Friday, August 27, 2004
She is not an MIT graduate, being only the second non-alum to become president. The man she succeeds was the first, Charles Vest who has become much beloved here as a person and much admired for his accomplishemnts. When Vest announced his retirement from MIT, there were calls from many in the entrenched culture here that the time had come to return an alumnus as president "because he will understand." "He" was of course a given--the entrenched were not considering a woman--and what this proposed "he" was to have understood was the entrenched culture--and therefore not try to change it.
Professor Hockfield's husband, Thomas N. Byrne, is Clinical Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Internal Medicine at Yale’s School of Medicine, and they have a daughter. Neuroscience runs in the family, obviously, but maybe their daughter will want to be a modern dancer, who knows? It would be kind of fun if she did. In any event we're going to have an interesting and stimulating introductory period to our new president. Having the 'tute shaken up every now and again is a good process.