This puzzle gives a bunch of clues to MIT majors and events that happen in a specific year. In the MIT150 display in 1-2xx, there are nine banners giving timelines with major events related to the nine MIT engineering majors (I, II, III, VI, X, XVI, XX, XXII, ESD). Take the first letter of the entry from the clued timeline events in order to get THE POOL OF. The Cat says to find the next word in Carroll's book; the second chapter of Alice in Wonderland is called The Pool of TEARS.
The Dormouse says "First, there's my dear auntie Mary Who liked solving problems interdisciplinary And also preferred letters to numbers by far. She was born at the fall of the USSR. ESD 1991 T "Then there are older ancestors, like Merle Who made molecules dance during /War of the Worlds/ X 1938 H And George, who spliced genes by night and by day While the US elected the young JFK." XX 1960 E One of the Tweedles--you can't really keep track-- Says "Our father once worked on a large Tokamak XXII 1953 P He was born when James Bond first saw print; I love M! (Oh--avoid those who sound like a British PM.) (the XXII-1953 entry that DOESN'T start with "Gordon Brownell") "Our mother was working on machines (and the oceans) While Allen and Gates first put Microsoft in motion II 1975 O And Granddad designed planes that everyone liked During the time of the Anschluss Österreichs." XVI 1938 O The Caterpillar says, "You think /my/ smoke is trippy? You should have seen Grandpa--he was quite the hippy He cared a great deal for the environment fair And camped out at Woodstock--oh yes, he was there. I 1969 L "And Old 'Pillar studied metals, ceramics and more Back at the end of the US Civil War III 1865 O And Grandma built circuits all over the place When Gagarin became the first man in space." VI 1961 F The Cheshire Cat says "With these fine engineers Find entries that match both in fields and in years Read the first letters, by hook or by crook And give the next word from within Carroll's book."