MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


This year was one of remarkable accomplishment and significant change at the Association of Alumni and Alumnae. A record Alumni/ae Fund reached $24.8 million dollars and over 30,500 donors while maintaining a median gift of $100. It was also a year of new beginnings. Reunions and Technology Day were combined with Commencement, providing a real continuity for MIT's newest alumni, the Class of 1996. Technology Review (TR) hired its first full-time publisher, R. Bruce Journey, to strengthen the magazine's finances. Further, the Association launched a new venture into alumni on-line services at the recommendation of an alumni committee ably chaired by L. Robert Johnson '63. This new venture responded to needs uncovered by research in support of the Long Range Strategy Committee (LRSC). The first "product" to be offered in 1996-1997 will be an e-mail forwarding service for alumni. The Association's Regional Programs and Graduate Alumni/ae Program (GAP) were significantly restructured into a new Geographic Programs department to offer added value to MIT clubs, departments, graduate alumni, and the Alumni/ae Travel Program.

Association president Karen W. Arenson '70 led the Association with distinction as the Board oversaw the continued implementation of the 1994 LRSC. Association president Arenson has taken a new assignment reporting on higher education for her employer, The New York Times, which asked her to sever her MIT connections to prevent a perceived conflict of interest. Alumni/ae Fund chair Gregory K. Arenson '70, Audit and Budget Committee chair Bennett M. Zarren '61, Enterprise Forum Board chair Wendyl A. Reis '56, and TR Search Committee chair Robert M. Metcalfe '68 all worked exceptionally hard in a year of heavy innovation and implementation. MIT President Charles M. Vest HM and his wife Rebecca M. Vest continued to give of their time and hospitality meeting and greeting alumni on campus during Alumni/ae Week, Parents Weekend, and Senior Dinners, as well as at MIT clubs around the world. The balance of an exceptional staff and innovative, involved volunteers continues to be the Association's strongest asset. Thanks to their efforts, the Association continues to thrive.

A continued emphasis on developing relations with alumni overseas led Association executive vice president and CEO William J. Hecht '61 to travel to the MIT Clubs of Switzerland and Germany in November. Mr. Hecht visited Tokyo, Japan, in January to mourn the passing of Dr. Hajime Mitarai '65, president of the MIT Association of Japan, with the senior officers of the Association of Japan, members of Dr. Mitarai's family, and Dr. Vest. In May Mr. Hecht returned to Japan and also traveled to alumni groups in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines, where he made the first visit of an Association officer to the Technology Club of the Philippines. Founded in 1910, this is the oldest MIT Club in Asia.


Completion of the staff restructuring begun in FY '95 was a major achievement of this year. A new unit, Geographic Programs, was established by combining regional activities with GAP, the Institute Career Assistance Network (ICAN), and the Alumni/ae Travel Programs. Geographic Programs is headed by a new director, Rosemarie Resnik. A summary of the Geographic Programs is included elsewhere in this report.


Led by Mr. Arenson, the FY '96 Alumni/ae Fund set new records for total dollars, broad based participation and gift upgrading in support of MIT. The Fund received $24.8 million in gifts from 30,509 alumni, of which 51% were donations of $100 or greater.

The $24.8 million in gifts exceeded the FY '96 goal of $23 million, which was also the prior record, by $1.8 million, a gain of 8%. The donor total of 30, 509 alumni achieved the FY '96 goal and was the first time that the number of contributors reached 30,000. With 51% of the donors at the $100 or greater level, the Fund achieved a median gift of $100.

Other highlights of the year included support from non-alumni parents. A total of 697 parent donors, which exceeded last year's number by 16%, contributed $555,000 in gifts credited to the Alumni/ae Fund, which exceeded last year's total by 80%.

Each year, separate goals are established for both undergraduate and graduate alumni participation in the Fund. Undergraduate alumni participation increased to 44%, with over 19,700 contributors; of that total, a record 10,500 individuals, 53%, contributed $100 or more. Graduate alumni set a new record for contributors with over 10,800 donors -- the sixth consecutive year of increased participation.

