massachusetts institute of technology

MIT 1990-2004: The Vest Years
A Note from MIT President Charles M. Vest Charles M. Vest

Serving as president of a major research university is not a sandbox ambition for any child — I remain frankly astonished at the road that led me here. But looking back at that road — the bends and dips, the forks and unintended shortcuts — I’m struck by how little one can predict at the journey’s outset and by how much of life comes down to how one handles the points where the roads cross. I am also overwhelmed with the sense of how much I owe to the insight, imagination, inspiration and judgment of the many, many gifted people I have been lucky enough to work with at MIT.

In the past 14 years, the Institute has encountered many provocative forks in the road. In keeping with the passionate values of this place — openness and fairness, integrity, rigor, irreverence, and fearless creativity — we have tried each time to choose the right way. Not surprisingly, ours has often been the road less traveled. And it has indeed made all the difference.

The sweet part of saying goodbye will be the pleasure of seeing what path MIT chooses next.
Charles M. Vest
Charles M. Vest

Essays by Charles M. Vest