Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT
The hallmark of the year for the Alumni Association has been our "leading with the web" initiative. Charged by our Board of Directors to use the Internet more effectively in building a worldwide community of engaged alumni, we set out to integrate the web into all aspects of our business. This initiative was approved and funded by our Board of Directors and presented to the staff in October 2000. To manage a major shift in focus to more web-leveraged activity, responsibility was placed with a process management team that included the four senior operating unit managers and the director of technical services. This team reported monthly to a web-leverage oversight group of 11 staff members. The results of our efforts are documented throughout this report.
For the sixth year in a row, I can report a record Alumni Fund result. This year marks another million-dollar plateau with Alumni Fund gifts totaling $33.07 million, placing the Fund well along the way toward a campaign goal of a $35 million fund. In a year of substantial business and market uncertainty this is extraordinary and confirms the commitment of alumni to the Institute, as well as outstanding staff work.
MIT and the Association derive tremendous benefit from our volunteer partnerships. This year I draw attention to the work of the members of the Young Alumni Campaign Committee, led by Sang Han '93 and Annalisa Weigel '94, who conducted a seminal research project on young alumni attitudes toward MIT. We needed to understand more about who these alumni are, what their attitudes are, and why their support of MIT has diminished. Our goals are to engage them in MIT's future and thereby to encourage their participation in the Alumni Fund. This study, conducted and reported online, provides MIT with a great deal of valuable and useful information.
In addition to these three highlights, the Association continued to sustain and enhance the panoply of ongoing programs, including reunions on campus, award-winning club activities around the world, and department celebrations. We celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Alumni Association with a Web-based timeline and a gala dinner in Morss Hall at Walker Memorial. We helped with the transition of Technology Review from an Alumni Association-sponsored magazine to a stand-alone operation still under MIT's umbrella. Significant resources continued to be directed to tightly integrating our web-based services and database with the Advance database of record.
The MIT Alumni Association continues to be a university leader and model for online alumni services. At a meeting of major research university alumni executives this year, I heard a consultant cite MIT for being the only web site in the group that exemplified all his standards for excellence. Our openDOOR Web magazine won both a national award for excellence and the top annual award of the prestigious Publicity Club of New England. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education wrote in its award citation: "This site, which is described as a 'magazine' for MIT alumni, could be the best example of an alumni 'magazine' on the web...It pulls together original content with content from MIT's web site in a form that allows alumni and other friends of the Institute to connect with people and ideas."
In February, the Infinite Connection became the new name for our Alumni Network Services program. The Infinite Connection suggests the kind of lifelong connection with MIT and its alumni that we hope to foster. The Infinite Connection encompasses all our web services-the web site, Email Forwarding for Life (EFL), the Online Alumni Directory, making gifts to MIT, the Institute Career Assistance Network (ICAN), the IAP Externship program, eProNet, events registration-and more. Along with a new name, we launched new services, including new directory searches, new mailing list features, and URL forwarding. A new volunteer job opportunities web page was posted to help recruit alumni volunteers. Selected volunteers now have access to list and label data for their constituencies. The Association created a "title" email service for volunteer positions, essentially a forwarding service for positions such as email@example.com. The young alumni representative to the Corporation was elected via an online preferential voting system developed by the Association. Class Notes were published online as well as in Technology Review.
To draw alumni attention to the Infinite Connection, we launched our first major marketing campaign for our web services. This included a full-page advertisement in every issue of Technology Review, beginning in March 2001; email marketing to 8,500 alumni in the classes of 1975-2000; and a postcard mailing to 20,000 alumni targeting the classes of 1940-56 and 1983-2000. As of June 30, 2001, 38,562 alumni were registered for the Infinite Connection, an increase of 25 percent over last year. During the first six months of calendar year 2001, more alumni registered than did during all of calendar year 2000. Following the postcard mailing, the registration of older alumni nearly tripled and for the younger group, increased by about 20 percent.
Our EFL service has become the Internet address of record for many alumni, who use it for both personal and business communications. We forward nearly 2,000,000 email messages each month, an increase of 25 percent over last year. Because this service has become essential for alumni, the Association collaborated with the MIT Auditor's Office and Information Services to ask PriceWaterhouseCoopers to conduct an audit of the service. The audit confirmed that we have a robust service. The auditors made recommendations that are being implemented in collaboration with Information Services staff.
We want to use the web to celebrate our alumni -their interests, accomplishments and activities. In the summer of 2000, a Web Content Team was appointed to ensure attention to this critical element of our Internet services. Under the leadership of this group, new Association-wide web content initiatives were launched during the year. At the same time, we have placed a new focus on convergence among print, web and email to distribute key messages of the Association. During the year three communications staff people were hired to oversee this initiative. Overall traffic to the Association web site generally exceeds 50,000 hits per month.
In September 2000, openDOOR, a monthly web magazine, was launched to profile the rich diversity of intellectual activity and campus life at MIT. This magazine ties together existing material from the broader MIT web site and captures the voices of students, faculty and alumni. Topics have included entrepreneurship, the brain, art and technology. The initial issue, "The Evolving Campus," has been adopted by the MIT Office of Facilities to communicate with the community about ongoing campus construction. During its first year of publication, openDOOR averaged roughly 10,000 hits per month and more than 500 people have subscribed to the openDOOR email notification service.
