MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


Private support to MIT during FY97 continued to set new records for Institute fundraising, reflecting the increasing strength of giving from alumni and friends. Such extraordinary results are the product of a strong partnership between Resource Development and the Alumni/ae Association, the senior officers, deans, department heads, faculty and volunteers, and are an important base on which to build the success of our fundraising future.

As the Institute considers the priorities and timing of a capital campaign, Resource Development has begun the early preparation and planning, both organizationally and with individual, corporate and foundation donors, to coordinate and sustain this accelerated fundraising program.

Over the past year, staffing remained relatively stable. There were 15 promotions (10 men and 5 women, including 3 minorities) and 8 open staff positions were filled including 4 women. One position was created in the Office of Principal Gifts. Resource Development continued its effort to fill positions with qualified women and minority candidates working closely with Personnel and others to identify new resources from which to draw applicants. A minority intern from CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) was hired in a full-time position in the Donor Relations group. Resource Development remains committed to the hiring and promotion goals set out in our Affirmative Action report.

Private support for Fiscal Year l997 totaled $133.6 million, including the following: $126.2 million in gifts, grants, and bequests, and $7.4 million in support through membership in the Industrial Liaison Program. The total compares with $130.9 million in 1996, $108.9 million in 1995, $94.5 million in l994, and $96.8 million in 1993. Gifts-in-kind for the past year (principally gifts of equipment) were valued at $11.2 million.

Sources of gifts for Fiscal Year l997 were: alumni, $48.9 million; non-alumni friends, $17.8 million; corporations, corporate foundations, and trade associations, $30.2 million; foundations and charitable trusts, $27.7 million; and others, $1.6 million.

Donors designated expendable and endowed funds as follows: unrestricted, $15.6 million; departments, $47.6 million; faculty salaries, $20.7 million; graduate student aid, $8.8 million; undergraduate student aid, $14.7 million; building construction funds, $3.5 million; and other funds $15.3 million.

Barbara G. Stowe


The Office of Individual Giving, directed by H.E. (George) Ramonat, continued to cultivate, solicit and steward individual prospects and donors to the Institute. The staff includes major gift officers, assigned regionally across the United States, Canada, and the Pacific Rim, the development officer for the arts, the associate director of gifts planning, the manager of the Emma Rogers Society, as well as administrative and support staff.

Working towards the goals outlined in their strategic plans, the field officers sustained the high pace of prospect activity that has been a mark of the office since the end of the Campaign for the future in 1992. In addition, they worked to better prepare the Institute's individual giving effort for the next campaign, i.e., increased utilization and recruitment of volunteers associated with activities of the Corporation Development Committee (CDC), and the engagement and involvement of new constituencies--primarily the entrepreneurial founders' community and those who would be prospects for a planned giving approach.

At the annual meeting in November 1996 and again at the April 1997 meeting of the Corporation Development Committee Advisory Group (CDC), President Vest and Vice President Barbara Stowe engaged the membership in a dialogue about issues related to the purpose, timing and goals of the next capital campaign. Regional CDC meetings were also held throughout the year to strengthen the feeling of "family" among these volunteers.

H.E. Ramonat


Under the direction of Lucy Miller, the Office of Principal Gifts continued to deepen and strengthen relationships between the Institute's most generous benefactors, and the senior administration and faculty.

Multi-million dollar commitments were secured to support top priorities of the Institute, including professorships, fellowships, the new athletic facility and the new computing, information, and intelligence sciences building. In collaboration with representatives from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the Office of Individual Giving, the Alumni Association, and the Treasurer's Office, Principal Gifts directed the campaign to endow a fund for UROP in honor of Paul E. Gray 's, '54, thirty-one years of administrative service to MIT.

To better inform and engage the most dedicated supporters of the Institute, this office helped President Vest establish the President's Council, a small group of close alumni/ae and friends gathered to offer their perspectives as MIT moves into the 21st century.

Given the central importance of principal giving in securing private support for MIT, a principal gifts officer was added to the staff.

Lucy V. Miller


This office, known as COMDOR, is headed by Elizabeth Harding. It provides editorial and event planning support for the fundraising staff, and coordinates major gift stewardship at MIT.

A key task of the year was to help organize a gala, held in May, to provide MIT's most generous donors with an opportunity to honor Paul and Priscilla Gray as Dr. Gray stepped down from his administrative duties at the Institute. A special program with faculty and students preceded the event. Over 350 people attended a reception and dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Vest. Representatives from the offices of the President, the Corporation, Individual Giving, Principal Gifts and Mrs. Vest all helped COMDOR plan and coordinate this special party.

