The building was scientifically sited and designed to take every advantage of solar heat, and for that reason its southwest wall was sheer glass, so as to admit as much afternoon light and warmth as a grudging New England sun might provide. But MIT's brainy architects had not realized what the effect would be when, in the late afternoon, artificial lights were turned on inside. The swimmers wore not even a fig leaf and when they climbed the tower to dive into the pool they exposed themselves—-I fear that is the only word—to scores of female secretaries and lab technicians in nearby buildings.
That was long ago, and I forget what MIT's solution to the problem was. Perhaps, being pragmatists, its governors simply decided that nobody had to watch the illuminated swimmers unless he or she wanted to.
?Shortly thereafter, MIT began issuing regulation swimsuits, a practice it still maintains.—ED.
As a member of the MIT soccer and baseball teams, I would like to present a point of view that you somehow managed to omit from your article. To begin with, MIT athletes are not mostly patsies. The place is known for its academic excellence, but the, egghead image does not fit. Most people are here not because of their brilliance (a truly rare quality) but because of their fiercely competitive nature and willingness to put in what it takes to do what they do. The concept of seeking mediocrity is an ungodly one. As Coach Francis O'Brien says, "Ya gotta love it." This attitude underlies MIT's success in sports.
Another upsetting statement in your article was: "Some of its teams do very well, and some merit the inattention." It is my opinion that guys like those on the lacrosse team, whose wins in the past three years can be counted on one hand, deserve the biggest round of applause for slicking it out. Believe me, playing in the absence of any spectators, save an occasional campus patrolman or misguided visitor, has some very serious psychological implications that your article failed to mention. Would any of today's sports notables have achieved their heights without someone to cheer them on when things were not just right?
Class of '78