In February 2001, "What Matters," an alumni guest opinion column, was launched. Each month, a different alumus or alumna contributes a column on a topic of personal interest, ranging from women in engineering to the joys and challenges of working in a foreign country. "What Matters" celebrates the range of interests and accomplishments of MIT alumni, while allowing alumni to collaborate in our web efforts.
The Association hosts 414 active email lists for alumni groups. More than half these lists were new in the 2000-2001 year. While many of these lists have been created to assist club, class, and other alumni volunteers, we have also invited alumni to use an online interface to create their own lists. Of these lists, 140 have been created by alumni, and 99 of these were new in 2000-2001. All of these lists now automatically include instructions for unsubscribing in each message. We are currently working on revising guidelines for use of these email lists and on significant improvements to the mailing list interface on the web site. In addition to these lists managed from the web site, staff members are using email to solicit alumni, to remind donors of outstanding pledges, to encourage attendance at MIT-sponsored events and to update groups of volunteers. During 2000-2001, a nine-member team, working with a consultant, has been evaluating our email communications. Recommendations for a general email newsletter to all alumni and a volunteer email newsletter are under consideration for the coming year. As email communications continue to be more central to our interactions with alumni, managing this tool effectively will be increasingly important.
The Infinite Connection includes two online career resources for alumni, the Institute Career Assistance Network (ICAN) and MIT eProNet. The ICAN mentor program now has 2,222 alumni mentors, a five percent increase over last year. Hits on the ICAN pages have increased gradually throughout the year. Alumni registered for MIT eProNet increased by 33 percent to 15,137 this year. The ProNet email marketing program this spring yielded 2,006 registrations, a 12.9 percent penetration rate.
During this year the Association launched an online service in support of club activities. Working with a vendor, ClubTools.com, we rolled out this product to 29 clubs. Even though the company eventually failed, largely due to the uncertain financial markets, we learned a great deal in this effort and are using this knowledge to continue our work toward new online services in the future.
"Leading with the web" was central to all our work during this past year. In October, we proposed five objectives to strive toward during the year:
- Increase alumni, staff, and MIT community use of Association web site and services
- Increase self-service opportunities for online users, especially alumni volunteers and MIT staff
- Increase use of web for marketing Association programs and services
- Increase young alumni participation in Association programs and services
- Improve organizational capacity for change
During this year, we have made significant progress toward each of these goals. Many of our efforts have been remarkably successful, and (as I predicted) a few, such as the clubs services experiment, did not work out as expected. We have collaborated with other offices at MIT and with our volunteers in an extraordinarily successful year of "leading with the web."
For the sixth year in a row, the Alumni Fund set a record for dollars raised, bringing in $33,065,675, far surpassing the goal of $31.6 million set by the Alumni Fund Board in the fall. While dollar numbers were up, the number of alumni donors is down at 28,726 for a 33 percent participation rate. The drop-off in donors is primarily among donors of gifts less than $100, attributable to changes in the Technology Review subscription policy as well as to the usual dampening effect of a capital campaign on donors of small gifts, not to mention a weaker economy. In addition, the uncertain business climate in 2000-2001 clearly affected donor decisions. The Parents Fund reported a 12 percent increase in gifts for a total of $458,119, from 1,049 non-alumni parents. The Alumni Fund also reports a 21 percent increase in gifts from graduate degree-only alumni, for a total of $7.05 million credited to the Fund. On the upgrading front, we reported an increase to 6,211 alumni who were recognized in our donor recognition program, 18 percent of all donors. See the results and measurements table below for more details on fund results.
Table 1. Results and Measurements
(Note: all dollar amounts reflect the Alumni Fund $100,000 cap)
|Total Alumni Fund||$32.6 M||-$1M||$31.6M||$33.1M||$0.5M|
|# Donors to Fund||18,625||475||19,100||17,968||(657)|
|# Donors > $500||3,510||(10)||3,500||3,507||(3)|
|% Donors > $500||18.8%||(0.5%)||18.3%||19.5%||0.7%|
|# First-time Donors||705||195||900||743||38|
|Graduate Students Exclusively|
|# Donors to Fund||10,994||306||11,300||10,758||(236)|
|# Donors > $500||1,296||4||1,300||1,350||54|
|% Donors > $500||11.8%||(0.3%)||11.5%||12.5%||0.7%|
|# First-time Donors||1,006||(106)||900||730||(276)|
|# Donors to Fund||29,619||781||30,400||28,726||(893)|
|# Donors > $500||4,806||(6)||4,800||4,857||51|
|% Donors > $500||16.2%||(0.4%)||15.8%||16.9%||0|
|# First-time Donors||1,711||89||1,800||1,473||(238)|
|Total Giving > $2K|
|# Donors > $2,000||1,386||14||1,400||628||(758)|
|% Donors > $2,000||4.7%||(0.1%)||4.6%||2.2%||(0)|
|Total Giving > $5K|
|# Donors > $5,000||727||23||750||726||(1)|
|% Donors > $5,000||2.5%||0.02%||2.5%||2.5%||0|
The reunion classes of 2001 shattered the previous total gifts record set in 1999 by presenting gifts of $75.4 million to MIT during the Technology Day luncheon on June 9, 2001. Other records reported at the luncheon included the Class of 1996 gift of $457,127 and the Class of 1961 gift of $7.29 million. The Class of 1936 presented the second highest 65th reunion gift at $23.13 million. The Class of 2001 broke records with 39 percent participation in their senior gift, responding to the second Fibonacci challenge issued by Brian Hughes '77 to encourage young alumni participation. Hank Spaulding '51 announced a 50th reunion class gift of $21.72 million and Bob Lepkowski '76 reported 64 percent participation in the 25th reunion gift of $3.45 million. See the table below for reunion class results at year-end.
