Before there was an Americans with Disabilities Act, there was someone at MIT who took responsibility for providing support and access to students with disabilities. He is now associate dean and co-director in Student Support Services, a welcoming, accessible place for MIT students who seek help with academic, administrative, or personal issues. During his 22 years at the Institute, he has been involved in numerous offices or committees that serve the disadvantaged promote fairness and inclusion, or remove barriers, whether social, economic, cultural, or physical. As one nominator said, ‘He is the conscience of MIT.
His advocacy begins with friendship – the kind that can build self-confidence in a student who is isolated or adrift. One alumnus wrote that our awardee saw his need, reached out and drew him into a conversation — that turned into a community. Without that action, this student and many others would not be among our graduates today. Because of our awardee’s commitment, skill and nuanced understanding of the needs of students and the guidelines of administration, he is respected throughout the Institute.
With thanks, we recognize Arnold Henderson.