School of Engineering Infinite Mile Awards
Congratulations to the 2005 recipients.
WELCOME BY DEAN THOMAS L. MAGNANTI:
I’m Tom Magnanti, Dean of Engineering, and it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the School’s fifth annual Infinite Mile Awards ceremony. It’s wonderful to see all of you here.
I would like to recognize and thank the Dean’s Team, all of whom helped organize today’s event: Catherine Avril, Lauren Clark, Mary Anne Gowen, Donna Harding, Lisa Magnano Bleheen, Marielle Risse, Ed Ruiz, Brian Tavares, and Sandy Tenorio. Thank you.
Before I go any further, I’d like to ask all of you who have received School of Engineering Infinite Mile Awards in previous years to stand up. Thank you. It’s great to have you here with us.
Today we will recognize the contributions of 13 individuals, bringing to 78 the fellowship of School of Engineering Infinite Mile Award winners, with a total of 1,290 years of service. Your support and your dedication to excellence and to MIT are critical to this enterprise, and you are one reason why the School of Engineering has been and continues to be the premier school of engineering in the world.
I was honored to deliver the keynote address at the Institute’s Excellence Awards ceremony in March. Those of you who attended might recall that I quoted former School of Engineering Infinite Mile Award winners who had kindly shared with us their thoughts on what receiving the award meant to them. I think their comments bear repeating here today.
Our former award winners noted that the Infinite Mile Awards program creates a sense of collegiality and community that was not present before. Many said that they were touched and humbled by the recognition, which they never sought or expected. The public recognition was a lifetime first for many of them. I still find that amazing when I reflect on how talented and dedicated they are.
One person wrote, “The other day, I was musing on the award on my wall and felt that having received it, I was obliged to live up to its spirit and all the lovely things that were written about me and were read to those in attendance. (It) keeps me on my toes, so to speak!”
Another wrote, “Ever since I received the award, I have been even more encouraged to try and live up to the standard. The comments that were made about me at the presentation daily echo in my head. The novelty still has not worn off!”
There is no question in my mind but that programs like this one make great employees even greater.
One person wrote that she keeps her Infinite Mile Award on her desk, and it always brings a smile to her face. “Thank you,” she wrote, “for giving my morale an ‘infinite’ boost.”
Our Infinite Mile Awards Ceremony has two intertwined themes: Excellence and Joy, for as Pearl S. Buck said, “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word: excellence.” They are indeed a powerful combination.
As I look out across the audience I see many very distinguished individuals, but for the next hour or so, none more distinguished than the 13 people sitting in the first row in front of me. As you will see, this year, as in past years, our Infinite Mile Award winners embody joy in excellence, and we are indeed grateful to them for all they do. We are also extremely grateful to those of you who took the time to nominate your coworkers and colleagues. Without you, there would be no Infinite Mile Awards program. Finally, we would like to thank all of you for taking the time today to share in this happy occasion, this festival of excellence and joy. I hope you will find it as inspiring as we do.
Infinite Mile Awards for Excellence:
Rachel N. Cohen
Peter B. Houk
Melanie L. Miller
Darlene K. Ray
Kathleen M. Sullivan
Infinite Mile Awards for Diversity and Community:
Rita M. Demeo
Infinite Mile Awards for Sustained Excellence:
Lisa A. Bella
Esther Greaves Estwick
Jennifer K. Leith
Stephen W. Rudolph
Peter W. Stahle