Table 2. Reunion Giving
|Class Year||Reunion Year||Gift Total||Participation|
Online giving has increased dramatically from $55,720 and 212 donors in 1999 to $360,489 and 801 donors in 2001. Online gifts more than doubled over last year with donors up 80 percent. It is encouraging to note the number of first time online gifts, also doubling over the past year and accounting this year for 6 percent of the total first gifts. A survey of recent alumni indicated that many alumni were not aware they could make gifts online. We will do more in the coming year to promote this option, especially to this cohort.
Phonathons continued to account for close to one-third of the Alumni Fund donors (9,258) and this year raised $1.45 million. The regional phonathon in Hartford reached the $1 million cumulative mark with a celebration attended by senior Association staff members. This year the Alumni Fund decided to experiment by outsourcing some of its calling. Working with Ruffalo-Cody, a telemarketing firm specializing in non-profit fundraising, we called a test segment of young alumni nevers. These results are still being evaluated.
The Capital Campaign
The Association continues its close collaboration with Resource Development in support of The Campaign for MIT. Significant effort this year has been directed to the redesign of the fundraising Web sites; we anticipate launching a consolidated giving to MIT site before the start of the 2001 academic year. This new site will provide alumni donors and volunteers as well as MIT staff with an easy to use, information-rich site about making gifts to the Institute.
Association staff in reunion giving, the graduate alumni program and the parents program have been working with campaign staff to solicit major gifts prospects for gifts to the campaign of $50,000. Nearly 350 parents have been screened for major gifts and many "middle-donor" prospects, not likely to be solicited by campaign staff, have been assigned to Association staff for cultivation and solicitation. Reunion giving continues to be the primary area for campaign collaboration where campaign gifts account for much of the success in this year's reunion gift records.
The staff of the Alumni Fund worked closely with Resource Development to support and broaden the fund-raising messages of the Campaign for MIT through a number of initiatives. A March 2001 mailing focused on the campaign priority of graduate fellowships, and brought 242 gifts, totaling $25,395, into the Institute. A mailing for international graduate alumni sent out in April did even better, bringing in 201 gifts and $42,182. What was most remarkable about this mailing is that it garnered a 2.2 percent response rate, more than triple any previous international mailing. The Alumni Fund staff will continue to support campaign priorities in FY2002, with a planned building projects mailing, and a renewed focus on fund-raising for student life and learning initiatives.
The 18 member Young Alumni Campaign Committee, chaired by Sang Han '93 and Annalisa Weigel '94, conducted an online survey to learn about recent graduates' attitudes toward the Institute and toward philanthropy in general. Working with eDialog, a company led by an MIT graduate, the committee learned that recent graduates are generally philanthropic and that MIT is among their philanthropic priorities. Recent graduates are suspicious of the administration and want to be able to designate gifts to particular programs at MIT that they care about. Not surprisingly the committee learned that this cohort prefers email and web communications. The results of the survey were posted on the Association web site and will be used across the Institute to serve this important alumni cohort. The Committee has already used these data to design the first mailing in a series, building on the three-part theme of "Participate, Designate, Make a Difference." The second mailer in that series will drop in September.
Volunteer partnerships characterize all the work we do in the Alumni Association. An examination of the work on becoming a web-enabled organization this year is perhaps the best illustration of this partnership. Responding to direction set by the Association Board of Directors, a staff Web-Leveraged Planning Committee met all summer to produce a plan and propose a budget to meet objectives outlined by the board. The Presidents Committee (the Association executive committee) reviewed these plans, approved the budget and allocated sufficient funds to supplement the reallocation of Institute resources proposed by the staff. Led by Association President Paul Rudovsky '66, the executive committee monitored our progress throughout the year. Staff and volunteers alike agree that this has been a most productive year, with many web-enabled activities implemented throughout the organization.
As the top volunteer leader, Paul Rudovsky worked tirelessly to serve MIT and the Association. He threw himself into every aspect of the job, traveling widely to visit 13 clubs and working behind the scenes on challenging assignments to bring the alumni perspective to the Institute. Rudovsky's service illustrates the fact that MIT volunteers add something to the mix that is hard to come by in any other way. More than 5,000 alumni serve MIT as volunteers in roles ranging from phonathon callers to Corporation executive committee members.
