Paul Gray Award for Public Service

Paul Gray Award for Public Service

The Paul Gray Award for Public Service, honoring MIT’s 14th president, recognizes a member of the MIT faculty who exemplifies building “a better world” through his or her teaching, research, advising, and service. Faculty members may have: Taught innovative courses that creatively and effectively engage community expertise or address community-identified issues; Inspired and supported MIT students in their own service work through advising and mentoring; Addressed pressing social or environmental issues through his or her research; or Led or significantly contributed to service initiatives that respectfully engage with communities external to MIT.  

Note: Self-nominations will not be considered. For questions about the Paul Gray Award for Public Service please email us at

Paul Gray
Paul Gray ’54, SM ’55, ScD ’60 was a devoted leader at MIT whose lifetime career at the Institute included turns as a student, professor, dean of engineering, associate provost, chancellor, president, and MIT Corporation chair. As MIT’s 14th president, from 1980 to 1990, and in his other roles, Gray transformed the Institute through his commitment to enhancing undergraduate education and increasing the presence of women and underrepresented minorities on campus. With his wife, Priscilla King Gray, at his side, he helped guide MIT through the social change and technological transformation that marked the second half of the 20th century.

Past Award Recipients


  • Lydia Bourouiba, Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • Larry Susskind, Urban Studies and Planning


  • Kristin Bergmann, EAPS


  • Professor Elsa Olivetti, DMSE


  • Professor Ceasar McDowell, DUSP


  • Professor Justin Steil, DUSP