MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


The continued success of the Alumni Association activities is due to the partnership of first rate volunteers and an exceptional staff. The Alumni Fund eclipsed its 1996 record by achieving $26.6 million with a slight increase in donors as well. This record was in excess of FY96 by $1.8 million. We also achieved record breaking reunion gifts at the 25th, 40th and 50th reunions. Our successful activity included the visit by DuWayne Peterson '55 and his wife Nancy to Asian MIT clubs, a first for an Association president. DuWayne and Nancy gave unstintingly of their time and energy to 14 MIT club locations world wide with DuWayne adding two more solo trips. We went live with Alumni Network Services first product, Email Forwarding for Life (EFL) and by June had over 6500 alumni signed on. Technology Day was a smashing success and featured the Technology at Play: The World of Sports, Games, and Toys. We aided the Institute's presidentially appointed Task Force on Student Life and Learning with alumni survey results, major alumni leadership workshops and supported faculty travel for alumni feedback. MIT's Technology Review had a remarkable yet challenging year. We more than doubled advertising revenue, trimmed the budget to fit our resources, including some painful layoffs, lost our Editor-in-Chief and yet continue to produce an outstanding publication.

President Peterson continued the practice of a presidential column in MIT's Technology Review. He led the Board and provided marvelous counsel to the Executive Vice President and other senior staff. Brian Hughes '77 chaired the Alumni Fund Board to its new record. Chris Matthew '43 generously chaired the Technology Review Board and as ever lent his wisdom, integrity and personal force to a challenging year. Whenever Chris serves, MIT benefits. Chuck and Becky Vest continue their deep commitments to MIT and our alumni body. We are all strengthened by their generous example. This year alone they added yet another student centered alumni sponsored activity to their daunting round of alumni events. International visits included the first ever by an Association officer to Kuala Lampur our newest organization the MIT Club of Malaysia.

An integrated staff executed a full array of programs intended to carry out the Association's mission of fostering alumni to alumni ties while increasing support of the Institute. Details of these Association programs are included below.


Under the leadership of Brian G. R. Hughes '77, the Alumni Fund set new records in dollars raised and alumni contributions. The $26.6 million raised surpassed the old record set last year by $1.8 million. Moreover, the number of donors -- 30, 577 -- set a record as well and represented the fourth consecutive year of increased donors. There was significant gift upgrading at selected target levels of $5,000, $2,000, and $500 and overall a new record 55% of alumni donors made a gift of $100 or more, a one year gain of 4%.

In 1993, following completion of MIT's Campaign for the future, the Alumni Fund Board established a five year plan to increase the Fund by an annual growth rate of 6.5%. The goal of this endeavor was to achieve a five year cumulative Alumni Fund total in the range of $115-120 million. With the exceptional results of the past two years, the 1993-7 five year cumulative total achieved the $115 million goal. This was an extraordinary achievement given that the Alumni Fund experienced two rather weak years in that period.

In 1997, gifts from the Classes of 1947, 1957 and 1972 broke all records for the respective 50th, 40th, and 25th reunion gifts. Overall, on Technology Day 1997, a total of $56.5 million was reported in gifts by the 13 reunion classes and the senior class of 1997.

There was a special fund-raising appeal this year to honor Paul E. Gray '54 on the occasion of his stepping down as chairman of the MIT Corporation. Over the period of a few months, alumni and friends contributed more than $2.3 million in gifts and pledges to establish the Paul E. Gray '54 Endowed Undergraduate Research Opportunities Fund (UROP), a spectacular achievement.

In its goal setting exercises, the Alumni Fund Board establishes separate objectives for undergraduate alumni and graduate alumni. This year, undergraduate alumni achieved a 44% participation rate with 57% making a contribution of $100 or more. Graduate alumni achieved a median gift of $100 for the first time, while the number of donors increased for the seventh consecutive year, achieving a participation rate of 31%.

Non-alumni parents continued in their support of MIT with close to 600 parents contributing nearly $400,000 in gifts credited to the Alumni Fund.

The success of the Alumni Fund is due in large measure to the volunteer efforts of several thousand alumni, students and parents who each year offer their time in service to MIT. This service encompasses the full range of alumni activities including fund-raising, student recruitment, regional club leadership, and a myriad of others. Each year, several hundred alumni participate as leaders of the Association's national boards and MIT's Visiting Committees. The consistent outstanding results of the Alumni Fund in recent years offer testimony to the positive feelings held by MIT graduates for their alma mater.