The Association recognized and celebrated this partnership at the annual Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC), held Sept. 15-16, 2000. Volunteers were invited back to campus for two days of workshops and briefings designed to help equip them for their duties on behalf of MIT. About 450 alumni and guests attended this conference and 82 percent registered online. The morning program featured an update by MIT's senior officers, moderated by MIT President Charles M. Vest HM and including Provost Robert Brown, Chancellor Larry Bacow '72, Dean of Undergraduate Education Robert Redwine, and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Marilee Jones. The afternoon program invited attendees to learn more about the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) from Professor Jesus del Alamo and one of his students; to hear Dean of Student Life Larry Benedict and current student leaders present a panel on student life; and to participate in a presentation moderated by Steven Lerman '72, chair of the MIT faculty, on "Educational Transformations: What Does the Future Look Like?"
Paul Rudovsky presented the following awards, recommended by the Awards Committee and approved by the Board of Directors, during the awards luncheon on Saturday, September 16, 2000.
- Bronze Beaver Award for distinguished service the MIT, the highest Association recognition honor:
- Bruce A. Blomstrom '59
- Hiroya Fujisaki EE'59
- Brian G. R. Hughes '77
- Paula J. Olsiewski CM'79
- Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award for sustained alumni relations service of special depth:
- David Znaty SL'79
- Frank L. Phillips '36
- Frank T. Hulswit '49
- David W. Latham '61
- Frank Carroll '44
- Stefan J. Garvin ML'50
- Scott P. Marks, Jr. '68
- Monica L. McConnell '91
- G. Richard Young '37
- George B. Morgan '20 Award for excellence in service to the Educational Council:
- Steven Heller '43
- Dale Schain Krouse '71
- William J. Nicholson '60
- Jack L. Rosenfeld '56
- Christopher B. Whorton '65
- David Wiesen '54
- Henry B. Kane '24 Award for exceptional fundraising service and accomplishment:
- Roger Gouldstone P'95
- David E. Burmaster '69
- Erin R. O'Boyle CP'85
- Presidential Citation Award given to alumni volunteer groups for distinguished service:
- Center for Real Estate 15th Anniversary Committee
- Class of 1994 5th Reunion Committee
- Sigma Chi Reunion
- Student Ambassador Program
- MIT Club of Washington Centennial Gala
- MIT Club of Princeton
- Honorary Membership (note these awards were presented at the Technology Day luncheon, June 3, 2000):
- Susan H. Green
- Martha H. Harleman
- Diana T. Strange
The Association is responsible for the selection of 15 term-members of the MIT Corporation, three nominees each year for five-year terms. The Association National Selection Committee (NSC) nominates and recruits these alumni. The NSC is also responsible for selecting the president of the Association and its board members. The NSC has named the following alumni to MIT and Association governance positions, beginning July 1, 2001 for FY2002.
- MIT Corporation for five-year terms:
- Scott P. Marks, Jr. '68
- Hyun-A C. Park '83
- Paul Rudovsky '66
- Association president-select to serve as president FY2002:
- L. Robert Johnson '63
- Association vice-presidents for two-year terms:
- Martin Y. Tang GM'72
- Wilhelmina Fader '85
- Association district directors for two-year terms:
- Bruce Blanchard '57
- Chiquita V. White '85
- R. Gregory Turner '74
- Richard R. Lowe MCP'61
- Association young alumni representative for two-year term:
- Ranjini Srikantiah '95
During this year 83 alumni served as members of Association national boards and committees. These committees have been led by the following volunteers: Gregory Moore '73, Alumni Fund Board; Scott Marks '68, Alumni Fund Goals Committee; Peter Saint Germain '48, Awards Committee; Robert Lepkowski '76, Committee on Nominations for Corporation Visiting Committees; Peter S. Miller '64, Enterprise Forum Board; Robert Muh '59, National Selection Committee; and Robert Summers AA '54, Technology Day Committee.
In the spring of 2001, the MIT Council on Educational Technology created a new office for Alumni Engagement under the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education. Working closely with this office, the Association helped identify a number of alumni who participated in several experiments involving alumni in the education of current students. Alumni mentors worked with teams of students in the class 2.009, the senior design subject in Mechanical Engineering, and with freshmen in a new subject taught by Professor Kip Hodges that investigated the question "Is there life on Mars?" Two faculty members in the physics department invited alumni to enroll in a sophomore subject on black holes, to be taught online. More than 100 alumni applied for five spots in the class. These new opportunities for alumni to volunteer for service to MIT promise to enrich and expand the possibilities for volunteer partnerships.
A major component of our staff work each year is to provide services to alumni volunteers. This year we have continued many supporting services and added new ones. We continue to provide online support for dozens of volunteer webmasters for classes, clubs, and affinity groups. Alumni Association staff writes and edits the Alumni Volunteer News, published in the MIT News section of Technology Review. More than 120 email lists are managed through the Infinite Connection and monitored by Association staff for clubs, classes, and affinity groups. Email newsletters are sent monthly by Association staff to club and class volunteers. Club officers workshops were held this year in Tokyo (Feb. 10, 2001), Hong Kong (Feb. 17, 2001), and Paris (March 19, 2001). New for volunteers this year is title email to allow for a smoother transition when a new volunteer assumes a position; lists and labels services for selected volunteers; an online toolkit for club officers; and online club board member training presentations. Online registration is now available for most Association events, including Enterprise Forum satellite broadcasts, the Alumni Leadership Conference, Family Weekend, and Tech Reunions and Technology Day. The Association developed an online preferential ballot for the election of the young alumni corporation member. Election tools are available for other alumni groups, and are being tested this summer by the classes of 1986 and 1996.
