humanities, arts or social sciences

 
 

1987
Robert M. Solow awarded Nobel Prize in economics
Photo (right): MIT Museum

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1987
John Harbison receives Pulitzer Prize for Flight into Egypt

1987
HASS-D requirement and HASS-Minor option approved by MIT faculty

 
 

1988
Noam Chomsky awarded Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences
Photo (right): Donna Coveney

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1988
Music Section becomes Music and Theater Arts, incorporating activities of Dramashop, Shakespeare Ensemble and Dance Workshop

1988
Creation of PhD program in History and Social Study of Science and Technology, jointly offered by Anthropology, History and Science, Technology & Society

 
 

1989
Ellen T. Harris appointed MIT's first Associate Provost for the Arts and Professor of Music
Photo (right): Donna Coveney

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1989
Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program created; replaces Bush Fellowship Program

1989
Faculty approves change in Course XXI degree designation from generic "humanities" to specific (e.g. "history")

 
1990
Charles M. Vest, provost of the University of Michigan, elected MIT's 15th president
1990
Language Learning and Resource Center established
 
 

1991
Philip S. Khoury appointed dean
Photo (right): Graham G. Ramsay

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1991
The MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program established to recognize faculty who have made exemplary contributions to undergraduate teaching and education

1991
New “regional studies” approved for HASS-Minors—African and African Diaspora Studies, East Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Russian Studies

1991
Kenan Sahin Lecture Series in History Faculty inaugurated

 
1993
Dibner Institute in the History of Science and Technology established
1993
Salman Rushdie speaks at MIT and is appointed honorary visiting lecturer in the humanities
 
 

1994
“Black Women in the Academy: Defending Our Name, 1894–1994” Conference held at MIT. (Professor Evelynn Hammonds, Conference co-organizer)
Photo (right): Donna Coveney

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1994
Establishment of Washington Internship Program, within Department of Political Science

1994
International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI), administered by Center for International Studies

 
 

1995
Rosalind Williams of the Writing Program becomes Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education
Photo (right): Donna Coveney

 

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1995
John Harbison appointed Institute Professor

1996
Paul A. Samuelson receives National Medal of Science

1996
Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library dedicated

 
  1997
Peter A. Diamond appointed Institute Professor
Photo (right): Donna Coveney
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  1998
Paul L. Joskow receives Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service to the School of Humanities and Social Science
Photo (right): Gerry Lupino
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1999
Forty-eight percent of undergraduates admitted are women

1999
MIT launches $1.5 billion campaign

1999
John W. Dower wins the National Book Award for Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. In 2000, the book sweeps the awards, garnering the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times’ Book Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize for American History and the American Historical Association’s John K. Fairbank Prize for East Asian History
Photo (right): Graham G. Ramsay

1999
Comparative Media Studies Program, and SM in Comparative Media Studies, established

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2000
Ground broken for the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences

2000
Robert M. Solow awarded National Medal of Science
Photo (right): Donna Coveney

 

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2000
The Bilingual/Bicultural Studies Center established

 
 

2000
Institute Professor John Harbison’s opera, The Great Gatsby, premiers at the Metropolitan Opera
Photo (right): Chris Lee

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Soundings - home
Fall 2000

Copyright © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology