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Paul E. Gray ’54, SM ’55, ScD ’60 (Part 1)

MIT President, 1980 - 1990

Chairman of the MIT Corporation, 1990 - 1997

MIT President, 1980 - 1990

Chairman of the MIT Corporation, 1990 - 1997

Paul E. Gray ’54, SM ’55, ScD ’60 (Part 1)
MIT President 1980 – 1990
Chairman of the MIT Corporation 1990 – 1997
Professor of Electrical Engineering, emeritus

Paul Gray has been part of MIT for more than 60 years, having earned here his SB, SM, and ScD degrees in electrical engineering. He served on the faculty as an academic administrator, associate provost, dean of engineering, and chancellor before becoming the Institute’s fourteenth president. Dr. Gray’s administration expanded the university’s industrial relations and developed major research in the areas of communications, health sciences and technology, microelectronics, and brain and cognitive science. Dr. Gray helped to establish the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, and MIT’s relationship with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. His public service record includes membership on the Council’s Panel on the Health of Universities and the White House Science Council.

Highlights from this interview include:

  • His early fascination and experimentation with chemistry and electricity.
  • Insights into the undergraduate experience in the early 1950s.
  • Thoughts on Sputnik’s affect on science education.
  • Initiative to increase the diversity on MIT’s campus beginning in the late 1960s.
  • Involvement with the beginning of UROPs at MIT.
  • Reflections of his many roles at MIT and the growth he’s seen within the community.     

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