Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Remarkable and Steadfast Leadership from the Soul and Spirit of MIT



Dr. Paul Gray

Former MIT President Paul Gray passes away at 85 after lifelong career of service and leadership at the Institute

Guided by a passion for teaching,
MIT’s 14th president helped steer the Institute through decades of social change.


Kathy Wren | MIT News Office
September 18, 2017
Extract

Paul Gray ’54, SM ’55, ScD ’60, a devoted leader at MIT whose lifetime career at the Institute included turns as a student, professor, dean of engineering, associate provost, chancellor, president, and MIT Corporation chair, died today at his home in Concord, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 85.

As MIT’s 14th president, from 1980 to 1990, and in his other roles, Gray transformed the Institute through his commitment to enhancing undergraduate education and increasing the presence of women and underrepresented minorities on campus. With his wife, Priscilla King Gray, at his side, he helped guide MIT through the social change and technological transformation that marked the second half of the 20th century.

His commitment to MIT, particularly to its students, was absolute. Even after retiring as MIT Corporation chair in 1997, he returned to teaching and advising. His work at the Institute was carried out in partnership with Priscilla, a champion of public service who led efforts to create a sense of community at MIT and co-founded what is now called the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center. “Paul Gray led MIT with the clear-eyed pragmatism and uncommon steadiness of a born engineer, and the humility, warmth, and wisdom of an exceptional human being,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. 

“He was an indispensable advisor to two MIT presidents who preceded him and all three who have followed him. His affection for and trust in our students allowed him to serve as an anchor at MIT during the turbulence of the Vietnam War; inspired him to greatly increase the presence and profile of underrepresented minority and women students in our community; and led him to pioneer the creation of the then-revolutionary Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, now an inseparable part of the MIT experience. Paul loved the MIT community like family — and we feel his loss like family, too.”

“Paul became my first and most essential guide to MIT. With the wisdom gained from a lifetime devoted to the Institute, he showed me MIT’s ethos and history,” says MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield, who served as president of the Institute from 2004 to 2012. “Whether at dinner with his newly red-coated Class of ’54 classmates, or walking the Infinite Corridor with wonderful Priscilla — love of his life and partner in a presidency of warmth and purpose — his love of the place, of the people, and of our mission shone brightly in all he said and did. A part of me has always and will always see MIT through his eyes.”

A Vigorous Embrace of Diversity

When Gray arrived at MIT as an undergraduate, women made up less than 2 percent of each MIT class, and the percentage of underrepresented minorities was similarly low. After joining the administration, he took up the charge to make the MIT community more representative of society at large.

In 1968, in response to recommendations from the newly created Black Students Union, Gray, who was then associate provost, and others created the Task Force on Educational Opportunity. Among other efforts, they hired an assistant director of admissions and worked with him to actively recruit minority students. MIT also began the landmark summer program Project Interphase, staffed largely by students of color.

As chancellor, Gray wrote and began implementing the Institute’s first formal plan to increase the presence of women and minorities among MIT’s faculty as well as its student body. In a 2008 MIT Infinite History interview, Gray recalled that these efforts represented a sea change for the Institute. Until that time, “MIT had never recruited [any students]. We waited for applications to come,” he said.

By the time he stepped down from the presidency in 1990, women made up more than 30 percent of incoming undergraduate classes, and underrepresented minorities constituted 14 percent. Gray’s efforts had laid the foundation for MIT’s subsequent leaders to further increase diversity and inclusion at the Institute. His work on diversity among students and the faculty “may be the most important thing I did around here,” Gray said in the Infinite History interview.

One of the first members of the Black Students Union was Shirley Ann Jackson ’68, PhD ’73, who is now the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a life member of the MIT Corporation. “For me, Paul was foremost a great friend, advisor, supporter, and confidante. I always turned to him at critical junctures in my career. He never failed me — his advice and guidance were always spot on,” Jackson says.

