Brad Bates '59, in his father's red jacket. Photo: Justin Knight

Brad Bates ’59, in his father's red jacket. Photo: Justin Knight

He wasn’t always easy to spot among the masses at this year’s Tech Reunions, but if you looked closely there were a few details on Brad Bates’s 50th reunion red jacket that distinguished him from the rest. For one thing, the rich cardinal color was slightly faded. There were two, not one, MIT pocket crests. And the buttons looked light and silvery instead of gold-plated. Bates’s jacket was from 1974; it had originally belonged to his father.

“It’s a link to the past, and it’s honoring my father,” Brad said several days after Tech Reunions.  “It meant a lot to me to be there at the same milestone that [my father] had gotten to at one point. It was a thrill.”

Brad’s father, Philip K. Bates ′24, PhD ′29, pursued biology and life science while at MIT, and went on to serve as president of the Club of Southern California. He was honored with a Bronze Beaver Award in 1980. The younger Bates diverged from his father academically—studying electrical engineering and computer science—but followed his father’s commitment to leadership and service to the Institute. Brad served as president of the Club of Southeast Michigan and, like his father, earned his own Bronze Beaver in 1991.

Today Brad lives in Michigan with his wife, Lydia, whose father, incidentally, is also an MIT grad.