Arnold R. Henderson, Jr.
Associate Dean, Counseling and Support Services, MIT
38th Annual MLK Leadership Award
Arnold R. Henderson, Jr., associate dean for counseling and support services since 1993, has been a member of the President's Planning Committee for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration for many years.
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Boston (BA in English, 1970) and Boston State College (MEd in 1976), Dean Henderson was an assistant to the dean and an assistant dean from 1984-86 at Brandeis University, where he was named Person of the Year in 1986. Prior to that, he was a counselor at Salem State College and taught English and social studies at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
Dean Henderson came to MIT as an assistant dean for counseling in 1986 and has headed Counseling and Support Services since 1996. He was also a member of the President's Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Committee and chaired its Student Services Subcommittee. Dean Hernderson has co-Chaired the MIT Mental Health Task Force and, from 1996 to 2010, was a member of the Committee on Academic Performance.
In 2000, he was named MIT's winner of the YMCA Black Achiever Award. "Dean Henderson has contributed significantly to the furtherance of the mission of MIT," Leo Osgood Jr. [2008 MLK Award winner] said in his nomination of Dean Henderson for the award. "He has provided support for all students and exhibited an unwavering commitment to students' concerns and issues... He has worked tirelessly to improve and strengthen the ability of CSS to deliver effective services to the student population."
MIT Excellence Award
In 2009, Arnold R. Henderson, Jr. was honored for fostering diversity and inclusion.
Before there was an Americans with Disabilities Act, there was someone at MIT who took responsibility for providing support and access to students with disabilities. He is now associate dean and co-director in Student Support Services, a welcoming, accessible place for MIT students who seek help with academic, administrative, or personal issues. During his 22 years at the Institute, he has been involved in numerous offices or committees that serve the disadvantaged promote fairness and inclusion, or remove barriers, whether social, economic, cultural, or physical. As one nominator said, ‘He is the conscience of MIT.
His advocacy begins with friendship – the kind that can build self-confidence in a student who is isolated or adrift. One alumnus wrote that our awardee saw his need, reached out and drew him into a conversation — that turned into a community. Without that action, this student and many others would not be among our graduates today. Because of our awardee’s commitment, skill and nuanced understanding of the needs of students and the guidelines of administration, he is respected throughout the Institute.
With thanks, we recognize Arnold Henderson.