Academic: MIT Alumni Council
As a Boston-area alumnus, I was also invited to participate in the MIT Alumni Council. Like the Educational Council, this organization seems, to me at least, to have none of the deliberative functions that I’d tend to associate with councils, perhaps by association with similarly-denominated groups in my Church experience.

An invitation would come in the mail every month or so, announcing a dinner meeting at the Faculty Club, upstairs in the Sloan School of Management in the former Lever Brothers soap factory building on Memorial Drive, with a distinguished speaker of whom I might or might not have heard. We’d dine table d’hôte, in groups of nine or ten alumni of varying ages and levels of distinction, at round tables. The fare was at least as good as I’ve tended to encounter in similar settings, and I don’t recall bridling at the expense.

Out of these gatherings, I remember particularly occasional interactions with “Doc” Edgerton, typically the nearest thing to an acquaintance among those attending. Those led to a memorable interaction on one Saturday morning, which I’ll call to mind at the correct chronological moment.

I developed a custom of asking my table-mates how many had been enrolled in Course VIII (Physics) as undergraduates. Typically, something like half of them would confess to that connection. Then, I’d ask how many now considered themselves physicists (as, by this time, I didn’t). Again, about half would so identify themselves. It was always fascinating to see how many diverse career directions came to develop among my fellow former physicists.
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