Many of the Association's programs take place on the MIT campus and involve not only alumni, but also students and their parents. Through these programs we give alumni an opportunity to experience the richness of our campus research and learning environment; we develop loyalty among students for a lifetime of connections to the Institute; and we give parents a glimpse of their student's MIT world.
Tech Reunions and Technology Day
Tech Reunions are the centerpiece of the Association's activities on the MIT campus. This year, over the weekend of June 7-10, 2001, 3,360 people participated in various activities associated with class reunions, Sloan School reunions and the Technology Day program. Of these, 765 were participating in Sloan activities, and 2,595 participated in Alumni Association programs.
To kick-off the celebration in Cambridge, the Association invited graduating students and their parents to join alumni for the Infinite Connection Reception to welcome our newest alumni. A record number of 50th reunion attendees from the Class of 1951 led the Commencement processional on June 8 under sunny skies. Other alumni went on tours on and off campus or checked out the MIT Museum and other exhibits on campus. Class events on Friday night attracted alumni to the Museum of Science in Boston, the Transportation Museum in Brookline, and to locations all around the MIT campus. Saturday's activities began with the Memorial Service and the Technology Day program, and concluded with the popular Great Court Gala. The 25th reunion Class of 1976 won both of Sunday's traditional events, the Reunion Row and the Tech Challenge Games. The whole celebration ended with a family barbecue event under a tent in Steinbrenner Stadium.
This year's Technology Day committee planned a program inspired by Gauguin's famous painting hanging in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts: "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" We now possess some of the scientific and technological means to explore these eternal questions and the program explored our current understanding of these issues and their potential impact on our lives. The Technology Day program, "Origins and Beyond: Our Place in the Cosmos," was introduced by President Vest. Speakers were MIT faculty Eric Lander on "The Human Genome and Beyond"; Claude R. Canizares on "The Origin of the Universe"; and Maria T. Zuber on "Probing the Origin of the Planets from Spacecraft." The final speaker for the morning, Harvard professor Stephen J. Gould, was unable to attend for health reasons. Substituting for Gould, Charles R. Marshall, a Harvard paleontologist, spoke on "From the Fossil Record to the Genomic Revolution." The afternoon panels were "The Inner Cosmos: Language, Vision, Cognition," moderated by Samuel J. Keyser HM; "Materials and Machines: Smaller, Stronger, Smarter," moderated by Thomas W. Eagar '72; and "Probing the Frontiers: Land, Sea, Space," moderated by Joseph G. Gavin, Jr. '41.
As a prelude to the reunions program, on Wednesday evening June 6, 2001, the MIT Enterprise Forum sponsored a panel discussion in Kresge Auditorium on "Managing a Startup in Turbulent Times." Ken Morse '68 moderated the panel, whose members included Jon Hirschtick '83, Beth Marcus '79, Fred Middleton '71 and Burt Rubenstein '76. This program was also broadcast by satellite to 16 locations around the world and 1,321 people participated.
Class reunions accounted for 76 percent of the attendance in these activities, and this year reunion classes used the World Wide Web and the Internet particularly effectively to achieve this success. All class reunion information was posted on the Web at the same time as the print materials were mailed out. The fifth and tenth reunion classes substituted a postcard mailer, pointing classmates to the Web for complete information about their plans. Each class had a web site and used email lists to update information and encourage participation; reunion attendees lists were published on class web sites. As a result, 551 of the 1,350 registrations (41 percent) came in over the Web. Online class elections were made available with two classes choosing this option. A new class officers monthly email newsletter keeps class leaders informed about what is going on at MIT and in the Association. Technology Review now posts class notes online. Class Programs staff and volunteers are definitely "leading with the web."
The 125th Anniversary of the Alumni Association
The Alumni Association, founded in 1875, was first led by MIT alumnus and faculty member Robert "Bobby" Richards 1868. Following the Alumni Leadership Conference, on Sept. 16 in Morss Hall at Walker Memorial, 170 alumni and guests celebrated this anniversary. Prior to the event we posted on the Association Web site a history timeline and invited alumni to add their own recollections about significant events in their MIT experiences. During the gala celebration, in a program moderated by Association President Paul Rudovsky '66, four alumni shared their own MIT memories: Joseph G. Gavin, Jr. '41, Emily V. "Paddy" Wade '45, Brian G.R. Hughes '77, and myself.
The Association collaborates with the offices of the Dean for Student Life and the Dean for Undergraduate Education in programming that engages students. Concluding with Senior Week activities that take place in advance of Tech Reunions, students are encouraged through these programs to make connections with alumni and to remain connected to MIT throughout their lifetimes. In collaboration with the President's House staff and the Vests, the Association again hosted Senior Dinners with 420 students and alumni attending these events on six nights at the President's House. The annual Alumni Association Expo in Lobby 10 reported 1,066 students participating in an event that introduced the services of the Association and MIT, while encouraging graduating students to register for the Infinite Connection. By year-end, 1,738 graduating students had registered for this service. A guide to Alumni Association services was sent by email to 1,935 graduates in the Class of 2000; others with no email address on record received a printed postcard referring them to the Association web site. Our Student Ambassadors program worked with 31 students who participated in 35 alumni events during the past year.