The Alumni/ae Fund results cited above represented the successful volunteer efforts of several thousand alumni, students and parents, who worked to increase financial support of MIT. Important as well are the several thousand additional volunteer alumni who provide leadership of the Association's national boards and committees, regional clubs, undergraduate classes, special constituencies, and more. The outstanding results of the Alumni/ae Fund demonstrate the abiding strong affection that MIT graduates have for their alma mater.


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 with over 300 volunteers involved in planning reunions and raising reunion gifts, and an additional cadre of volunteers working as class agents, class secretaries, and telethon volunteers.

There were four overall areas of focus in FY '96: sustaining the upward growth in undergraduate donors, creating strong reunion gifts, launching the first combined reunion and Commencement weekend, and building stronger connections with students and new graduates.

As noted above, the undergraduate donor goals were achieved. Reunion gifts from the fifth through 70th reunion classes were remarkable, with total gifts and pledges of nearly $37 million. The Class of 1946, one of the smallest 50th reunion classes with only 386 active members, raised $4.35 million from 67% of the class. The other two major reunion classes, which, like the 50th 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 $5.4 million from 65% of the class, including $274,000 for the newly established Class of 1956 Scholarship Fund. The Class of 1971 raised nearly $1.4 million from 70% of the class and fully funded a new Class of 1971 Scholarship Fund.

Other reunion classes set new standards. The Class of 1951 raised a record 45th reunion gift of $1.5 million from a record 54% of the class. The Class of 1961 set a new dollar record for a 35th reunion gift of $1.9M with 51% of the class participating. The Class of 1966, which set a record participation rate at its 25th reunion, has set a new standard for the 30th reunion, with 54% of the class participating. While not record breaking, other classes had strong results: $378,000 from 46% of the Class of 1976; $69,000 from 44% of the Class of 1981; $55,000 from 39% of the Class of 1986; and $18,000 from 26% of the Class of 1991.

The post-55th reunion classes, which include gifts received in the five years leading up to reunion, were also impressive. The Class of 1936 established a new gift record for the 60th reunion with $13.5 million from 81% of the class. The Class of 1931 raised $2.2M from 74% of the class, and the Class of 1926, in its 70th reunion year, raised $5.1M from nearly 100% of the class over the five-year crediting period.

Engaging student volunteers before they graduate is a top priority for ensuring the future of MIT. In an effort to educate students about the services offered to alumni and the many ways they can stay connected to MIT after graduation, the Association sponsored a full day Alumni/ae Activi-ties Expo. The Student Alumni/ae Council (SAC) activities included an Externship Program held during IAP that gave students the opportunity to "shadow" an alumnus/a who is in a career of interest to the student, and the Annual Career Connections Forum focusing on non-traditional career options for engineering majors. Senior Dinners at the Presidents House, graciously hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Vest, were attended by nearly half of the senior class. Forty-one alumni volunteers attended the dinners to welcome the Class of 1996 to the ranks of MIT alumni.

Tech Week and Reunions

In an attempt to build a stronger sense of community, as well as streamline the two major spring events at MIT, Tech Week and Reunions was combined for the first time with Commencement. This increased the percentage of alumni marching in Commencement from the 25th and 50th reunion classes, and allowed greater opportunities for the alumni and students to interact. A total of over 2,600 alumni and guests participated in Tech Week activities.

The Technology Day Committee, chaired by Mr. Ronald Fergle AR '86 and faculty advisor Mr. John T. Preston HM, designed a program to explore emerging technologies in the areas of communications, biology, and materials. The morning program featured Mr. Bran Ferren '74, of Disney Imagineering, Mr. Preston, and MIT Professors David Baltimore LI '61 and Michael L. Dertouzos EE '64, followed by a lively question and answer session moderated by Dr. Vest. Afternoon sessions included three panel discussions: the social implications of new technologies, moderated by Dean Rosalind H. Williams; the environmental implications, moderated by Professor Gregory McRae; and the entrepreneurial implications, moderated by Professor Eric A. von Hippel ME '68.

