MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT

The past year has been one of significant change in most aspects of the Association. Association president R. Gary Schweikhardt GM '73 began his year-long term with the goal of implementing the changes recommended in the Report of the Long Range Strategy Committee (LRSC), conducted over the last two years by Robert A. Muh '59 and Richard A. Jacobs '56. Significant attention was paid by the Presidents Committee, the Association Board of Directors, and the Technology Review Board (TR Board) to the revenue shortfall at the magazine; the Association Board of Directors approved a resolution to hire a full-time publisher to bring in more advertising.

The Association continues to benefit from sustained excellence in alumni leadership. Association president Schweikhardt, Alumni/ae Fund chair Gregory K. Arenson '70, TR Board chair Professor Robert W. Mann '50, Audit and Budget Committee chair Bennett M. Zarren '61, and Enterprise Forum Board chair Robert L. Blumberg '64 all worked exceptionally hard in a year of heavy innovation and implementation. MIT President Charles M. Vest HM and his wife Rebecca M. Vest have graciously continued to open their home to returning alumni, and also to students as part of the Association's Senior Dinners; the Vests have also continued to travel to alumni clubs, spreading their hospitality far and wide. The Association's heart and soul continues to be the work of a first-rate staff coupled with many vigorously committed volunteers. Thanks to their efforts, the Association continues to thrive.

The Association restructured its staff in January, 1995, in order to redistribute the workload in favor of three new initiatives: alumni career services (Janet L. Serman), alumni continuing education (Eliza G. Dame), and electronic communications with alumni (Diana T. Strange). These new initiatives are a direct result of the LRSC's work, especially its look at the needs and desires of alumni for added connections to MIT.

The Association developed a plan for using fully the Internet as a communications tool to accomplish its mission. Staff were offered instruction on a new electronic mail interface, volunteers were offered the opportunity to create e-mail lists for communicating information about club activities, reunions and the like, and the Association launched a home page on the World Wide Web.

The Bylaws and Outreach Committee of the Association Board of Directors, chaired by Robin M. Wagner TPP '86, recommended several "housekeeping" changes to the Association's constitution and bylaws. They also conducted a telephone survey of alumni, administered by members of the Board, to understand better alumni perceptions of the Association.


This year, in an effort to support alumni with more services, staff management was restructured in order to free up individuals for new assignments. Joseph S. Collins HM was appointed Director of Operations, a new position with broad responsibility. The Reunion and Reunion Giving program staff were melded into a Class Programs Unit under new director Elizabeth A. Garvin. Joseph P. Recchio was appointed Director of Alumni/ae Information Services and that unit was integrated into the Activities Group, which continues to be responsible for the Alumni/ae Fund and alumni relations. Ms. Strange assumed a new position as Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Director of Operations, while continuing as leader of the Special Projects unit and taking responsibility for on-line computer services. Ms. Serman was appointed as an Alumni Services Officers to provide career service assistance to alumni; Janet continues as head of the Regional Program. Ms. Dame assumed responsibility for Continuing Education as well as Technology Day activities.

These new assignments streamline the management of the Association staff. In addition, two new groups were established: a Policy Group, led by the Executive Vice President, and an Operations Group, under the aegis of the Director of Operations. It is expected that these actions will allow the staff to serve alumni needs better without additions to the staff head count.

Alumni/ae Fund

Under the able leadership of Fund chair Arenson, the FY '95 Alumni/ae Fund reported results of $21.3 million in gifts from a record 29,817 alumni between July 1, 1994 and June 30, 1995. The donor total exceeds the old record set in 1989 by 700 contributors, while the dollar total is second only to FY '94. Of special significance is the number of first-time contributors -- 2,266 -- which far exceeds the total in any prior Fund Year. Never before has the Fund achieved 2,000 first-time gifts.

There are separate goals for both undergraduate and graduate alumni participation. Both groups achieved their objectives for overall donor participation and first-time contributors. Graduate alumni set a new record for contributors, 10,666, a one-year increase of 10 percent; the graduate participation rate was 31 percent, a gain of three percentage points over FY '94. Undergraduate alumni participation increased to 43 percent, a gain of 675 contributors to the Fund, with 52 percent of the gifts $100 or greater.