Career services are a high priority for students and recent graduates. The Association's online career mentoring service, the Institute Career Assistance Network, serves dozens of students each month who are put in touch with alumni mentors through staff in the Association office. The IAP externship program matched 81 students with 62 alumni hosts, an increase of 40 percent over last year's placements. Alumni and students use the web site to volunteer and to apply for these placements. In addition our staff collaborates with the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, including assisting with the continued development of the Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program in which nearly 100 students are placed in internships hosted by alumni. Our staff helped students identify alumni for career panels in fields such as medicine and allied health care, management consulting, and investment banking.
The Alumni Association staff works with parents through the Parents Association. In most institutions, this function is managed by the Dean's Office. The Alumni Association initiated the current parents program in the 1980s and the parents program remains with us. We work closely with the deans on programming for Family Weekend and on the publication of informational materials for parents.
Family Weekend 2000 was held on October 20-22, 2000, and was attended by 535 families and 1,740 individuals, exceeding our goals nearly nine percent. Highlights of this event were presentations by Michael Dertouzos EE '64 and Nobel Prize-winning faculty member Samuel C. C. Ting. New this year were additions to the very popular campus tours, a young siblings program, and a dinner for senior class parents. We are pleased to report 100 percent department participation this year. Nearly 45 percent of the attendees took advantage of our online registration service.
Parent volunteers are playing an increasingly important role in the Institute-351 parents served as "parent connectors" in their communities (70 new recruits this year); 16 parents were involved in Campus Preview weekend for the Admissions Office; and 29 parents served as Parents Fund volunteers. The Parents Association publishes Parents News once each term and a "Parents Guide" is sent to parents of incoming students. Parents Association information is available online; a parents' email address, mykidis@MIT.edu, provides easy access to the staff for answers to questions; and registration for Family Weekend was available online this year.
Department Alumni Events
During the past year, the Association staff assisted two academic departments to produce outstanding alumni events, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course XVI) and the Naval Construction section of theh Department of Ocean Engineering (Course XIII-A).
The Course XVI Alumni Day, "Aerospace: A Century of Accomplishment, a time of Renewal, a future of Opportunity," attracted more the 350 alumni and their guests to a two-day celebration September 13-14, 2000. This gathering celebrated the past, present and future of the department with the launch of the Learning Laboratory for Complex Systems (Building 33). Walter Frey '56 chaired a committee of 16 alumni who helped plan this two-day program that concluded with a gala alumni dinner, honoring 16 top young alumni of Course XVI. Keynote presentations were made by illustrious alumnus Professor Emeritus Robert Seamans '42 and NASA Astronaut David Scott '62.
The Naval Construction program in Ocean Engineering celebrated its 100th anniversary April 18-20, 2001. This program, attended by nearly 250 alumni, faculty and guests, featured the annual Ship Design Symposium that showcases the work of our faculty and XIII-A students and fosters positive communications between academia, industry, the Navy and the government on issues relevant to naval construction and engineering. Attendees met some of the world's top naval architects, all MIT alumni, at a gala dinner to conclude the festivities.
According to our database of record, MIT has 94,278 living alumni for whom we have contact information. Of these, only 19 percent live in Massachusetts and can easily participate in on-campus activities. Of the remaining 81 percent, 13 percent are international residents. A central function of the Association is to provide programs and services that bring MIT to those alumni who cannot easily make it back to Cambridge. These programs are essential to achieve our mission of helping alumni connect with one another and to MIT. For decades we have had strong regional activities and the Association continues to sustain and enhance these programs. In today's culture the Internet, and especially the World Wide Web, have become more significant as another way to provide services to alumni all over the world.
MITWorld, a web-based archive of Institute-sponsored lectures and events, offers alumni a glimpse of MIT, that until now, had been available only on campus. We worked in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Educational Services (CAES) to post online the presentation last fall by MIT's three Nobel economists and to market that program to alumni all over the world. Technology Day 2001 speakers will be posted on this site soon.
Most MIT clubs have posted web sites with information about their ongoing programs and some offer online event registration. The Association hosts pages for 28 clubs and affinity groups on our Alumweb server. During this year, our staff has worked with nine departments to post on department web sites pages, especially geared toward alumni of the department, steering alumni back to the Association web site for more information. "MIT On The Road" attendees may register online now and the program uses email to target marketing messages to alumni in the area where programs are offered. Our Alumni Travel program has initiated online travel journals for most trips where photos and trip reflections can be posted. Also new on the Travel Program web pages are enhanced trip information links for each program as well as links to the U. S. Center for Disease Control and U. S. consulates.
Regional Clubs and Affinity Groups
The 882 reported events offered by the 93 MIT regional clubs (50 domestic and 43 international) continue to reach large numbers of alumni and keep them in touch with the Institute. Our regional clubs program won one of two Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) alumni relations Circle of Excellence Awards for regional clubs. We were recognized for running a "model regional clubs program."
