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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Big News by Ben Jones

The next chapter in the life of Ben Jones.

I’ve been putting off writing this entry for a week, because I simply don’t really know how to write it. There are so many things I want to say, and yet so many of them don’t attach well to words – only to strong feelings and emotions, the way certain songs bring back the intangible moments of one’s childhood.

I think I’ll just start with the facts and save the long, introspective part for a later entry, once I’ve had a chance to really process all of this.

In a nutshell: after four incredible years here, I’m going to be leaving MIT in July. I’ll also be leaving Boston, which has been my home for more than a decade, and which will always be the city I love more than any other. It’s a lot to digest, and it’s going to take some time.

I guess you probably want to know the details. I’m heading back to Oberlin, my alma mater, where I’ve just been appointed Vice President for Communications – I’ll be overseeing communications strategy for the whole college. Those of you with whom I’ve spoken about Oberlin know how deeply I love the place, and at this critical moment in its history, it needs me – in many of the same ways that MIT did four years ago – to help it tell its story to the world. It’s a tremendous professional opportunity, but to me it feels more like a calling than a job.

Nothing can lighten the sadness of leaving MIT. I may not be an alum, but I did spend four very intense years here. I may not have taken 8.02, but I also didn’t get summers off the way you slackers do… so let’s just call it even. ;-) As Nance says, I may have been born into the Oberlin family and married into the MIT family, but one is no less significant than the other.

So while I may be leaving MIT physically, I’ll never leave MIT – it’s too much a part of me. I’ll just be more like an alum than a current student.

One thing is certain: if I am invested in you – and you know who you are – no distance will ever change that. I’ll still be checking up on you, keeping tabs, making sure you’re getting the most out of your college experience, same as I’ve always done.

That’s a promise.

I’ll write a lot more over the next couple of months. I’ll get all sorts of reflective and nostalgic, as soon as I’m ready. Stay tuned.


P.S. This is the 2500th entry on That speaks for itself, I suppose.

67 responses to “Big News”

  1. ep says:

    i wish you the best. your blogs were a big reaosn i wanted to go to mit. thanks

  2. Snively says:

    BYE BEN! We’ll miss you!

  3. Vicky '12 says:


  4. Zaira '11 says:

    We are going to miss you Ben!

  5. donaldGuy says:

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! *sadness*

    I’m glad you have new horizons and opportunities to explore, but this is very sad to me. I too shall miss you!


  6. nakoruru says:

    Come on MIT… I want to hear the words “counter-offer”!!!

    Ben, congratulations on the new job, Mr. Vice President! Even though you will not be at MIT for much longer, always remember…

    If a car leaves MIT at 65 miles per hour towards Oberlin, and a car leaves Oberlin at 75 miles per hour towards MIT, how long will it take for either car to get a speeding ticket?

    (in other words… the great beaver poops on us all, no matter where we are!)


    So, next year, we can see you at

  7. Anonymous says:

    Stunned. Completely…stunned.

  8. yukiko says:

    MIT has always been my dream. I remembered before the decisions came out, I became depressed and sad becasue I never thought a school like MIT could accept me. Once I found these blogs, I found a specific blog that you wrote. It was about your experiences in choosing students for the upcoming years. I copied and pasted the entry, and put it in plastic sheets and hanged it next to my bed, because that entry always made me feel better. Thank You so much for your work at MIT and for being a good influence on me. Good luck!

  9. Matt F says:

    I’m stunned. You will be missed so much Ben, honestly your blogs were an inspiration to me.

    But I know you know enough to make the right decision for yourself. I wish you every bit of luck I can for your work at Oberlin.

    Your name is still signed onto the cards I received from MIT admissions for the holidays. You personally signed it which means you are concretely and officially part of my MIT experience. You won’t be forgotten

  10. MIT Parent says:

    Ben, you’ll be sorely missed. All the best.

  11. Woah, you’ll be missed! Very best of luck at Oberlin.

  12. Shannon '12 says:

    Don’t we get a vote? :(

    Also, my parents say congratulations, which I’m supposed to tell you.

    In all seriousness, though, that is a really awesome opportunity, so make us all proud. You’ll be seriously missed. Oberlin doesn’t know how lucky they are.

  13. Ben, we will greatly miss you and your blogs. As a parent, I used to read just about every entry you posted. They were always higly informative and often mixed with humor which made it all the more interesting to read. You made every effort to respond to questions from potential students and their parents. I am sure you played a big role in making MIT’s undergraduate blogsite arguably the best college blogsite in the world and that has played a big part in making the MIT admissions process so much transparent. It will be a big loss for MIT and a big gain for Oberlin. Best of luck to you in your new assignment at Oberlin!

  14. Tong '12 says:

    First, I should say congratulations on the wonderful appointment.
    But the news came too unexpectedly… All of us who have gotten attached to this admission site will definitely miss you!
    All the best, Ben!

  15. Rena '12 says:

    Ben, I appreciate very much what you’ve done for MIT admissions, and I hope you’ll be able to bring the same caring, consideration, and openness to Oberlin.

