Victor L. Ransom, 1948
Victor "Vic" Llewellyn Ransom '48 was born in New York City to a schoolteacher and a writer, both of whom were part of the Harlem Renaissance. Chasing after top schools for Ransom, the family moved 16 times before he turned 16. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School, a magnet public school known for its rigorous math and science curriculum. By senior year, Ransom had already set his sights on studying electrical engineering at MIT.
At the Institute
Ransom's memories of his arrival to the Institute in 1941 are vivid. His impression of the campus was of a "War Department," with "massive, unsympathetic buildings". In December of that year, in fact, events at Pearl Harbor led to the United States' entry into World War II. Ransom recalls "a stark change at MIT," including increased military presence on campus and changes in living arrangements.
By his sophomore year at MIT, Ransom took a leave from MIT for service training. He was among the 101 Tuskegee Airmen who participated in the Freeman Field Mutiny protest against segregation at the airfield's officers' club in 1945. After the war Ransom resumed undergraduate studies at MIT, completing his remaining years under the GI Bill in 1948.
Though faced with a tough job market after MIT, Ransom received an immediate job offer from NACA, NASA's predecessor, at their Langley Field Lab in Hampton, Virginia. In 1957, he earned his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Case Institute of Technology. For the next 30 years he would move up the ranks at Bell Laboratories and in the communications industry.