Notable activities this year included club anniversary celebrations for the Club of the Palm Beach Region (25th) in January 2001, the Club of Cape Cod (25th) in May 2001 and the Club of New Hampshire (90th) also in May 2001. The Club of Taiwan, led by Frank J.H. Liu '66, collaborated with the EPOCH Foundation to host a wonderful alumni celebration in Taipei on Jan. 18, 2001. On the program were greetings from the mayor of Taipei and a distinguished panel of alumni, including Corporation member Morris Chang '52. Paul Rudovsky '66, Association President attended each of these events. Club collaboration with the Educational Council this year increased the number of admitted-student events. In other regional programming, Parents Program events were held in northern California, New York and Boston.
The Arab Alumni of MIT (AAMIT), under the leadership of Shaheen Husain '81, hosted the second annual Pan-Arab Conference in Jordan on Feb. 19-20, 2001. It was my privilege to attend this outstanding event, along with 250 alumni and guests from more than 30 countries. Featured speakers included Michael Hawley NU '93, Lester Thurow HM, Ken Morse '68 and Khaled Toukan NU '82, His Excellency the Minister of Education of Jordan. In addition to AAMIT, the Association supports the Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA), the Black Alumni of MIT (BAMIT), the Chinese Alumni of MIT (CAMIT), and the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alumni (BGALA). Fifty-two alumni served as officers in these groups; together they reported 1,128 members this past year.
The MIT Enterprise Forum
In its 23rd year, the MIT Enterprise Forum increased its chapters to 24 with the addition of a chapter in Greater Detroit. Local Enterprise Forum groups sponsor about 200 events each year with close to 25,000 attendees, using the efforts of 300 volunteer leaders, many of whom are MIT alumni. Twice each year we organize "best practices" meetings among these volunteers, this year October 28-29, 2000 in Cambridge and March 3-4, 2001 in Dallas.
Staff in Cambridge produces three satellite broadcasts each year before a live audience on the MIT campus and to remote sites, generally around North America. The program on October 5, 2001 featured Kenan Sahin '63, and was moderated by Howard Johnson HM. On Jan. 20, 2001 Joe Hadzima '73 moderated a panel that included Marcia Hooper, John Jarve '78, Alex Laats '89 and T.L. Stebbins. The final broadcast was a prelude to reunions on June 6, 2001, and was moderated by Ken Morse '68. Programs were received in a total of 68 locations, including Toronto, Monterrey, Mexico, and Tokyo. Total attendance was 3,733. Many of the remote broadcasts resulted from cooperative efforts of a Forum chapter, an alumni club, and in several instances, a Sloan club, with some sites signing on for all three presentations.
Alumni Seminars Program
In FY2001, 81 alumni seminars were conducted worldwide, attended by 4,490 alumni and their guests. Seventy-one faculty and MIT senior officers made presentations. Fifty-three faculty and senior administrators made presentations to 52 clubs, 39 in the U. S. and 13 abroad. The daylong MIT On The Road (MOTR) seminars typically feature lectures by four faculty members in different fields. This year more than 400 alumni and their guests attended MOTR seminars in New York City (70), Chicago (75), Palm Beach, Fla. (73), Los Angeles (132), and Paris (82). Email marketing helped to swell the ranks of attendees and online registrations accounted for 49 percent of those who participated.
Alumni Travel Program
The Alumni Travel Program had a record-breaking year with 792 travelers, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. We sponsored 35 trips, with 16 trips led by MIT faculty members. We enhanced program marketing with the second year of our successful MIT Explorer newsletter to past travelers. A committee of members of the classes of 1944, 1945, 1946 and 1950 are planning the first mini-reunion travel program. The Travel Program web pages have also enhanced the visibility of this program, which serves a niche market of fewer than 2,000 MIT travelers, many of them repeat travelers from year to year. This self-sustaining program showed a 25 percent increase in net revenue this year.
In 1899, the Association of Class Secretaries founded Technology Review; the magazine has been a vital part of the Alumni Association's services to alumni for more than 100 years. Even so, last year it became clear to the Association leadership that the continued success of the magazine as an MIT service to a broader public required a new management structure.
During this fiscal year, arrangements have been made to establish Technology Review as an independent entity within MIT, no longer reporting to the Alumni Association. This concludes a seven-year effort conducted by the Association Board of Directors and the Technology Review Board to determine what kind of magazine Technology Review should become. In the spring of 2001, the magazine moved its offices from building W59 on campus to new quarters in Kendall Square, marking the end of this long history.
With the hiring of a full-time professional publisher in 1996, the magazine began a re-direction that involved the commitment of MIT financial resources as well as gifts raised from alumni to support the vision for a new magazine. The magazine staff and its board produced a growth plan for Technology Review to become self-supporting. The Association engaged a new editor in 1997, and with the investment of MIT resources increased the non-alumni circulation as well as advertising revenues, according to the plan. In the summer of 2000, the Association and the magazine agreed to uncouple Technology Review alumni subscriptions from gifts to the Alumni Fund and send the magazine to all alumni without regard to giving behavior.
At the June 2000 meeting of the Board of Directors, the Association voted in favor of the Institute's plan to spin-out the magazine as a freestanding entity within MIT. Technology Review will continue to publish MIT News as well as class and course notes as the Association's magazine for MIT alumni, under a letter of agreement outlining guidelines for this ongoing relationship. The new board of the magazine, to be appointed by the MIT president, will have a representative of the Association among its members.