Over $300,000 was contributed by a record 600 non-alumni parents, a one-year increase of 34 percent in the number of parent donors.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), a focal point of this year's Fund, received $220,000 in gifts to its endowment fund.

The results cited above, especially the substantial increase in the Fund's participation rate, are attributable largely to the dedicated efforts of the several thousand alumni, students, and parents who volunteered on behalf of the Alumni/ae Fund.

Of equal importance are the several thousand alumni who provide volunteer leadership of the Association's national Boards & Committees, regional clubs, undergraduate classes, special constituencies, and more. It is clear from the outstanding results of the Alumni/ae Fund that the graduates of MIT have great affection for their alma mater.

Class Programs

Class Programs encompass reunions and mini-reunions, reunion gifts, activities with the senior class, and ongoing activities with all classes. These programs continue to be vibrant. Over 250 volunteers engaged in planning reunions and reunion gifts. As a result of these efforts, 2,704 undergraduates and their guests attended reunions and 3,843 members of reunion classes made gifts.

Volunteers and staff worked together on a number of new initiatives this year. In an effort to continue the upward pattern of undergraduate participation in the Alumni/ae Fund, class agents revamped their solicitation efforts to concentrate on renewing annual donors through personal contact. Staff created new spring mailings to appeal more strongly to the occasional donor. These efforts, combined with strong reunion gift drives and enhanced Alumni/ae Fund donor acquisition telethons, created strong momentum and an increase in participation from 41.7% to 43.3%. Class e-mail lists provided news about classmates for TR and encouraged reunion attendance.

Reunion gifts from the fifth through 70th reunion classes totaled $14.7 million. The class of 1945, one of the smallest 50th reunion classes with only 265 active members, raised a remarkable $4.1 million from 66% of the class. The other two major reunion classes, which include five years of alumni giving and pledges payable over the next five years, are the 25th and 40th reunions. The 40th reunion class raised over $3 million from 64% of the class, including $404,000 for the newly established Class of 1955 Fund for Excellence in Teaching. Modeled on the very successful Class of 1951 Fund for Excellence in Education, this fund will provide seed moneys for innovative teaching projects at MIT. The class of 1970 set a new participation record with 77% of the class making a gift and/or pledge, established a scholarship fund in memory of Jerome B. Wiesner HM, and raised a total class gift of $919,000.

Other reunion classes set some new standards in one-year campaigns. The class of 1975 set a new record 20th reunion gift of $487,000 with 49% making gifts. The younger reunion classes, which focused on participation and gift upgrading rather than total dollars, were also successful: the class of 1990 with 28% and $22,000 total dollars; the class of 1985 with 38% and $48,000; and the class of 1980 with 43% and $103,000. The class of 1965 raised $230,000 from 50%; the class of 1960 raised $384,000 from 47%, and the class of 1950 raised $196,000 from 51%; and the class of 1940 raised $605,000 from 56%. The post-55th reunion classes which include gifts received in the five years leading up to reunion were impressive: the class of 1935 raised $972,000 from 84%; the class of 1930, $1.7 million from 77%; and the class of 1920, $1.9 million from 91%.

Engaging student volunteers before they graduate is a top priority for ensuring the future of MIT. The Student Alumni/ae Council (SAC) is a student-run organization that aims to improve interaction between students and alumni. This year, SAC launched the pilot of an Externship Program held during Independent Activities Period (IAP) that gave students the opportunity to "shadow" an alumnus/a who is in a career of interest to the student. Other SAC activities were the Fourth Annual Valentine's Day dance and Second Annual Career Connections Forum focusing on the transition from engineering to medicine. Senior Dinners at the President's House, graciously hosted by President and Mrs. Vest, were attended by nearly half of the members of the senior class. Thirty alumni volunteers joined to welcome the Class of 1995 to the ranks of MIT alumni around the world.

Tech Week

Tech Night at the Pops, the Technology Day program and alumni luncheon, the Techsas Barbecue and Tech Challenge Games, and the annual Memorial Service provide the framework for the reunion activities for returning classes.

