McCormick Hall Alumnae! We invite you to join us on campus for the 50th Anniversary Celebration to connect with friends, classmates and colleagues over an intellectually engaging and event-filled day.
Activities on Saturday will include a symposium themed Through the Decades, celebrating the amazing women who called McCormick home while at MIT. Tours, scavenger hunt, children and young adult activities will round out the afternoon. The evening will include a cocktail party, student performers, and dinner.
The planning committee is asking you to call, email, Facebook, or even write a letter to your old roommates, classmates, sorority members, and current McCormick friends and ask them to join you in Cambridge for this one-of-a-kind 50th year celebration. Make further plans to meet for brunch on Sunday following the celebration.
Detailed information will be sent out this summer. In the meantime, use the registration button above to indicate your interest in attending.
Current Schedule of Events
Saturday, October. 5
Check In & Brunch
11:00am -1:00pm – McCormick Hall
Memory Room(s), Tours, Connect with friends
1:00pm -2:45pm – McCormick Hall
Keynote and Symposium – “Through the Decades”
3:00pm – 5:30pm - La Sala Ballroom
Kids/Young Adult program
2:30pm – 9:00pm - McCormick Hall
5:45pm – 6:45pm - McCormick Hall
7:00pm – 9:00pm - La Sala Ballroom
Sunday, Oct. 6
11am – 1pm - McCormick Hall
Check in & Brunch
11:00am-1:00pm, McCormick Hall
You are invited to start the anniversary celebration by joining other alumni and current students to reminisce, socialize, and network at the 50th Anniversary Celebration Brunch taking place in McCormick’s Dining Hall. There will be an array of brunch food items at our buffet, including desserts and juices.
Memory Room Tours
1:00pm-2:45pm, McCormick Hall
Sign up for a Memory Room Tour! Next stop for the 50th Anniversary will be an interactive tour around McCormick Hall – led by current residents. This tour features assigned rooms decorated from 1960s -2000’s, featuring pictures, memorabilia, history and trends, and class lists.
Children/Young Adult Events
2:30pm-9:00pm, McCormick Hall Dance Studio
Bringing children? Register them for afternoon of interactive activities and learning led by current McCormick Residents taking place in the McCormick Dance Studio,
Activities include: McCormick treasure hunt, problem solving activities with prizes, basics of programming, visit to DAPER Athletics for recreational games, dinner in Maseeh Hall with undergraduates and ending the evening with movies and video games in the McCormick Game Room.
Through the Decades Symposium
3:00pm-5:30pm, La Sala de Puerto Rico, MIT Student Center
Moderator: Karen Arenson ’70, retired New York Times journalist,
Former President of the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae and former member of the MIT Corporation
1st Decade: Barbara Gilchrest ’67, Chair Emeritus, Dept of Dermatology, BU School of Medicine
Former member of MIT Corporation
2nd Decade: Pat Callahan ’75, Executive VP, Wells Fargo Bank
Incoming member of the MIT Corporation
3rd Decade: Chiquita White ’85, (we need to confirm title she wants to use) Proctor and Gamble
Past President of the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae
4th Decade: Monisha Merchant ’99, Senior Advisor to Senator Michael Bennet
5th Decade: Jasmina Aganovic ’09, chemical engineer and entrepreneur
CEO, Bona Clara
Current: Henna Jethani, ’14, Aeronautics and Astronautics
McCormick Hall President, 2013
5:45pm-6:45pm, McCormick Hall
We welcome you to reconnect with roommates and college friends over light hors d’oeuvres and an assortment of mixed wines and beers. Cocktail hour will also feature musical performances by current MIT students.
