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Nafi Toksöz Fellowship

Piano Drop 2013: October 25 @ 5pm

 The Piano Drop this year (2013) will be on Friday October 25 at 5pm (not 4:30pm as previously reported)...

Boston’s Best Buildings...

We're famous! 

Boston’s Best Buildings Or Works Of Architecture

October 8, 2012 4:00 AM

Boston is a city known for its 18th- and 19th-century architecture. The buildings that lend to this reputation have a tendency to be sites that are important to the history of the United States. However, there are also buildings that are more modern and lend diversity to Boston architecture. No matter your architectural taste, this city offers a little something for everyone...


Ghosts in the ROM

That's Alan Oppenheimer '82 in one of the Apple Mac SE ROM images...

The M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship Fund

MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) recently created the M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship Fund, an endowed fellowship in Nafi's honor.  Nafi and Helena were our housemasters from 1969 to 1980.

The EAPS Department has already raised about $700K.  But the goal is to raise $1 million in endowed funds, which will -- in perpetuity -- support at least one graduate student for one academic year.

The EAPS Department is hoping that students who were Bakerites during Nafi and Helena's time as housemasters will also help raise funds for this fellowship.  They invite us to join in:

"...celebrating the achievements of Professor Toksöz by contributing to the M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship Fund. Gifts in any amount are greatly appreciated. To give online, visit and enter the M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship fund number 3311750 in the 'search designations' box."

Please download the attached fact sheet (PDF) for more details.



Lina J. Morales '82 Earns Lobdell Award

One of our own -- Lina Janavicius Morales '82, SM '84 -- has earned the Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award for "alumni relations service of special depth over a sustained period".  Congrats!

Piano Drop - 2012

This year's Piano Drop will be on Thursday April 26 at 5 pm.  If you get to see it, remember to submit some pictures to the webmaster here...



Update from the House President:

Here is WCVB (Channel 5/ABC)’s stories on the drop.  They are different from each other. 6pm 11pm

Plus Piano Drop has been picked up in 127 news outlets so far, including the Washington Post and papers across the country.



More from the House President:

News of the Piano Drop continues to spread across the globe. 

Piano Drop was mentioned in 361 different news outlets so far, according to Google News. 

This was the first year, I believe, it was included in nightly news casts outside of Boston. Check out this report from ABC Chicago 

It was mentioned as a trending story on

It was also the first year it went international, even being picked up by the BBC in the UK and the Telegraph

It was even picked up by the China Post



In Memoriam: Irene Reiche

Irene Reiche, 85, passed away March 30, 2012.

Prof Harald and Irene Reiche were the Housemasters of Baker House from 1980 to 1989.
Their daughter Victoria Reiche Gaar writes: "Irene loved her years at Baker House and continued contact with many of the students throughout the years."

Links to Irene Reiche's obituares are here:
and here:


New Housemasters: Jeff & Barbara Hoffman

Baker House has new housemasters!  Please welcome Professor Jeff Hoffman & Mrs. Barbara Hoffman as the new residents of the Master Suite...

Renovation Feasibility Study

Thanks to Michael "Plaz" Plasmeier, we have a copy of the exhaustive 1996 study led by Perry Dean Rogers & Partners about the feasibility of renovating the physical Baker House structure. It is the "blueprint" for the major renovations that were done in the late 1990s. The scanned PDFs are huge, so the scanned document is broken up into several sections:

Fundraising Account Suggestions

Yo, Bakerites: It's the season for fundraising calls from extremely
young-sounding MIT undergrads hoping that us stodgy ol' alumni
will kick in a few bucks for the old alma mater. So don't forget:

  • the M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship Fund (3311750)
  • the general Baker House fund (2720364)
  • the James T. Albrecht Memorial Fund (3647005)
  • and the famous (anyone want a mailbox door?) Baker House Restoration fund (3700200)

Piano Drop - 2011

From recent Execcon meeting minutes:

  • We have a piano for our piano drop!! Thanks to Babson University for donating it!
  • Piano drop is on the 30th of April at 4pm!! 
  • The piano drop will be advertised on dome view!
  • We will have hot dogs during the piano drop


  • We will have a TNK study break with a root beer keg and pizza on April 28th to prepare for the piano drop! Bakerites will have an opportunity to sign the piano and spray paint names of classes they dropped or don’t enjoy! More detail coming soon!


