I was fortunate to have been invited to his residence along with a number of students for a small group dinner during my senior year in 1994. I remember how warm and friendly he was. He engaged us in conversation like a group of young adults and not like the undergraduate students that we were at the time. And during times of crisis, he stood up and was a leader. I always respected him. Rest in peace President Vest. You left behind a fantastic legacy.

Alex Chi '94

Dr. Vest was the most friendly and warm President that I ever knew at MIT and I had the great pleasure of getting to know him well, especially during the years that I spent on various Visiting Committees. In my opinion, Chuck was the main reason that MIT has become almost a household word these days, especially in the field of entertainment. Every day you hear the name MIT on one TV show or another , or in a film and the reference is always made with great respect. We had many discussions about having this happen, and I am sure that without Chuck that would not have been done, and that is just the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments! My condolences to the Vest family.

Raymond G. Paret Class of 1968

My condolences to Rebecca and the family. Chuck lent a helping hand in the defense of the Baha'is in Iran when they were being arrested for trying to provide education to their students. I miss Chuck more and more as I look back on this example of his instinct for doing what is right and not pausing, as some university administrators do, to make political safety calculations. Chuck felt moral outrage about the human rights violation happening here and acted.

Brian Aull

Rest well President Vest. You will be remembered by many MIT alumni. Sincere condolences to the Vest family.

Sherry He, M.S. '05

Shortly after Chuck Vest arrived at MIT, I saw him on a sunday having lunch in the student center by himself and I went over to welcome him to MIT. When I introduced myself, his response was warm and friendly and he even reminded me of our meeting years ago at a conference. And it was also clear that he was up to date on various of my activities at MIT. The warmth and style of that brief conversation in the student center was totally characteristic of the wonderful person that Chuck Vest has always been. And characteristic of his wonderful ability to connect personally with everyone he encountered, and his incredible attention to detail. Chuck was an extraordinary gift to MIT and to the NAE. I personally miss him as do an uncountable number of others. But it was a true joy to have known him.

My condolences to the family and my sincere thanks for sharing him with us.

Al Oppenheim

I was a special student at the MIT class 1957, XDpt and I surely met Prof. Vest. My condolences with the Vest Family by an
ex Alumnus living now in the South Italy. can not forget MIT and its Professors.

Joseph Pellerano

Wow. 14 years is a long time at the helm of the most rigorous university of higher education. Rest well President Vest. Even though we have never met, I have greatly benefited from your dedicated service to the MIT community.

Katrina Ling B.S. '86 and M.S. '92

I remember Dr. Vest being on a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) panel in 2006 with me. This was held in a secluded location (old XEROX conference site) outside of Washington. We were up at 5 am every day for 16 hour work days for three straight days. His intellect and work ethic were amazing. His dedication to National Service and the engineering profession was incredible.

Knox T. Millsaps, Course 16 Sc.D. '92

So sorry to hear of President Vest's death -- I hope his family and friends can find some comfort in how well he will be remembered by many MIT alumni.

Rachel H.

His tenure and my degree were completed the same year. I continue to look back fondly on my time at MIT, and Professor Vest was clearly a driver of its place among the great learning institutions in human history. My thoughts and prayers are with Professor Vest's family and friends.

Brendan Wells

Heartfelt condolences to the Vest family. I was at the Tute in the 90s, remember those years fondly, and appreciate Chuck for everything he did to make my time there a life-changing experience.

Robert Crockett

Sincere condolences for the loss of a great man. He will be long remembered by many of those he mentored.


Dear family of Dr. Vest:

We at MIT were all touched in some way by the life of Dr. Vest. I was a doctoral student during his presidency, and I appreciated very much his attitude of service and empowerment. From little-publicized efforts such as supporting the needs of the working mothers at MIT to his phenomenal, trend-setting initiative with OpenCourseWare, he demonstrated through his actions that he cared very much about his community and the world. His decisions reflected thoughtful consideration of the needs of multiple groups; he listened to their voices and worked tirelessly at working toward solutions with them to benefit both them and their successors. His contributions will be far-reaching and long-lasting.

Not only was Dr. Vest a model of insightfulness and generosity, but so was his staff. The attitudes of his closest colleagues were consistent with that of Dr. Vest. The unity and harmony at the leadership level made morale across campus high and efforts to improve quality of life for all worth doing.

I extend my deepest condolences to you through this time of grieving and reflecting.