7:00pm-9:00pm, La Sala Ballroom
We welcome sponsorship to help support the costs of the McCormick 50th Anniversary Celebration. (Registration costs will not fully cover all of the expenses.) Whether you are able to attend or not, please consider being a sponsor at one of the following levels:
Sponsorship gifts of any amount are gratefully accepted. Sponsorship gifts are considered to be gifts to MIT and are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Sponsors will be recognized in the event program and on the McCormick 50th Anniversary website (unless you prefer otherwise). We will be most grateful for your support. Donate online. Make checks out to the MIT Alumni Association and write McCormick 50th Anniversary in the memo. Send checks to Elena Byrne, MIT Alumni Association, 600 Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139.
Memories From Alumnae
My first day in McCormick Hall, I found myself in a triple with two roommates both named Sandra Lee Harris. They had very different personalities and I was put there as a “mediator.” I have fond memories of playing the piano in the living room and playing chamber music quartets and quintets in the basement. Also time spent studying for finals in the penthouse watching the birds on the Charles River is etched in my mind. In winter, the birds would slide on the ice by spreading their wings. I also remember the sun rising as I finished the last page of my senior thesis on my typewriter just before it was due. In my senior year (1969), the Nobel Prize winner Maria Levi Montalcini gave us a nice talk in the penthouse which was very inspiring. I remember being thrown in the river on a cold day because our scull beat a team from Wellesley and I was the coxswain. I went in to the Charles with contact lenses in and worried that I would catch hepatitis or something from the polluted water. When I opened my eyes underwater it was hard to figure out which direction was up! I ran to the dorm and stood under the shower for about 20 minutes. I also remember getting medals in fencing with lessons from the fabulous Silvio Vitale. (The women’s team never got any recognition from the Tech news although there is a picture of the team in the Athletic Center.) We used to hang out in the lounges on the 6th floor and play bridge (occasionally interrupted by a Ouija board or studying). The dummy would make biscuits. One time, someone nearly set the dorm on fire (the first year the second tower went up) by starting a fire in the kitchen. ( I don’t think there were kitchens in the first tower.) This was the era before cell phones and if you wanted to call home (long distance), you had to use a phone in the hallway. Also, I was on the judicial committee and we were supposed to discipline someone who had rappelled down the side of McCormick Hall as a hack. We had a hard time keeping a straight face. Men were not allowed in the dorm after certain hours and there were dorms which had rules about one foot having to be on the floor. (Of course, I’m sure Bexley Hall never worried about that.) I remember Irene Pepperberg had a squirrel monkey and birds in her room (against rules of course, but no one cared). I remember the shock of the first few exams in 8.01 (estimate the number of blades of grass on the athletic field), 18.01 and 6.01. One of my classmates wrote “F = MA and the rest is left as a proof for the grader!” (I’m sure that went over well.) I remember a calculus problem about olives and martinis and another about which cooled faster, milk with coffee added or vice versa. The men’s dorms and frats had old exams to help study. We didn’t. I remember the great blackout and suddenly being able to see beautiful stars above the Boston skyline as I came out of fencing practice. The MIT amateur radio station still had power and was broadcasting. I remember my roommate, Dinah Singer, playing California Dreaming and many Beatles’ songs. Carolyn Gissen and Nory Haas were frequently singing “follow the yellow brick road.” I remember political posters in the dorm in the presidential election of 1968 (Nixon vs Humphrey and George Wallace running as a 3rd candidate.) Humphrey came to Kresge auditorium to campaign and it was my first experience directly watching politicians avoid answering questions from the audience. It was a year of great turmoil in the country (Viet Nam, race riots, assassination of Martin Luther King), but things were pretty peaceful on the MIT campus. I remember the debate between Timothy Leary, the former Harvard faculty member who was an advocate of LSD and other illegal mind altering substances, and an MIT professor (whose name temporarily escapes me – Bernard ??) who correctly stated that Leary had the smile of the “happy idiot.” Above all, I remember the great companionship in the dorm since there were only 50 women in our class.
Sorry I won’t be able to join in the festivities.
—Sharon Grundfest-Broniatowski MD (MIT ’69, Course VI)