60th Anniversary Reunion Committee earns the MIT Alumni Association’s 2010 Great Dome Award

The Baker House 60th Anniversary Reunion Committee has earned the MIT Alumni Association’s 2010 Great Dome Award!
From the MIT Alumni Association:
August 19, 2010
Dear members of the MIT Baker House 60th Anniversary Planning Committee:
Congratulations on being part of a group being recognized with the MIT Alumni Association’s 2010 Great Dome Award (formerly known as the Presidential Citation Award)!  This year’s awards will be presented in conjunction with the annual Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC) happening here on campus October 22-24, 2010. 
Lola M. Ball ’91, SM ’92 and Henry H. Houh ’89, ’90, SM ’91, PhD ’98 have been invited to accept this award on behalf of the committee. I hope you can be present to share in the celebration and applause.
The awards will be presented by Anne Street ’69, SM ’72, president of the Alumni Association, along with MIT President Susan Hockfield and EVP and CEO of the Alumni Association, Judy Cole.
Sarah Hendrick
MIT Alumni Association


Baker House - Alumni Giving

If you've got the cash, and you still have a fond place in your heart for Baker House, then Dava & Gui (the current Baker Housemasters) suggest that you target your Annual Giving contribution to one of the following accounts:

Housemasters in Print - Prof. Norman N. Holland

Prof. Norman N. Holland was the third housemaster for Baker House.


His newest book is entitled Literature and the Brain.

A website for the book is here, and the Table of Contents and first chapter are here.


Piano Drop - 2010

Greetings Bakerites!
The current Baker President, Andy Wu '12, wanted me to pass this along to everyone.  First, thanks to everyone who voted, the Baker Piano drop topped the MIT Museum's Top 150 vote, beating out "Hacking," "Brass Rat," and "IHTFP."  Because of this, this year's piano drop will receive a lot of media attention this year.  Andy invites you to attend this year's piano drop which is this Thursday [April 22] at 6 PM.
From Andy:
"It is at 6PM this Thursday [April 22], and because we won the MIT150 competition, there will be a large media presence. They will be filming the event for an exhibit in the MIT museum, and the piano we drop will be donated to the museum. There will also be a barbecue catered by the dining hall.

The piano drop is a Baker tradition that started in 1972. As the name of the event implies, it is an event in which Baker House residents drop a piano off the roof of our dorm. This event, which takes place on Spring drop date, is open to all of campus and covered by local news media. This always gets a lot of publicity for both Baker House and the dorms at MIT. This year, we have two donated pianos, an upright and a grand piano, both of which are broken and irreparable. As in the past, this year’s piano drop will be accompanied by a barbecue, provided by Baker Dining."
Thanks, and hope you enjoy it!
Henry '89

The History of Dining at MIT

 "The History of Dining at MIT", by Michael Plasmeier '13, and current Baker VPFS

Nocturnal Workaholics

From the website: 
"The Massachusetts Institute of Technology chose beavers a century ago as mascots because, like MIT students, they were skilled engineers and nocturnal workaholics."

Werner Kahn '52 writes...


When the class of '52 started out at Tech, in '48, Baker House was under construction.  It had been only 3 yrs since WWII  ended.  They put us up in what was then called Bldg 22, a military barracks building originally built for war research, I think.  There were 8 to my room at the time.  It was more like being in the army.  Bldg. 22 has long since ceased to exist.  It was located behind another student dormitory called, at the time, Eastgate, now, I believe, the Munroe Haydn Wood Bldg.


In the spring of '49 the Administration accepted applications for the then completed Baker House and they assigned me to Room 140, which I fell in love with and where I stayed through graduation.