With fond memories of this generous and considerate man,
Colleen Vandevoorde

Colleen Vandevoorde, Course X, M ChE P 1993, PhD 1996

Dr. Vest was president during most of my time at MIT. I saw him as a strong yet compassionate leader. He is one of the lenses from which I view/compare other leaders. My deepest condolences to the Vest family.

Saul Nuccitelli

Charles Vest was the president of MIT during my PhD studies there in the 1990s, and in many respects was the public face of the institution.
He ran a trim ship and those were good years for me. He told a story at our convocation about his own graduation many years previous- upon receiving his diploma he stopped to ask for advice and received the brisk, whispered command, "Keep moving!" This was advice he followed, and wise counsel for us all. It was a pleasure to shake his hand that sunny day. President Vest had an outstanding career as a scholar, educator, and academic leader. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family.

-Michael Bradley, University of Saskatchewan

Michael Bradley

The briefest meetings with President Vest, years ago, left me with deep admiration and deep affection which I carry with me to this day, as well as infinite gratitude for his attention to small and large causes.

Rava Azeredo da Silveira

My deepest sympathies to the Vest family. I only met President Vest once at my 25th reunion. He impressed me as a warm and gracious man. He made a point of meeting everyone who came to the reunion and to shake their hand. A real people person.

Joe Wrinn

Dr. Vest has a special place in my heart. Our son Avik received his diploma ( Bachelors Degree) from Dr. Vest. I was looking at the picture in our son's room of Dr. Vest delivering the diploma to our son in that bright day in June 1998 after I heard the news of Dr. Vest's death.
I wish our sincere condolences to Dr. Vest family.
Debi P. Mukherjee( Sc.D, 1969).

Debi P. Mukherjee

I am sorry to learn of Dr. Vest's passing. I only met him once- at my 50th MIT reunion some time ago. But I was very impressed with his interest in everyone and everything. He had a twinkle in his eye and a great sense of humor and gave a feeling of genuine warmth and approachability. He will be missed.

Ernie Huber, Class of 1951

Pancreatic cancer is a scourge and I am sorry the world lost a man with many experiences he could have passed-down and shared well into a longer retirement. I was at MIT for my S.M. in mid 90's. It was a great experience. I am thankful for those, like President Vest, who facilitate great experiences for young people, in particular. May God bless his family and I pray we can, through our tireless efforts, learn at least some secrets to taming pancreatic cancer. The world needs wise elders. We are sorry to lose this one.

Mike Timmons

Dear Family:

MIT and the world has certainly lost a dear angel. Professor Charles M. Vest represented the epitomy of excellence at MIT and beyond. I remember the day he shook my hand at my doctorate graduation as well as my hooding ceremony like it was yesterday. He was a man of excellent stature and integrity. He will dearly be missed!

La Creis Kidd

Dear Vest Family:

I am very sorry to hear of your lost. I attended MIT about a year after President Vest has obtained his post. As it was my first year at college, it was also the very first experience with provosts, university systems and their presidents, as well as all the structures and hierarchy that support them. As a result, Charles Vest became my default standard of what a university president was. Now that I am 23 years older, I understand much better how professional lives interact with the personal. I sincerely hope that his time at MIT was a good experience for all of you, his family. I am sure you were proud of his ability to say he was in charge of one of the best know universities in the world, but I also hope that his position was a benefit to you as well. Take care, and I will be praying for you.

T. Constantennia

I remember arriving at MIT in the fall, and immediately becoming aware of the presence of Chuck Vest. Unlike any president since, Dr. Vest 's influence was known and felt throughout every corner of the institute. During that first term, he wrote me a handwritten note, letting me know that he too graduated from a public high school in West Virginia, and that he was proud we were still representing. His presence and influence was everywhere, to the big important projects, to the minutiae of incoming freshmen credentials. That letter from him helped me face the challenges that MIT presented then, and it still helps me face challenges today.
I never spoke to him in person, but he must have been a very good man. I'm truly sorry he is gone. My thoughts are with his family and friends today.

Angela Bassa, Course 18 Class of 2003

R.I.P. President Vest (Chuck). I greatly admire and appreciated your warmth, grace and openness. Thank you.

Andrew Humphrey

With fond memories of many meetings and celebrations with Chuck and Becky, in Paris France, Cambridge Massachusetts and Dover New Hampshire, with many MIT and several other friends. Chuck was an outstanding scholar and President. He will always be remembered with the highest regard. Elie Antoine Sehnaoui '61

Elie Antoine Sehnaoui P.E.