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Updated 10:00 AM November 13, 2006




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MERIT's 40th fete features Duderstadt keynote comments

Former University President James Duderstadt tops the list of guest speakers at a 1 p.m. Nov. 16 networking symposium and reception at the Michigan Information Technology Information Center, 1000 Oakbrook Drive, as Merit Network Inc. commemorates its 40th anniversary.

The event will draw participation of representatives of Michigan's public universities, key players in the state's networking community and past and present Merit staff who have contributed to the significant contributions the network has made to education and the Internet. Merit perhaps is best known for its management of NSFNET, the immediate precursor to today's Internet.

The educational network, formed in 1966 to provide computer-sharing between U-M, Michigan State and Wayne State universities, provides leading-edge networking to the research and education community in Michigan and beyond, officials say. In addition, approximately 200 organizations involved with higher education, K-12 schools, libraries, state and local government, nonprofits and health care also are affiliate members. Together, these organizations make over 400 connections to Merit's high-speed, statewide Internet backbone.

Duderstadt, president emeritus and professor of science and engineering, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium, which is slated for 1-5 p.m. A panel discussion on Merit's most significant contributions to networking will include current and former network associates Alan Rubens, Mark Knopper, Dale Johnson and Karl Zinn.

A second panel discussion featuring Eric Aupperle, Merit's president emeritus, will examine the future of state research and education networks. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Michigan Internet Museum, which will showcase the technologies and people involved in the development of computing and networking, will take place from 5:15-5:45 p.m.

For further information go to or contact Jennifer Hensley at (734) 936-4251.

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