    We’ll miss you though…=(

  16. Daniel '12 says:

    I appreciate your sincerity and passion for what you’ve done at MIT. Oberlin is very lucky to have you join their team.

    Best Wishes.

  17. senna '12 says:

    But Ben…

    I still haven’t really met you in person…Physically, I mean…

    T.T Can you please just pop up one second during orientation? No? *sadness*

    But I still wish you the best for everything happening in your life! I know that you’ll be a blessing to people lucky enough to be around you smile

    Awwww >.But Ben…

    I still haven’t really met you in person…Physically, I mean…

    T.T Can you please just pop up one second during orientation? No? *sadness*

    But I still wish you the best for everything happening in your life! I know that you’ll be a blessing to people lucky enough to be around you smile

    Awwww >.< But I still haven’t meet you in person…T.T

  18. Li '12 says:

    Best of luck, Ben! grin

    The blogs are so well organized, and definitely give MIT Admissions an edge. My experiences at CPW matched the impressions I got from the blogs, which proved to me that they really do represent MIT.

  19. Oasis '11 says:

    Now I’ve come to associate everything with “big news” as the title to be sadness, blogs or emails. =p

    I didn’t know your real name was Edward smile

    Perhaps I haven’t conveyed my sentiments to you yet, but good luck and thanks for you have done to all of us. And thanks is an understatement.

  20. Judy '12 says:


    Goodbye and Good luck Ben!!!!

  21. Tanmay '12 says:

    I really wanted to meet you, Ben. But you’re leaving in July… and I come in August… I hope I’ll still somehow get a chance.

    Thanks for all hard work you did with 3-108… and the awesome application advice you’ve given all these years…

    Best of luck!!! grin

  22. Laura says:

    Whoa, is your first name actually Edward? Cuz that’s amazing, and I’m going to start calling you Eddie.

    Oh, also, I’ll miss you. Or something. =P

  23. Anonymous says:

    Ben as a final act of greatness, accept me off the waitlist

  24. Steph says:

    Good luck, Ben. Oberlin is lucky to have

  25. Kes '11 says:

    I remember when I first read “It’s More Than A Job” and realized that, at least at one college, the admissions officers were human. Congrats on your position at Oberlin. MIT will miss you!


  26. JWC '12 says:

    Congratulations and good luck! Thank you so much for not rejecting me! smile

    I hope you spread lots of this at Oberlin:

  27. Anonymous says:

    We’ll miss you Ben. I now realize that it was probably a lot of your work that got me interested in applying to MIT and learning about the people and culture here. I’m extremely glad you set up the admissions blogs, or else I might not have considered it among my college options.

    Best of luck at Oberlin!

  28. Katelyn '12 says:

    Congratulations Ben! We’ll miss you!!!

  29. Liz '12 says:

    I never got to meet you, but you are definitely one of the best things about MIT. The cards and handwritten notes endeared me to this school like no professionally type letter ever could, and it is the incredible awesomeness of you and people like you that make MIT the best school on earth.
    Have fun in your new job! And drop by next year at CPW to pretend you are a pre-frosh! (It is worth a try, neh?)

  30. Hawkins says:

    Wow. Congrats on the new position! It sounds like a great match. Even though I’ve only met you once in person, you’ve helped me out a lot – in the admissions process and in my personal life. I can’t thank you enough for that. Maybe I’ll head up to Boston during June sometime (if you’ll still be there).

    Who’s taking over the admissions site?!

  31. archimedes says:

    Arrivederci Ben!
    Thanks for always keeping it real!

  32. Viva '12 says:

    we’ll miss you. a lot. :(

  33. Muz says:

    You guys may not have accepted me into MIT, but Ben, if it wasn’t for you post, perhaps I would’ve been upset for a much longer period. Thank you. Vaya con dios smile

  34. Sh1fty says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re leaving MIT, I was looking forward to meeting you. Still, this new job sounds like your dream came true, so I’m happy for you. You could still post here from time to time, even after you leave MIT. I’m not saying goodbye since you’re not leaving yet smile

  35. Tina '11 says:

    i’m holding you to that promise. your blog made me cry. i’m gonna miss you so much, ben!!

  36. Aditi says:

    We’ll miss you :(

    But yes, this *is* an amazing opportunity. I just wish you could be in both places at the same time.

    All the best Ben

    note to all (pre)frosh : lets clone Ben and keep the original ?

    Ok, thats not even funny…
    Let me put it this way, I’ve never even met you but I’ll miss you and your presence here on the MIT blogs.

  37. Anonymous says:

    That why I recently saw Matt taking measurements of Ben’s office.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Now I understand why I recently saw Matt taking measurements of Ben’s office.

  39. Well, well, Ben, congratulations! I know how much this means to you, and I wish you all the best. I know you’ll knock ’em out of the park.

    I just wish I’d had the chance to share one last hug for good luck. (I’ve only ever been in Ohio once in my life and am unlikely to ever be there again.) Stay real, and be well.

    All the best always… to one of the best.

  40. Piper says:

    Oh Ben!