The Office of Events within COMDOR also helped organize 53 Resource Development events, including spring and fall Campus Visits, a series that introduces donors and prospective donors to current research and educational programs. The staff, at the request of the Office of Government and Community Relations, organized a dinner hosted by the Chairman of the Corporation in honor of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. This year they also coordinated the logistics for the Corporate Relations Advisory Panel in October and the first President's Council in May.

COMDOR continued to publish Spectrum, a 16-page tabloid newspaper with a circulation of over 30,000, including donors to MIT, faculty and staff. Two issues were published this past fiscal year; one focused on teaching and the other on diversity. The editorial group published MIT Facts, a new brochure on the UROP program, two newsletters for the Emma Rogers Society, and assisted the Office of Foundation Relations with a number of preliminary and final proposals and an overview of minority programs at MIT. Development of a World Wide Web page for Resource Development also began; it will be on-line as part of the Alumni/ae Association pages by late summer of 1997. Once again, the staff produced eight full-page advertisements in Technology Review profiling alumni/ae who have established life income funds.

Stewardship activities included the coordination of appreciation letters from the President and the Chairman to major donors to the Institute. In addition, the staff served as a clearinghouse for the approval and production of all plaques mounted within MIT to commemorate either gifts or the special service of faculty and staff.

COMDOR continued to refine and expand systematic stewardship programs for scholarships and UROP, and to facilitate fundraising for financial aid. The stewardship manager prepared a reference book to assist front-line staff and volunteers in winning support for this top priority. She also prepared 150 reports to scholarship donors and helped plan two cultivation dinners as well as over a dozen meetings between donors and the scholars they support.

Elizabeth T. Harding


This office, headed by Shelley Brown, provided research and systems support for initiatives meant to prepare Resource Development for the next campaign.

The conversion to a new alumni/ae database continued for the third year. The management team overseeing this effort; including senior management and information systems staff from the Alumni/ae Information Services, the Recording Secretary's Office, Development Research and Systems, with support from the IS staff; completed data mapping and conversion processes and a department-wide upgrade of hardware and software. Efforts to develop and document policies and procedures, and design a training program are well underway. Work is scheduled for completion by the close of FY98.

The Alumni/ae National Screening program continued to coordinate screening sessions across the country. Ten sessions were hosted and attended by key alumni/ae volunteers in Cape Cod, MA; Long Island, NY; Greenwich, CT; Seattle, WA; Sunnyvale, Los Angeles, and Orange County, CA; and Atlanta, GA. In collaboration with the Office of School Development Services and the Assistant Dean for Development in Engineering, the office also planned and conducted a series of screening sessions attended by EECS faculty.

The two-year MIT Founders Project, conducted in partnership with the MIT News Office and in collaboration with BankBoston, successfully concluded this year. The BankBoston Economics Department Special Report titled MIT: The Impact of Innovation was released in March and distributed widely among selected MIT constituencies, key members of the federal, state, and local governments, and leaders in the corporate, academic, and foundation sectors.

In addition to providing ongoing research, technology, and programming support for Resource Development, the office prepared a targeted analysis of the Institute's pool of potential prospects, with an eye toward quantifying and tracking their philanthropic capabilities.

Shelley Brown


Under the direction of John Wilson, gifts from private foundations for this fiscal year totaled more than $32 million, up 9% from FY96, and continued to provide significant support for MIT's educational and research programs. Major grants or pledges were received in support of a new W.M. Keck Neural Prosthesis Research Center, the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI), the Museum Art Loan Project, and a series of conferences on the topic "Media in Transition."

The Office of School Development Services (OSDS) continued to support the fundraising efforts of the five schools and the Office of Academic Development. In support of the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) OSDS prepared the first draft of a "briefing document", since distributed to many prospective donors, and assisted with the AGS meeting held in January 1997 at MIT.

OSDS also cultivated and solicited alumni/ae of the Sloan School of Management for the Dean's Fund for Preeminence, and assisted with the first annual dinner for this constituency. In addition, this office wrote approximately 70 research reports for Dean Glen Urban, including a benchmark study comparing entrepreneurship centers at five universities.

Due to OSDS support, the School of Architecture and Planning increased the number of donors to the Dean's Council, and assisted with a special mailing to seek additional support for the Paul Sun Endowment Fund to convert it to a fellowship.