More about Dr. Gray can be found here at MIT News


5 comments:


  1. For those people whose relative are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and maybe reading this, I find it hard that people are still ignorant of herbal medicine when it comes to treating Alzheimer’s Disease.
    I have been through many phases over the last couple of years since my father's diagnosis, he was 53 years old and had Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and his diagnosis changed my life in many ways, I spend most of the time in denial and I keep thinking the tests were wrong. But deep down I knew they were correct. Though sharing his story is very difficult. He was always very successful in being able to accomplish anything he set his mind on doing. Alzheimer’s is a bitch of a disease. It began by robbing his recent memory, but it didn't stop there. It continues to steal, taking the most recent memories until it has pilfered all but the oldest memories, he experienced a decline in his ability to think, remember and make decisions. I feel a need to express my thoughts and feelings about how it affected his day to day living and how its deteriorated since despite the help of some wonderful medics and medicine.
    I remind myself how lucky to come across Charanjit rychtova's herbal medicine which is able to control this disease without any side effect, I felt a moment of relief hoping that he is free from this ailment, and nothing compares to the healing power of nature. Now I believe almost every health problem can be addressed in one natural way or another. The only thing I wanted was for him to feel better. I’m proud to say my Dad is Alzheimer’s free. You can also contact him for advice and more info. charantova@gmail.com

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  2. Although available online for over three years, The Devil Corp has yet to challenged in a court of law and that's an amazing fact considering the nature of the site. Is their refusal to act an admission of guilt?

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  4. DOES HERBS WORK FOR DEMENTIA?

    This was the same question that prompted me to read further a testimony I saw on a blog. I would like to tell a story - hoping it will be useful to others - of my struggles and achievements with Dementia. I was diagnosed a little over 4 years ago, No doctors I met have any treatment or even suggestions apart western medications. I even sought advice on Youtube, to no avail. After using the conventional approach to medication treatment without improvement. I am glad something happens fast. There have been suicides due to people not being able to continue on living with the endless memory challenges. It is horrible. I learned about Dr. charanjit herbal medicine that works effectively for me without any negative effects. I have returned back to my normal life and I hope that the symptoms do not return again, It really helped me! If you have Dementia kindly contact Dr. Charanjit for help and necessary solution (charantova@gmail.com)

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  5. I can’t forget in a hurry my Mom's horrible years of fight with Mental ailment (Alzheimer). My Mom got really sick around Christmas that year. When I saw her in the hospital with all those tubes, I just lost it. I got so hysterical that I had to be escorted out. Soon after that, I got into that altercation with my neighbor and was sent to jail. When I got out of jail, Her symptoms were acting up and I felt so angry.  Dad had already taken her to a state psychiatric hospital. I was really nervous, but I talked to a psychiatrist there who made me feel comfortable. For the first time, she opened up about what she was experiencing—the voices, not being able to remember things, the paranoia. She said, “Your mom is battling Alzheimer.” I didn’t even know what that meant.

    He suggested that when she got out of the hospital and off the treatments she was taking there, we try a new treatment for Alzheimer. After weighing the risks and benefits, we both agreed the treatment, given through monthly injections, might help control her symptoms. Meanwhile, I made friends, and gained insight into her illness. During the week, there were movies, cooking classes and education sessions about her disease—basically, activities to help people like her get back into society. I learned about Alzheimer and what some of her triggers were. All told, she stayed there for two months and we left, I was taking her for doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping. It was hard, especially when her birthday passed, I still helped her walk, fix her food and dress her which made me sad because she was very active at 69 until the illness struck her.

    I came across a herbal medication sometimes last year called zomo but before we started the treatment, we started a day rehabilitation program, and also started the new medication with zomo. I was working hard to achieve my care goals by following the treatment plan. Her symptoms got under control within three months, as she started feeling better. First she regained interest in the things she used to enjoy, like calling/visiting our family and friends for lunch and going for walks in the park and grocery shopping. I will never forget what I went through, or what it took for her to get here. I don’t take any of it for granted. I consider myself an advocate for people who don’t have any knowledge about this herbal medicine. To anyone who’s taken the time to read this that may be struggling with this awful ailment (Alzheimer), reach out, share, I guarantee you reach out to charantova@gmail.com, and know, that as lonely as you may feel, as hopeless as you believe things are, please know, that there are so many patients out there going through same and you are never alone! reach out to him so you could share your own testimony to let others know there is hope.

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