    I’m so sad to see you go =(. You’ve been an absolutely amazing admissions officer. I love your blogs so much! I’m honored to be admitted under you Oh Ben!

    I’m so sad to see you go =(. You’ve been an absolutely amazing admissions officer. I love your blogs so much! I’m honored to be admitted under you <3.

    Congratulations on your spectacular new position. I know you’ll kick butt! (And make sure whoever comes in is half as good as you ;D.)

    Tons of love <33

  41. Justine '10 says:

    We’ll always have Baltimore smile Good luck, stay safe, be happy :D Thanks for all your hard work.

  42. kaynar says:

    I hope you will continue blogging in Oberlin~!

    Thank you for a great job here, I am sure that your new place will be lucky to have such a great person!

    Congrats! and… we will miss u!

  43. Chris Mills says:

    Oh ben, I’ll miss you just from the brief time I met you at CPW. I’m happy for you though, that is an amazing oppurtunity for you. And besides, there is always facebook. =) Good luck!

  44. Congratulations! Oberlin’ll be lucky to have you (back). smile

    Also, I want to say that MIT admissions site is the best out there–so good that I feel I know more about MIT than my own school. Thank you for making that possible.

  45. Danny '12 says:

    Congratulations Ben! Thanks for all of your hard work this admissions season. I’ll be sad not to see you while walking the infinite anymore, but when you hear a calling you’ve got to take it. Oberlin couldn’t have found a better guy for the job.

  46. donaldzmom says:

    Now I am really sad that I missed out on giving you one last hug at CPW checkout (you were allegedly with YOUR Mom who was visiting)! I am stunned at how bereft that I feel. We are done with admissions, why does it matter? But it does. Without you and Bryan MIT will never be the same (what is it about Ohio?) But congratulations to you and to Oberlin both.

  47. mit hopeful says:

    noo , i was going to send a drawing of you as a supplement , as a bribe =D

  48. Isshak says:

    Oberlin is a very lucky college. We will miss you, the people that you have met and the others too ! It is so sad that you are leaving and that the new classes won’t have a chance to know you, but I hope you will be dropping by (at least maybe once a year?).
    And I am not saying goodbye yet, because you are not gone yet.

  49. Anonymous says:

    We’ll all miss you TERRIBLY BEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear there are teardrops in my eyes. A trillion thanks to everything you have done for MIT class of ’12 and of course the greater MIT community.

  50. family Fronk says:

    Dear Ben,
    ……our Nobel prize winner for “Heart Communications”
    You are a reflection of so many of the great old adages:
    “You can’t keep a good man down”
    “on to bigger and better…”
    “a real trail-blazer”
    “shock and awe”
    “the only thing constant is change”
    “you, a true V.I.P.” !!!

    Thank you for “so manys”. Best wishes and Good Luck!
    auf Wiedersehen

  51. Anonymous says:

    All the best Ben. I hope you a successful career in Oberlin.

    Abiy 2012

  52. Tamara says:

    Ben, we love you!!

    Congrats on the new job, but you are going to be missed terribly at MIT.

  53. Congratulations, Ben!

    Maybe you’re tired of hearing this by now, but you’ll definitely be missed.

    And oh, I think the new job title will fit on a business card. smile

  54. Congratulations! MIT’s loss is Oberlin’s gain. You have been the heart of the blogging experience.

  55. carmen'12 says:

    good luck at oberlin!

  56. Libin Daniel says:

    Thank you for everything Ben.
    You made me see MIT in every possible way.
    You helped me a lot to know myself as well. Be it your posts, your advice after the rejections.
    You don’t need all the best or any luck, be assured that you are going to do well.
    And do keep us posted.
    And finally ‘Don’t Panic’ and keep a towel for sure…from a new fan of Douglas Adams.
    Will miss you and Big thanks for everything.
    Do read the thank you note in the Matt’s post I once posted when you get time…
    Take Care.

  57. Karen '12 says:

    Now I really regret not hunting you down at the CPW desk to say goodbye.

    Best of luck at Oberlin. I hope that MIT will be okay without you…

  58. kierstonia says:


    Ahhh! I can’t believe you are leaving! I feel like it has only been a few months since I got my acceptance letter. I guess Oberlin deserves awesomeness too…….but still, you’re gonna be missed dude!


  59. MIT '12 says:

    Awww man. I never got to meet you.

  60. I really regret not approaching you for a conversation when I saw you at CPW. As an applicant, a deferred applicant, and a prefrosh, I can’t believe how incredible MIT has been during this entire year of insanity, and no doubt Ben Jones had something to do with it.

    Come back to MIT soon. ^_^

  61. wendi says:

    NOOOO. BENNN. *cry*.
    G’luck :(

  62. Nur'10 says:

    You’re leaving.
    Ben, you made me cry.

  63. Jeremy '12 says:

    Congratulation Ben! We’ll miss you forever. You’ve made a great impact on so many of our lives. Thank you for everything.

  64. Bob says:

    Ben, if you are here, you can see tear dropping down in my eyes.. We will miss you dearly and will look at each steps in your bright career and future.. Please keep in touch as we are all part of this incredible community – MIT!