On behalf of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and in collaboration with Dean Phil Khoury, this office conducted alumni screenings, generated prospect lists for trips and events, and completed a major statistical analysis of donors and gifts.

OSDS assisted the School of Science with the President's dinner to honor donors of the Simons Professorship of Mathematics and the Novartis Symposium. This office also helped place the MIT Chemistry 2000 campaign within reach of its $4 million fundraising goal.

For the School of Engineering, OSDS provided research for more than 40 Dean, Assistant Dean, and faculty visits, as well as for many fundraising and stewardship events. The office assisted with the Campus Visit in April and coordinated receptions for the Design 2.007 Competition and the $50K Competition. In support of the fundraising campaign for the Computing Information and Intelligence Sciences Building, OSDS coordinated screening sessions with the faculty and created a database to track prospects for the building.

OSDS continued to maintain and update the full series of academic department profiles for each school, as well as primers describing major programs or projects in the schools. This office also continued to run a monthly FYI series highlighting major academic initiatives. Guest presenters included: Deans Philip Khoury, Robert Brown, and Rosalind Williams, Professor Suzanne Berger, and School Development Officer Lee Ann Day.

John S. Wilson, Jr.


The Office of Corporate Relations (OCR), directed by Thomas Moebus, continued to support faculty in creating larger corporate relationships, expanding international programs, and increasing industrially sponsored research, while maintaining the health of the Industrial Liaison Program and improving its product offerings. Several important corporate partnerships and new international programs began, and MIT's level of industrial research funding reached its highest level, at over $77 million. Cash gifts to MIT totaled $28.5 million; ILP revenues remained stable at $7.4 million; OCR staff assisted faculty in raising more than $25 million in research funds.

Under the leadership of the President and Provost, MIT ambitiously pursued the creation of a small number of partnerships with key corporations. This year two new partnerships were created with the Merck Company and the Ford Motor Company. Merck agreed to invest $3 million per year in research at MIT, with Professor Phillip Sharp as the principal faculty member. The Ford-MIT relationship involved well over a dozen MIT faculty, led by Professor Daniel Roos, to develop different aspects of the overall agreement. Ford agreed to invest significantly in new programs with MIT, including programs in environmental studies, virtual engineering, new automotive electrical systems, and the creation of new styles of life-long learning. A number of more modest corporate agreements were also reached this year, including a three-year $1.2 million agreement with Repsol S.A., new pledges for the Epoch Fund, and a minority leadership grant from General Electric. Other corporate partnerships are in the proposal or early discussion stage.

OCR supported the faculty to help create several new international programs during the past academic year. New programs were launched in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, including a new Professorship in the name of King Bhumibol of Thailand. Further programs in Singapore and Taiwan are also under active consideration. Existing programs in Argentina and Spain continue. Such programs typically focus on building institutions to improve a nation's capacity to provide advanced technological and management education for its citizens. Together, these programs will bring close to $10 million per year in new revenues to MIT.

This past year the Center for Innovation in Product Development was established and enrolled five corporate members, the World Wide Web Consortium grew significantly, and new Media Lab initiatives (Digital Life, Things That Think) continued to attract significant corporate interest.

Mr. Bruce Anderson became the new Director of the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) in January 1997. While membership remained stable in the US and Europe, ILP membership grew in Asia with the addition of the first ILP members from Singapore and India, and the addition of three new members in Thailand. Revenues from ILP member fees grew modestly to $7.4 million, largely due to the success of new membership solicitations in the previous year.

Many innovative new information products and services have been created for ILP members. In May Corporate Relations offered a new product, Corporate ACCESS, to provide companies limited access to a subset of the services provided to ILP members. Two companies have thus far subscribed to Corporate ACCESS. An enhanced Web site ( now includes a new database of faculty expertise and research interests. Information spotlights include hot research topics, an electronically distributed compendium of "MITbits," and the Infinite Corridor series of videotaped lectures to provide exposure to MIT intellectual assets. The ILP's Annual Research Directors Conference attracted over 500 corporate leaders to campus in April.

In November, the MIT-ILP Japan Office celebrated its 20th anniversary with a colloquium for Japanese industry. While a number of senior faculty covered topics from economics to interactive media, the event also included discussions by video conference from MIT and California with an interactive question and answer session.

More information about the Office of Corporate Relations/ILP can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Thomas R. Moebus

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97