The areas of information systems management, networking support, programming and systems maintenance, personnel, financial services and other operations are essential to the effective functioning of the organization. Staff in these areas work in the background and provide strong support to the many activities of the Association.
This year with the emphasis on becoming a web-leveraged organization, I created a special process management team to oversee the coordination of web-based initiatives across the organization. Members of this team are the operating unit managers and the director of technical services: Maggy Bruzelius, Director of Alumni Network Services; Beth Garvin, Director of the Alumni Fund and Class Programs; Joseph Recchio, Director of Operations, Rosemarie Resnik, Director of Alumni Activities and Geographic Programs; and Mark Jacobs, Director of Technical Services. During the year, this team has led the dramatic re-direction of much of our work to the Web, both internal and external.
In addition the Presidents Committee, by committing $500,000 of our credit card guarantee for this year to web-leveraged operations, authorized the hiring of several new positions dedicated to this effort. These new positions and positions reallocated from existing authorizations accounted for six new positions. Bruce Graber in Alumni Information Systems and Rachel Sage in Alumni Network Services were engaged to enhance our technical staffs as we moved to do more online. We created a communications convergence team and engaged Eve Downing, Andrew Skola and Jon Paul Potts (who came over from Technology Review) to coordinate our communications efforts, both online and conventional. Cherie Martin was employed to assist with customer service related to new clubs online services.
The total headcount for the Alumni Association is 91, including one temporary employee working in Alumni Network Services, and a CASE intern assigned to Class Programs. During this year the Association saw 22 terminations or resignations and 29 new hires. There were 10 promotions in the staff this year. Paul Lingard was promoted to project director in the Enterprise Forum; Cynthia Miller to Director for Reunions; Stuart Schmill to Director of Parents and Student Programs; and Kirk Swenson to Director for Graduate Alumni Programs. In addition, the Association personnel officer continued to serve as liaison with MIT's Human Resources Office for Technology Review where the total headcount at year's end was 59; there were 37 new hires at Technology Review during this year.
Relocation to W92
On July 17, 2000, the Alumni Association underwent a major relocation with staffs of Operations and Support Services and Alumni Network Services (ANS) moving to W92. Other staff moved into space in Building 12 vacated by this move. As a result, Association staff members were located from the eastern end of the campus in E32, in the main group in Buildings 10 and 12, in W59, and in the far western end of the campus in W92. Many staff worked together to make this transition as smooth as possible, particularly those in the Operations and Support Services group who helped with planning, renovation, computer/server relocation and security. While the distribution of staff widely across the campus creates management challenges, there were some benefits, primarily locating the technical staffs in ANS and alumni information services in the same place, enhancing our ability to support the development and maintenance of online services for alumni. Other MIT technical staff is also located in W92 and it has been easier to collaborate with these offices as well.
MIT Infinite Mile Staff Rewards and Recognition
In collaboration with MIT's new staff rewards and recognition program, the Association created two new staff awards. In 1999 the Board of Directors had voted a staff award in recognition of the many years of service to the Association by Joseph S. Collins HM, who had resigned his position as Director of the Alumni Fund after 20 years. The Association Awards Committee had suggested this be an internal staff award. As we were considering how to create this new award, the Institute announced its program along with funding. We decided to make the Joseph S. Collins HM Award our top staff award in this new program and have selected an individual and a team to receive the first awards. The Association also created an Appreciation Award, which is a $25 gift certificate and can be given at the discretion of any unit manager. Any staff member may nominate anyone in any unit for these awards.
The 2002 Alumni Directory
The Association has undertaken the collection of data for the first new alumni directory since 1994. Working with Resource Development, our staff created both a paper and an online questionnaire that has been sent to all alumni for whom we have contact information. The first request for data was by email, resulting in a phenomenal response of more than 27,000, making the collection and entry of this information both less expensive and more accurate. This major database update is in preparation for publication scheduled in February 2002. To help accomplish this large task, the Association is working with an outside vendor.
Information Systems Management
During this year of web-leveraged activity, the collaboration between the ANS staff and the Association's information systems staff has been critical. We have spent enormous resource on integrating our Web initiatives with our Advance system of record. Staff from the networking and programming teams met regularly with staff representatives from across the Association in order to assess technical needs and deliver appropriate services.
During the year, the data entry team recorded nearly 50,000 gifts and pledges, and handled 7,436 credit card gifts. During this year, as the number of email addresses recorded grew to 50,248, keeping these records current became an increasing challenge. Working with ANS staff, the data entry group has developed an email bounce-back procedure to update these important records. In addition thousands of updates need to be made to biographical and other information that we maintain for alumni and friends. Although nearly 46 percent of address updates are made by alumni online, the remaining 54 percent is still a daunting task. Eventually, we expect to see more and more updates made online by individuals updating their own records.
To provide the management information required by Association program managers, the programming staff manages thousands of production reports each month, included hundreds of ad hoc requests.
More information about the Association of Alumni and Alumnae and its activities can be found online at http://web.mit.edu/alum/.