Charles M. Vest

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Charles Marstiller Vest
President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Term 1990 – 2004
Predecessor Paul Gray
Successor Susan Hockfield
Born (1941-09-09)September 9, 1941
Morgantown, West Virginia
Died December 12, 2013(2013-12-12) (aged 72)
Arlington, Virginia
Alma mater West Virginia University
University of Michigan

Charles "Chuck" Marstiller Vest (September 9, 1941 – December 12, 2013) was a U.S. educator and engineer. He served as President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1990 until December 2004.[1] He was succeeded as President by Susan Hockfield. Vest served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and chaired the Task Force on the Future of Science Programs at the Department of Energy. At the request of President Bill Clinton, he chaired the Committee on the Redesign of the International Space Station, which revitalized the space station at a time when its future was in question.°[2] On February 6, 2004, he was appointed to the Iraq Intelligence Commission by President George W. Bush. He was later appointed president of the National Academy of Engineering.

Vest was born in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1941.[3] He graduated from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 1963 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He then earned a master of science in engineering degree in 1964 and a PhD in 1967, both in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he later served as the provost and professor of mechanical engineering, prior to his ascension to the MIT presidency. Cambridge University awarded him an honorary doctorate in law in 2006. Harvard University has also given him an honorary degree in 2005. In 2011 Tufts University awarded him an honorary doctorate in science. He gave the Tufts University Commencement address in 2011.

Vest was also a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board.[4]

On December 12, 2013, he died of pancreatic cancer, aged 72.[2][5][6]


  1. ^ MIT President Emeritus Charles M. Vest. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  2. ^ a b "Former MIT president Charles M. Vest dies at 72 - MIT News Office". Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  3. ^ December 5, 2003 (2003-12-05). "Charles M. Vest - MIT News Office". Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  4. ^ USA Science and Engineering Festival, retrieved 2010-07-05
  5. ^ Greene, Roy (December 13, 2013). "Former MIT president Charles Vest dies - MIT - Your Campus". Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  6. ^ Nick Anderson (December 16, 2013). "Charles M. Vest, innovative MIT president, dies at 72". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 

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