For many, Tech Night at the Pops is the kickoff event for reunion activities. This year's concert was a sell-out, as graduating seniors and their parents joined alumni and guests for a concert featuring MIT soloist Pamela Woods along with Pops favorites. The day of Commencement, on- and off-campus tours complemented reunion activities planned by the reunion classes. A revitalized Technology Day reception, which included faculty as hosts, attracted record numbers of faculty and alumni. The fifth annual Tech Challenge Games, designed by alumni volunteers, were quite competitive with the classes of 1976 and 1986 tying for first place. Children of alumni participated in Camp Tech, a four day program designed for kids of returning alumni.


Several hundred alumni volunteers and their guests attended the September 16 ALC, the theme of which was "Technology and Leadership: Leading the Future." Association president Arenson set the context and introduced the speakers for the morning program. Provost Joel Moses MA '67 spoke about "Leadership in Engineering Education;" Dean Glen L. Urban, MIT Sloan School of Management, described "Management in the 21st Century: The Leadership Challenge;" and Dr. Vest gave his reflections on institutional and individual leadership.

After the awards luncheon, a panel of alumni considered these questions: "What makes a leader? Does MIT make them?" Panelists were Mr. DuWayne J. Peterson '55, president-select of the Association; MIT Senior Lecturer Paul F. Levy '72, former director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; Ronald S. Newbower '65, senior vice president for Research and Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital; Douglas B. Berman EE '86, senior health analyst, Permanente Medical Group, Inc.; Ms. Carrie R. Muh '96, president, MIT Undergraduate Association; and Mr. Caryl B. Brown GM '95, former Graduate Student Council president.


As noted above, the Geographic Programs group was formed in 1996 to develop a comprehensive program which integrates all the activities and services where alumni/ae live. The programs which include both alumni relations and annual fund activities are: Clubs and Regional, ICAN, Alumni/ae Travel Program, Alumni/ae Continuing Education, Departmental Relations, and GAP. The staff have conducted an assessment of the program, mailed a survey to alumni regarding club and program interests, developed a strategic plan, and traveled to major cities to visit volunteers and to involve them in the planning process.

In FY '96, 92 active worldwide clubs provided programs, faculty speakers, and activities for alumni. Dr. Vest was a featured speaker at U.S. club events in Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, Southern California, and Washington, DC, and overseas at MIT gatherings in Japan and Singa-pore. The MIT Club of Boston celebrated its 50th anniversary in May with over 300 attendees at the Museum of Fine Arts. One hundred twenty-two alumni participated in ten Alumni/ae Fund telethons across the U.S. Over 2,000 alumni were contacted in these telethons, of whom some 1,700 pledged gifts to MIT, a pledge rate of 85%.

Support from alumni whose first degree is at the graduate level increased for the sixth consecutive year as reported above. Key to the success was the collaboration with academic department heads on course mailings and departmental telethons.

International and middle donor pilot programs continue to be priorities in the GAP plan. For the second year in a row, a special version of Dr. Vest's annual fund appeal was sent to international alumni. Special middle donor initiatives focused on upgrading graduate alumni gifts at the level of $250 and above, and included several successful pilot programs.

Department-based professional association events, hosted by MIT faculty members, have again proven to be very successful in bringing department alumni together at several key locations around the country. Sixteen alumni receptions were held in FY '96, attended by a total of over 650 alumni and guests.

Collaborations continued with the Graduate Student Council and the International Students Office to improve quality of life for these special constituencies and provide a connection to the Association. Deserving of special note was the two-day Women in Chemistry Symposium, organized by a group of current graduate students in the Department of Chemistry.

Recruitment efforts for ICAN, initiated in 1995, proved most successful. This program matches volunteer alumni mentors already in an occupational field with other alumni and students seeking employment. Due to alumni population density issues, recruitment has focused on seven major metropolitan areas. To date, more than 1,300 alumni mentors have been recruited, while some 500 individuals have pursued a match with a mentor.

