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Everyone interested in the future of our residential system should go
back and read Edwin Land's 1957 lecture "Generation of Greatness".
This lecture was the genesis of UROP, which was the last great
transformative idea in MIT residential education. It's time to return
to that well.
Land presents a blueprint of MIT education that is centered around
helping students to be *intellectual leaders*, to realize the
potential for greatness that got them admitted to MIT in the first
place. It's a blueprint centered around experiences in
discovery, guided by faculty mentors. It stresses leadership,
exploration, and risk-taking more than accumulating facts and taking
Today's reality of easy access to information and
global communication make Land's vision more relevant now than ever. There
are lots of ways to start. But the key thing is to get a group of
us aligned on the vision of greatness, and START.