Presidential Inauguration

Presidential Inauguration

On Friday, September 21, 2012, the global family of MIT gathered on campus for the inauguration of L. Rafael Reif as MIT’s 17th president.

For complete coverage of the ceremony and all the inauguration week festivities, please see MIT News

To watch videos from the Inauguration week, please visit the MIT Institute Events YouTube channel. 

A week of celebration

Inaugural Celebration Symposia

These academic events, organized by and for the MIT community, were held in Kresge Auditorium.

Infinite Innovation: Wednesday, September 19

Chaired by Dean Ian A. Waitz
Infinite Innovation highlighted the breadth and depth of MIT’s innovation enterprise with faculty, staff, and students across the Schools. Their work showcased the MIT community working collaboratively to bring new ideas into reality to change the world.

A Globally Engaged MIT: Thursday, September 20

Chaired by Associate Provost Philip S. Khoury
MIT’s mission statement reflects a role not only in the nation, but also in the world: “…to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.” MIT’s history of changing the world through community and global engagement has led to new collaborations, educational programs, research, scholarship, and service opportunities across all disciplines and departments. From a global spectrum of perspectives, MIT and new universities are looking at different ways to magnify the impact or synergies across these regional and global partnerships.

The Future of Education: Friday, September 21

Chaired by Chancellor W. Eric L. Grimson
The structure of our higher educational system is undergoing radical reconstruction, as technology has become a leading force in developing new and innovative teaching and learning methods. Technology’s presence in the classroom has led to a more personalized educational experience for students, taking into account an individual’s learning style and pace. Current generations are engaging more closely with crossdisciplinary interests more than ever before and using technology to help solve global problems. As the world and students’ academic interests and needs have started to change, MIT has begun to tackle head-on the challenges that arise from trying to augment the classroom with rich extramural experiences that will help foster the world’s future global leaders.

Welcome Luncheon in honor of President and Mrs. Reif: Wednesday, September 19

Hosted in Walker Memorial Hall by the Working Group on Support Staff Issues. All MIT campus and Lincoln Lab support staff members were invited to attend.

Inaugural Celebration Concert: Thursday, September 20

An Evening with Caracas Brass, sponsored by the Council for the Arts at MIT


Inauguration Ceremony: Friday, September 21

An inauguration ceremony is not just the investiture of a president: it is the participation by an institution in the traditions of academe.

The ceremony opened with an academic procession highlighting the breadth of the MIT community: senior officers, faculty, MIT Corporation members, and selected staff, student, and alumni leaders were invited to march. Delegates from colleges, universities, and academic associations around the world joined the procession in recognition of MIT’s place in the academy. The program included remarks on behalf of the academic community, presented by Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University; performances by MIT musicians; the investiture, conducted by John S. Reed, Chairman of the Corporation, with MIT Presidents Emeriti Susan Hockfield, Charles M. Vest, and Paul E. Gray; and President Reif’s inaugural address

Community Inauguration Festival: Saturday, September 22

Faculty, staff, students, plus MIT families and friends were invited to join the fun on Saturday as Inauguration 2012 wrapped up with a day of community events.

  • The Beaver Dash: 5k and a few smoots to benefit Habitat for Humanity
  • Around the Dome Campus Quest
  • Global Barbecue on Killian Court: Food, live music, children’s games and activities, plus presentation of the Beaver Dash awards


President L. Rafael Reif during his inauguration as MIT's 17th president

Photo by: Dominick Reuter