The Technology Day Committee, chaired by James Stark Draper '62 and faculty advisors Chairman Paul E. Gray '54 and Professor Robert Seamans AA '42, designed a program focused on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and its effect on MIT, higher education, and society in general. The morning program featured Professors Gray and Seamans, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Professor Lester Thurow HM, and President Vest in wide-ranging presentations, from a historical perspective of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to the future of MIT in a post-war era.

After the morning program, six vintage World War II planes flew over Kresge Auditorium and along the Charles River in honor of alumni who lost their lives in service to their country. Afternoon sessions included panel discussions on the economics of war and peace, moderated by Professor Harvey Sapolsky and social change during war, moderated by Professor Daniel Kryder. A third session featured presentations by Professor Emeritus Philip Morrison HM and Professor Meritt Roe Smith, Director of the Science and Technology Program, discussing ethics and technology.

For many, Tech Night at the Pops is the kickoff event for reunion activities. Associate Provost for the Arts Ellen M. Harris again served as the advisor on the program which had a distinctly MIT flavor. Alan Brody, Professor of Music and Theater Arts, narrated Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait; Copland's Canticle of Freedom, commissioned for the dedication of Kresge Auditorium, was led by John Oliver of the Music Department; and the returning veterans of all wars were honored in a tribute to the armed forces.

A large variety of activities were planned by reunion classes, including the return of Sha Na Na on Saturday night for the combined 20th, 25th, and 30th reunion classes. The Fourth Annual Tech Challenge Games, designed by alumni volunteers, were quite competitive with the Class of 1965 taking top honors. In addition to the 14 reunion classes, some other special groups planned reunions. Fifty-one CAVU (Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited) meteorology alumni returned for a special reunion and 41 members of the Navy V-12 program returned for a Navy V-12 reunion.

In addition, there was a Black Alumni /ae of MIT (BAMIT) reunion, a special dinner for war year classes hosted by the Class of 1945, and a mini-reunion for the class of 1933 covering all ages. Children of alumni participated in Camp Tech, a four-day program designed for kids of returning alumni.

Alumni/ae Leadership Conference (ALC)

The ALC, held on September 24, was attended by several hundred alumni volunteers and their guests. Following the annual meeting of the Association, Association President Schweikhardt introduced Provost Mark S. Wrighton HM who moderated a program entitled "Mens et Manus: The Intersection of the University and the Workplace." MIT faculty Richard Lester, Thomas Magnanti, Paul Schimmel, and Director of Technology John Preston HM discussed the new partnerships between industry and academia and how MIT is changing its traditional education components, mid-career education, patents and licensing, research and contracts, and other relationships to address new needs. An afternoon panel on the same topics was moderated by Vice President and Dean of Research David Lister and included faculty speakers David Staelin '60, Woodie C. Flowers ME '73, Eric von Hippel ME '68, and Alan Davison.

Pre-conference workshops and meetings were held on September 23. Among the highlights was a workshop for class officers and other volunteers entitled "Leading for Excellence" led by Ms. Margaret Ann Gray of MIT's Training and Development Programs. Programs were also offered for regional volunteers, independent living group volunteers, and Educational Councilors. Discussions on diversity and reengineering were also designed by Association staff for the returning volunteers.

Special Programs

In addition to its core alumni activities in support of club and class activities and the Alumni/ae Fund, the Association has for many years supported special interest group organizations and in recent years has added support for a variety of special activities.

Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA)

AMITA's purpose is to provide a means for former women students to maintain contact with each other, with current women students, and with MIT. In FY '95 AMITA held several events, including a time management seminar for undergraduate women; an exciting workshop, "Life after MIT - A Woman's Perspective," helped on campus during IAP in which local alumnae talked about their career and personal experiences with undergraduate and graduate women students; and the AMITA annual meeting, held at the MIT Museum, featuring a presentation by Museum Director Warren A. Seamans HM entitled "The History of Women at MIT." AMITA also published its first membership directory. Solicitation for gifts to the AMITA Margaret MacVicar '64 Memorial Oral History Project, a UROP project to document the lives of alumnae, has increased total gifts to that fund to more than $90,000.

Black Alumni/ae of MIT (BAMIT)

BAMIT seeks to meet the needs of its members for staying connected to one another and with MIT. BAMIT is also charged with improving the environment at MIT for students of African descent. With the support of AT&T, BAMIT developed a strategic planning process which should result in the composition of a set of goals that will strengthen the organization. Accordingly, a fourteen member committee was convened to plan the BAMIT Reunion '95 program which focused on the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Black Students Union from which BAMIT developed.

