Charles Marstiller Vest
|15th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Preceded by||Paul Gray|
|Succeeded by||Susan Hockfield|
|Born||September 9, 1941|
Morgantown, West Virginia
|Died||December 12, 2013 (aged 72)|
|Children||Kemper Vest Gay, John Vest|
|Alma mater||West Virginia University|
University of Michigan
|Thesis||Stability of natural convection in a vertical slot (1967)|
Charles "Chuck" Marstiller Vest (September 9, 1941 – December 12, 2013) was a U.S. educator and engineer. He served as President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from October 1990 until December 2004. He succeeded Paul Gray and was succeeded by Susan Hockfield. He served as president of the National Academy of Engineering from 2007 to 2013.
Vest was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 1941. He graduated from West Virginia University in Morgantown in 1963 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, and earned a master of science in engineering degree in 1964 and a PhD in 1967, both in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he later served as the provost and professor of mechanical engineering, prior to his appointment as MIT's president. In 2004, a selection of Vest's speeches from his time as President of MIT was published under the title, Pursuing the Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of Research Universities.
Cambridge University awarded him an honorary doctorate in law in 2006. Harvard University has also given him an honorary degree in 2005. In 2011 Tufts University awarded him an honorary doctorate in science; the same year he delivered the Tufts University Commencement address.
Vest served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and chaired the Task Force on the Future of Science Programs at the Department of Energy. At the request of President Bill Clinton, he chaired the Committee on the Redesign of the International Space Station, which revitalized the space station at a time when its future was in question. On February 6, 2004, he was appointed to the Iraq Intelligence Commission by President George W. Bush.
He was appointed the president of the National Academy of Engineering in 2007 and served until 2013. Vest was a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and served as co-chair of the Academy's Science, Engineering & Technology Policy Program. In 2008, Vest was elected an honorary academician of Academia Sinica.
Paul E. Gray
| President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1990 – 2004