Robert Seamans and Wesley Harris, 1978

Robert Seamans and Wesley Harris, 1978
Photo: Calvin Campbell/MIT News Office

NASA's Robert Seamans (left) and MIT aero/astro professor Wesley Harris at the MIT Minority Students in Engineering Seminar, 1978.

Wesley "Wes" L. Harris began his career at MIT as an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Ocean Engineering (1973-79), during which he was also appointed as the very first director of MIT's Office of Minority Education (1975-79). Harris was promoted to Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1981. He left MIT in 1985, returning a decade later as a 1995 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professors, among the first in the program.

Formerly Head of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Harris has been the Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT since 2001 and Associate Provost for Faculty Equity since 2008. In 2001, the Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science program established the Wesley L. Harris Scholarship Fund for MITE2S in his name. Harris is the recipient of the 40th MLK Celebration Lifetime Achievement Award (2014) for his dedicated service to the MIT Community.  

Robert C. Seamans, Jr. MS '42, ScD '51 was a leading NASA administrator who worked on the Apollo program and the ninth secretary of the U.S. Air Force. At MIT, he served as director of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and dean of the School of Engineering during Harris' early years on faculty.

Timeline: 1970s
School: School of Engineering
Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Career: Government & LawScienceTechnology
Object: Image
Collection: Administrators, Conferences, Faculty, Integration and Differentiation 1969-1994, Martin Luther King, Jr., NASA, Wesley L. Harris