We formed solid friendships in those days, but, unfortunately, I have lost track of most of those guys, very particularly because I live in Brazil now. But over the years, I've been stateside numerous times, as an employee of the Gulf Oil Corporation, now a Chevron retiree.  For a couple of years, in fact, I lived in Pittsburgh, PA, working at Gulf's head office.  During my days of professional life, Gulf assigned me to various countries, mostly in South America. Although a Course II graduate, I became more of an attorney and accountant, although I started out in lube oil sector, where they needed a Mechanical Engineer.


With only two of my close friends of those days, I am still in regular contact: Marc Aelion, X, '51, whom I consider to be my "brother", now living in the vicinity of Sao Paulo, Brazil, but born in Egypt.  I talked him into coming to Brazil after he got his post-graduate Chem Engrg. degree and he tells me has never been sorry for coming to this country.  The other one is Luis A. Capandeguy, II, '52, my Uruguayan "brother", who returned to his native Montevideo, Uruguay, after graduation, where he still lives.  He comes to visit me just about every year here in Rio, spending about two weeks in my apartment.  I love those visits.


All of us, of course, are getting pretty old by now.  Marc, Luis, and I were at the campus in '02, alumni day, for our 50th anniversary of graduation. For Marc, of course, it was his 51st, but he had been there the previous year as well and talked the two of us into it.


Many of the guys on the list of student representatives in the period '49/'52 are well known to me, of course, and a number of them were good friends in those days.  Those include Seymour Weintraub and Manolo Lieberman.  I believe Marc is still in touch with Seymour, now living in the New York area.  Manolo Lieberman, whom we used to call the "mad Cuban" (he used to say "comes the Rrrrrevolution" and that was before Fidel).  When the "revolution" came under Fidel, he did not return to Cuba and settled down in Barranquilla, Colombia, where he became a wealthy businessman. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple of years of so ago.


Marc is on the list as Dorm Committee Representative in the '50/'51 period. I am sending him and Luis a copy of this message.


Well known to me also were Don Schlatter and Gerry Burns of the New Dormitory Committee in its first year, Ed Facey, Sandy Kaplan (last I know also in the New York area), and Gus Rath.  Unfortunately, I am not in touch with any one of them.  And then there were two to whom I will be eternally grateful because of the support they gave me in one of my most difficult periods of my life at Tech, after the death of my father: Robert S. (Bob) Gooch and Freddie Lehman.  The last I know of Bob is that he was living in Texas (Amarillo, I believe), but I much regret having lost track entirely of Fred.  Fred married one of the very few coeds at MIT in those days.  I may be far away, but I have not forgotten!!  And Eli Dabora, from Iraq, who became a professor at one of the better colleges on the East Coast, a very close friend then.  My sincere apologies to many of those good friends of Baker House of the early fifties whose names I might not have mentioned.


Of course there was no co-ed living in the dorms back then and, indeed, as I said, there were only a couple or so on the campus.  We had dorm parties each Saturday evening to which we could bring our dates, but they all had to be out of the building by 10PM.  At one time I was yanked before the Dorm Committee because I was "caught" perhaps around 10:30PM, with my date still there, but leaving.  Good times.  The class was already a mixed community, from a nationality point of view.  Not that different from what it is now, except practically no Chinese or citizens from India.


Things have changed so much in these almost sixty years.  I am an Educational Counselor here in Rio and I do get the complete literature about Tech every year which I can use when interviewing the candidates.  The catalogue of courses now being offered contains 95% of courses that did not even exist then (the number may be an exaggeration; my guess). Unfortunately, I have neither photos nor historical records in my files, but Marc may have some.  I have been campaigning for years now to throw out files and photos.  It is a tough job.


Well, there you have a short story of one of the guys of those days yonder.


My very special "abrazo" (Latin American style) to all of those that I mentioned here as well to those not mentioned, whose health and life, I do hope, our Good Lord has preserved for all these years.




Werner Kahn

IIB, '52.

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