The Alumni/ae Travel Program continues to attract a wide variety of travelers, sending them to destinations both domestic and international. In 1996, 32 programs were offered. Of special note were the trips to Alaska and China, where travelers met with local alumni in Anchorage and Beijing respectively. Guest lecturers during the year included MIT Professors James G. Bellingham '84, Donald R.F. Harleman CE '50, and Robert V. Whitman CE '49.


In addition to its more traditional class, geographic and annual fund activities, the Association supported a variety of special programs. The Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA), the Black Alumni/ae of MIT (BAMIT) and the Chinese Alumni/ae of MIT (CAMIT) conducted programs for these special groups of alumni including regular newsletters, group directories and Alumni/ae Fund gifts for special projects initiated by each group. Association staff supported alumni activities in cooperation with student residences, the department of athletics and student campus activities. Family Weekend held on September 29-30 continued to draw families to campus from around the world.


During the past year, the AIS group expanded its reorganization efforts through the creation of additional work teams dedicated to enhanced customer service for alumni, students, parents, friends, and staff.

Continued progress was made toward the implementation of the Association's new client/server computer system with technical staff acquiring the training and skills necessary to support this system. The technical staff, through ongoing communication with functional users, was able to complete data conversion between the current ADDS system and the new Advance Client/Server system.

Scheduled to "go live" in 1997, this system will result in a reduction in mainframe costs and provide the Association with a flexible system which will allow us to meet our customer's expanding information needs in the coming years.

Additionally, the creation of a new Events Management System was undertaken in-house and should be operative within the year.


After a yearlong search headed by Dr. Metcalfe, Mr. Journey was chosen as the magazine's first full-time publisher and CEO. Most recently the head of Fortune `s New England ad sales office, Mr. Journey intends to focus on boosting TR's advertising revenues as well as examining every aspect of its business operation with an eye toward producing steady growth. He will be building on the success of circulation and marketing director Martha Connors in attracting significant new income through a "careers" section in which high-tech companies post their positions available. The magazine also saw a five percent increase in its circulation base this year.

Soon after Mr. Journey arrived, the TR staff was shocked by the death of longtime associate publisher Peter D. Gellatly. Mr. Gellatly had been a major stabilizing force in his 18 years at TR and an enthusiastic proponent of attracting a full-time publisher. His wisdom and guidance will be sorely missed.

Although it maintains a national readership and focus and thus does not aim specifically to promote MIT, TR nevertheless drew significantly on the resources of its home base this year to produce three cover-story interviews, with Sherry Turkle, Tim Berners-Lee, and Professor Lester C. Thurow HM. The editors also saw marked success in attracting prominent writers to the TR stable, including best-selling MIT author Professor Alan Lightman, Boston University writer-in-residence and literary journalist Mark Kramer, physician and prolific author Perri Klass, and award-winning science writer John Horgan. An article on the problems with electric vehicles by five MIT researchers headed by Professor Richard R. DeNeufville '60 sparked significant attention as states debated whether to promote the alternative vehicles. And 17 diverse essays in the ambitious August/September special issue commemorating 50 years of the atomic age drew numerous accolades.


The MIT Enterprise Forum had an active program year with a number of new initiatives launched. First, the Forum conducted a phone survey of CEOs who previously presented at Forum business plan case presentations. The survey was designed both to solicit feedback from past presenters concerning their experience as a presenter and to evaluate the progress their companies had made since presenting.

The results of the survey showed that an overwhelming majority (81%) of presenters were generally satisfied or highly satisfied with their experience as a Forum presenter. Many commented on the fact that the Forum was an excellent practice ground for presenting their companies to investors. Also, preparing the detailed business plan required by the Forum forced them to think more clearly about their company and its business strategy. The Forum plans to conduct follow-up surveys with presenters on an ongoing basis as it is an excellent way for the Forum to evaluate and improve its programs continuously and to stay in close contact with its entrepreneurial constituency.

