This puzzle was a run-around on the MIT campus involving dedicatory plaques and engravings scattered throughout the main buildings. In its original form, it used statues in the Public Garden of Boston Common; this puzzle was rewritten to accommodate the location change.
Each bolded clue corresponds to a single dedicatory plaque, but misread: the numeral pattern in parentheses at the end corresponds to a change in letters after which the bolded clue would correctly describe the plaque. Each number corresponds to a single letter, not necessarily distinct between numbers. The other parts of the paragraphs give instructions on how to move through the MIT buildings. In order, the plaques are:
The John Thompson Dorrance plaque near the starting location. The change is FOOD SCIENTIST -> MOOD SCIENTIST for 3 = F, 6 = M.
The Tau Beta Pi plaque immediately up the stairs. The change is HONOR SOCIETY -> HODOR SOCIETY for 10 = N, 1 = D.
The Richard Cockburn Maclaurin engraving in large gold letters in Lobby 10. The change is ENDURING MONUMENT -> ENDEARING MONUMENT for 12 = U, 4 = E, 9 = A.
The Edward Furber Miller plaque in the alcove of Building 3 with an exit to Killian Court. The change is STEAM ENGINEERING -> STORM ENGINEERING for 11 = E, 8 = A, 5 = O, 2 = R. The cyborg portion is correct as is, and is used to distinguish from the other plaque in the same alcove. Furber Miller's plaque states "Devoted and loyal son of technology."
The Jerome George Kidder plaque in the alcove of Building 4 on the opposite side of Killian Court. The change is TEACHING -> REACHING for 7 = T, 2 = R.
The last clue indicates something different. Following the instructions puts you in front of the George Eastman dedication in the middle of Building 6. Replace the numbers on the second page of the puzzle with the letters from the first part. Then, each pattern of letters can be found somewhere on the dedication; the question marks can be extracted to spell the answer. In order:
Not far above the portrait of George Eastman, the question marks are the CA in the word APPLICATION.
To the left of the portrait of Eastman (on the plaque itself!), the question marks are the N and C in the word BENEFACTOR.
At the very top of the dedication, the question marks are the E in RARE and L in MOULD respectively.
Thus the answer to the puzzle is CANCEL (which is what we almost had to do to the puzzle itself!)