Chinese Alumni/ae of MIT (CAMIT)

CAMIT observed its 11th anniversary in the 4693rd Lunar Year, the Year of the Pig. A banquet was held in New York with special guests Dean Philip Khoury of the School of Humanities and Social Science and Professor Suzanne Berger of the Political Science Department. Professor Berger was the guest speaker. CAMIT also boasted an increase in membership and entry into cyberspace through an Association assisted e-mail list giving the organization the ability to communicate with its members via the Internet. CAMIT also co-sponsored events with the Cornell Asian Alumni Association, the Asian Financial Society, and the National Association of Asian-American Professionals.

Independent Living Groups

In 1995 the Association continued to work with the Alumni/ae Interfraternity Council to enhance the valuable support these alumni give to the independent living group system. This year marks the second year in a three-year campaign to raise funds for the Independent Residence Development Fund (IRDF).

Friends of MIT Athletics

The second Friends of MIT Athletics annual fund drive was held in January. The drive included a mail solicitation to nearly 10,000 alumni varsity athletes and two nights of telethons conducted by current student-athletes and coaches. Collaboration with the Department of Athletics was excellent, resulting in $171,228 in total dollars raised from 1,259 alumni. E-mail lists were created with the support of the Association for alumni of varsity men's and women's crew as well as varsity alumni swimmers.

Other Special Projects Activities

The second annual MIT Homecoming was held this year on Family Weekend, October 15. Association staff continues to work with the MIT Chaplaincy to prepare the annual Memorial Service for deceased alumni. More 550 families were invited to attend this year. Widows of MIT alumni were offered a one-year complimentary subscription to TR at the end of which a newly revised solicitation was sent which increased responses.

Parents Program

The Parents Fund this year crossed a major threshold, reaching $1,000,000 total dollars raised since its was created six years ago. Over 1,000 families have supported MIT during this period. Paul and Joan Schreiber P '95, co-chairs of the fund, hosted an event in New York for area parents that featured UROP presentations and the Chorollaries. The fund in FY '95 raised $308,773 from 600 parents. Family Weekend, held on October 14-15, continued to draw families to campus from around the world.

Regional Program

Regional programs engage alumni/ae where they live and include MIT Clubs and Alumni/ae Fund telethons. At present, some 75 active clubs worldwide provide opportunities for graduates to stay in touch with MIT and each other. This year, there were some 500 individual club events with the Club of Northern California once again sponsoring the greatest number of meetings.

More than 150 alumni participated in a dozen Alumni/ae Fund telethons held across the U.S. in the fall of 1994. Nearly 2,900 graduates were contacted, of whom 2,500 pledged gifts to MIT.


Bronze Beaver: Harbo P. Jensen CM '74; John W. Kunstadter '49; Antonia D. Schuman '58; Bennett M. Zarren '61

Harold E. Lobdell '17 distinguished Service Award: George Beesley '39; Ronald J. Fergle AR '86; Emmanuel C. Ikpo OE '83; Dale Schain Krouse '71; Ronald Kurtz '54; Jorge E. Rodriguez '60

George B. Morgan '20 Award: H. Richard Howland '62; Gail H. Marcus '68; Michael J. Marcus '68; Daniel G. Oliver 60

Henry B. Kane '24 Award: Steven G. Finn '68; Richard P. Simmons '53; F. Helmut Weymar '58

Presidential Citation: Class of 1943 Reunion and Reunion Gift Committees; SAC Career Symposium on Entrepreneurism; MIT Club of Boston Science Auction; MIT Club of Northeast Ohio, for Materials Science 2000 with CASE Club of Cleveland

Honorary Membership: Professor Philip Morrison, Miss Mary L. Morrissey, Provost Wrighton


TR posted a strong year editorially, as evidenced by several awards and citations. Perhaps most significant, TR ranked as the "most credible" media outlet in the country among 64 leading magazines and newspapers and 31 TV news programs according to a sampled universe of 320,000 "opinion leaders" from business, government, and academia. The survey, in which respondents also rated TR number six in the category of "most objective," was conducted by the research firm Erdos & Morgan.