The Forum also focused considerable effort this year on moving itself into the electronic age. The push to use technology more effectively was aimed at fostering increased intra-Chapter commun-ication and collaboration as well as experimentation with new ways to deliver new programs to more entrepreneurs. To improve chapter communications e-mail boxes and linked World Wide Web pages were established and the first Chapter Chairs on-line chat session was held.

To increase collaboration among the regional Forums on innovative programs, the Forum suc-cessfully launched the first in a planned series of satellite teleworkshops featuring technology leaders discussing topics of importance to the entrepreneurial community. The first international teleconference was held in May and featured Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the WorldWideWeb, discussing trends in the new cyber-workplace. The event, Virtually Live with Tim Berners-Lee, was interactive with seven Forum chapter sites participating throughout North America.


The Association had a busy year in staffing, building on a major reorganization in FY '96 while generating a record-breaking Alumni/ae Fund and developing a number of new initiatives. In addition, the Institute's offer of a special incentive for early retirement led to the departure of some valuable long-time staff members: Nancie M. Barber, program manager for special constituencies, after 12 years; Virginia Gimilaro, senior data entry operator, after 17 years; Patricia A. Kane, financial officer, after 30 years, 25 of them spent with the Association; and Theresa Speaks, senior data entry operator, after 26 years at MIT. Sadly, as has been mentioned above, the Association lost Mr. Gellatly to lung cancer on May 18.

Several other departures deserve some mention: Ann P. Brazier, who directed the Alumni/ae Travel Program for almost 20 years, both in its previous home at the Quarter Century Club and with the Association, left MIT in June; she plans to venture into the for-profit world. Eliza G. Dame, director of reunions and events since 1986, departed in July for the position of director of alumni relations at Emerson College. Kristin Montemagno left her post as assistant director of the Fund in June upon the birth of her second child. William W. Redway, Jr. director of GAP (now a component of Geographic Programs, as has been mentioned), also left MIT in June for St. Mark's School as their director of development. And Maryglenn Vincens departed the Association in May, for a position in the Office of Resource Development as a major gifts officer.

It was a building and rebuilding year for the Class and Geographic Programs staffs, with a total of eight new hires, among them Ms. Resnik. The appointment of Mr. Journey as full-time publisher and CEO sets in motion an exciting new agenda for the magazine. The Enterprise Forum burgeoned in several new areas, and now prepares to build on this momentum as it seeks a replacement for outgoing executive director Kathleen F. Hagan, who will leave in July, 1996, for a leadership role at Babson College.

A new title and salary structure was put in place within the Alumni/ae Fund. Using the titles of alumni affairs officer (level I, II, or III), non-line-management titles were created to offer new or different opportunities for hiring and promotion.

All told, there were 20 departures from the Association, 17 new hires made, and in keeping with a general impetus to grow from within the organization, eleven promotions at a variety of staffing levels. We look forward to more growth, challenge, and consequent staffing opportunities in FY '97.


Honorary Memberships were presented at the Technology Day luncheon on June 16, 1995. All other awards were presented at the awards luncheon of the ALC on September 16.

Bronze Beaver: Mr. Denis A. Bovin '69. Mr. James O. McDonough '43, Mr. Edwin G. Roos '44

Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award: Mr. Melvin Castleman '32, Mr. Domingo R. Giorsetti NU '77, Dr. Joan Martin Roth CP '81, Mr. Michael Sarfatti '76, Dr. Martin O. Schloh CM '90, Ms. Elizabeth Seifel '78

George B. Morgan '20 Award: Sid F. Atlas '43, Mr. Thomas H. O'Connor, Jr. '60, Mr. Erlend H. Graf '61

Henry B. Kane '24 Award: Mr. Gregory K. Arenson '70, Mr. Leo P. Harten '77, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Koch P '94, Ms. Paula Jean Olsiewski CM '79

Presidential Citation Award: 1994 Technology Day Committee (The Arts at MIT), Alumni/ae Challenge Games Committee (1994), Class of 1944 , Council for the Arts at MIT, MIT Club of Southeastern Massachusetts

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

William J. Hecht

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96