New Smoot Plaque Greets Mass. Ave. Bridge Crossers

by Amy Marcott on June 4, 2009

in Tech Reunions

The Mass. Ave. bridge got a little prettier this afternoon after the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the night Lambda Chi Alpha pledges used the body of Oliver Smoot ’62 to measure the bridge. Official ceremonies and hoopla took place October 4, 2008, and now the dedication of the plaque, a gift from the Class of 1962, officially seals the anniversary celebrations. Jeff Lobo ’83, a Lambda Chi Alpha brother while at MIT, served as master of ceremonies for the dozens of onlookers while Chaplain to the Institute Bob Randolph blessed the plaque. Learn more about Smoot’s legacy.

Wait for it...wait for it...

Wait for it...wait for it...

Ta da! The plaque was unveiled by Class of 1962 President Mead Wyman and Director of FSILG Alumni Relations Bob Ferrara '67.

Ta da!

Oliver Smoot was not able to attend the dedication, although he did attend festivities back in October, but his Class President Mead Wyman ’62 both presented and accepted the plaque. At the ceremony, former Lambda Chi Alpha President Brandon Suarez ’09 talked about the twice-yearly tradition of repainting the Smoot marks and the first time he participated in the two-hour endeavor at two in the morning. As is tradition, the painters return to the fraternity house, gather all the pots and pans they can find, and make as much noise as possible until all the brothers are awake and gathered. The noise continues until someone guesses what colors the hash marks have been repainted.

Made of space-age titanium metal, the plaque was designed by Ilan Moyer ’08 and Melissa Rothstein and machined by Moyer with advice by Ken Stone ’72, director of the MIT Hobby Shop. It's installed on the Cambridge side of the bridge and replaces a cast-iron plaque, also a gift of the Class of 1962, that was installed in 1987.

Made of space-age titanium metal, the plaque was designed by Ilan Moyer ’08 and Melissa Rothstein and machined by Moyer with advice by Ken Stone ’72, director of the MIT Hobby Shop.

caption here

Lambda Chi Alpha brothers from the Smoot days (who deny any participation in the bridge stunt) are joined by Peter Miller ’62 (third from left), who helped draw the original hash marks, and Tom O'Connor ’60 (far right), the pledgemaster at the time who devised the idea of marking off the bridge in pledge lengths.

See a photo of Peter Miller ’62 in action on the bridge in 1958. He’s the one wielding a piece of chalk near Smoot’s head.

Smoot plaque unveiling

The plaque is installed on the Cambridge side of the bridge and replaces a cast-iron plaque, also a gift from the Class of 1962, that was installed in 1987.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Brown /\ 313 June 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Great! I love it!

Reply

Barry McQuain /\774 June 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm

This is really nice.

I think we may need to have the scene from the photo found at http://web.mit.edu/smoot/history.htm recreated 50 years later …

Reply

J. R. Tracy /\753 June 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Great stuff! Congratulations once again to the Class of ’62 and all subsequent brothers who diligently maintained the tradition.

Reply

Brian Smoot September 16, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Well we definatly came from the same stock. I the same height. Next time I’m in Boston I’ll have to visit the bridge.

Reply

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