Folio, the magazine for magazine management, recently named TR the best science and technology magazine. Two feature articles -- "Treating Violence as an Epidemic," in the October 1994 issue, and "Toward Remedying the Organ Shortage" from the January 1994 issue -- received First Place awards from the New England Medical Writers. And "Uncertain Ground," an article outlining the continuing controversy over efforts to protect wetlands, won an award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Outside paid circulation remained solid, even seeing modest growth this year, and income from sources such as book sales continued to grow. In response to ongoing weak advertising sales, the Association Board of Directors made the decision to hire a full-time publisher to capitalize on what they believe is the magazine's significant commercial potential. A national search is now under way, and the search committee hopes to fill the position by the end of 1995.


Paul E. Johnson took early retirement as the national director of the MIT Enterprise Forum. His successor, Kathleen F. Hagan, joined the Association staff in December. The search committee, including Robert L. Blumberg '64, the outgoing chair of the Forum Board; Laura T. Puckett, 1993/94 chair of the Forum Board; and Board Member Laura Ring GM '91 of Coopers & Lybrand, deserve thanks for their hard work.

Since her appointment, Ms. Hagan has embarked on a schedule of site visits to acquaint herself with the programs and priorities of MIT and the l8 branches of the Forum worldwide. While conducting this chapter program assessment, Ms. Hagan has also established a new internal communications program which includes regular publication of a Forum calendar and newsletter and installation of a Forum home page on the World Wide Web. In addition, this summer the Forum will conduct a national phone survey of past presenters to gather useful data on the benefits of the Forum's entrepreneurial education programs.

Each chapter is formed around a core group of MIT alumni and is run by a volunteer board of professional entrepreneurs, corporate officers, university professors, and others. Chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum offer start-up clinics, seminars, and business-plan workshops. Corporate sponsors and registration fees provide financial support for chapter services. The hallmark of the Enterprise Forum is the "company presentation" at which a CEO of an early-stage company presents a business plan to a panel of experts at a public session, who then critique the plan offering advice on strategies for success.

Since January the local Forums have run 75 case presentations, 23 start-up clinics and ten special events on topics of keen interest to the audience, such as How to Use the Internet. The Forum also sponsored leadership forums for the Young Entrepreneurs Organization with Inc. magazine in May and June, l995. This year the Forum chapters have featured a number of MIT experts for their events, including TR editor Steven J. Marcus, John Preston HM, and Lita D. Nelsen '64. This year the Forum established a new Chapter in Taiwan headed by Chester S. Ho '87.


During the past year, the Association reorganized the former Administrative Information Services and Resources department (AISR) and established AIS under the leadership of Mr. Recchio. The primary focus of this group is customer service through a dedication to teamwork and a redefinition of priorities and responsibilities, as well as the development of a new client/server computer system which will replace the current ADABAS/NATURAL mainframe system which went on-line in 1982.

A great deal of progress has been made during FY '95. Thus far, AIS, working not only with Association staff, but also with members of Resource Development and the Office of the Treasurer, has compiled comprehensive documentation of the joint user's business requirements. After this documentation was completed, a search and evaluation process resulted in the choice of BSR Systems as vendor for this new system.

BSR's ADVANCE client/server system was recently purchased and AIS has formulated client/server objectives for the coming year, which focus on the reduction of mainframe costs, provisions for easier access to information for staff and alumni, and the development of a flexible system which improves responsiveness for evolving communication needs.


The Alumni/ae Travel Program enjoyed new successes during the past year with the most subscriptions attributed to the Alumni Campus Abroad series, which allows alumni to focus exclusively on one region of a particular country, combining daily seminars and sightseeing. MIT faculty continue to become more involved, and Association staff accompanied the groups as well. Most recently a reception with local alumni was arranged in Düsseldorf with MIT professor Dr. Ernst Frankel OE '60 accompanying the MIT group throughout the trip. Receptions with local alumni also took place on trips in France and Switzerland. Last October an evening of lectures was arranged from Beijing area faculty for an MIT alumni group traveling in China.

William J. Hecht '61 and members of the Association staff

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95