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02/23/1998 08:00:00

New Caltech President To Be Honored with Formal Inauguration, Birthday Festschrift

PASADENA—Caltech president David Baltimore will be honored with a March 8 Festschrift to commemorate his 60th birthday, followed by a March 9 formal inauguration ceremony. Media representatives are welcome to attend both events.

Baltimore, a Nobel Prize–winning biologist, has served as Caltech president since October 1997, when he succeeded Thomas Everhart in the position. The inauguration ceremony at 2 p.m. Monday, March 9, is the formal introduction of the new president to Caltech alumni and to external communities, including other college officials, scientists, members of learned societies, and Nobel laureates.

"David Baltimore, in the short time he has been on campus, has brought the kind of energy and enthusiasm to the office that has long been a hallmark of Caltech leadership," said Gordon Moore, chair of the Board of Trustees and host of the inauguration.

Moore also announced that the main address will be presented by Maxine Singer, president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a longtime friend of Baltimore. Other speakers will include Martha Throop Smith, a descendant of Caltech founder Amos Throop; and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who headed the faculty search for a new president.

The ceremony will also include music by the Caltech Convocations Brass and Percussion Ensemble, the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs, and organist Les Deutsch.

A highlight of the inauguration ceremony will be the placing of Robert Millikan's academic hood over Baltimore's head. While he never accepted the title of president, Millikan–one of the towering figures of 20th century physics–was the first head of Caltech. The passing of his academic hood to the new president has become a Caltech inaugural tradition.

After the 2 p.m. ceremony on Beckman Mall, a campuswide reception will be held on the nearby Olive Walk. In the event of rain, all activities will be moved to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The Festschrift will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in the Beckman Institute auditorium. "Festschrift" is a German term for a special symposium in which a scholar is honored by his colleagues and students. According to the planners, the Festschrift "will highlight the superb biology being produced by some of David's postdocs, students, and friends."

Additional information on the Festschrift, including a list of speakers and topics, may be obtained by calling Linda Riggall at (626) 395-6315. For more information on the inauguration, please contact Caltech Media Relations.

Written by Robert Tindol