Class Programs continued to provide strong support for undergraduate alumni through class fundraising and events. Nearly 400 volunteers worked with the staff to raise a record total in reunion gifts, plan and execute strong reunions, and plan an intellectually stimulating Technology Day.

Record reunion gifts were announced for the three major reunion classes: $11.8 million from the Class of 1947; $25.2 million from the class of 1957; and $3.7 million from the Class of 1972. These accomplishments were possible due to the efforts of many volunteers, donors, and staff.

Other reunion gifts were also strong. Marked increases in the number of donors at various target gift levels are indicators of the success of these efforts. All told, reunion gifts totaling $56.5 million were announced on Technology Day.

Undergraduate giving overall maintained a steady rate of 44% with 57% of donors giving at the level of $100 or more. A very successful senior gift drive ensures that the newest class, the Class of 1997, will start with an impressive participation rate.

For the first time, the Alumni Association staff served as advisors to the senior class for Senior Week. Senior Week events included a variety of events both on- and off-campus and involved 20% of the senior class. In addition, the Alumni Association continued its long tradition of inviting seniors to dinner at the President's House. President and Mrs. Vest graciously hosted 555 students who were also welcomed by 41 alumni. These efforts, combined with the senior gift and class elections support, serve to help students make a transition from being students to being alumni and to involve and train a new cadre of alumni volunteers.


Geographic Programs integrates activities and services where alumni live. During FY97 92 clubs worldwide provided programs for alumni including a convocation in Switzerland for all European alumni; visits by President Vest with MIT alumni in France, the Delaware Valley, Palm Beach and Sarasota; and presentations by members of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning in Oregon, Northern California, Austin, Japan and Hong Kong.

In the first year of the Speakers Bureau, part of our new Alumni Continuing Education Program, 75 alumni and faculty speakers agreed to address 52 alumni clubs, participate in some of the 30 Travel Program excursions, and teach in the new MIT on the Road programs which will be launched in FY98. The Institute Career Assistance Network (ICAN), part of the Alumni Career Assistance Program, made over 750 matches with alumni mentors. The Graduate Alumni Program sponsored jointly with MIT departments nine professional association events.

Geographic Programs fundraising activities included, for the seventh consecutive year, increases in support from graduate only alumni raising nearly $5 million from more than 11,000 donors. Donor acquisition telethons conducted by trained student callers continued strong with increases in the average gift from $13 to $81. Geographically based telethons were hosted and staffed by 135 alumni volunteers in five cities for pledges of $300,000 from 1650 donors. Three planned giving luncheons were held in conjunction with the Office of Individual Giving reaching 34 interested alumni.

Also supported by staff in Geographic Programs are Association sponsored affinity groups. Highlights for these groups in FY97 include an increase to 600 members for the Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA); the formation of the Arab Alumni of MIT (AAMIT); in the Black Alumni of MIT (BAMIT), the election of a new volunteer board, a professional development program for current students and alumni, and a successful fundraising effort; diverse events sponsored by Chinese Alumni of MIT (CAMIT) including the Annual Lunar New Year's celebration and a community service project which raised $10,000 with other Asian alumni groups in New York City; and from the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alumni group (BGALA), an IAP panel on gays in the workplace, a Tech Week reception and organizational meeting, and the presentation of a substantial alumni gift to establish the Bisesxual, Gay and Lesbian Alumni Fund.


Alumni week, known as Tech Week, was combined with Commencement for the second year. Many of the logistical problems of the first year had been eliminated and 2700 alumni and guests returned to MIT to participate in over 90 different events organized for 14 classes and local alumni. Two returning members of the Class of 1922, Yardley Chittick and Marjorie Pierce, celebrated their 75th reunion.

Technology Day, entitled "Technology at Play: The World of Sports, Games, and Toys" featured MIT faculty members Woodie Flowers ME '73, Seymour Papert, Ed Crawley '76 AA, and Professor Steven Jacobsen ME '73 from the University of Utah. A new initiative, the Technology at Play Expo, exhibited sports, games, and toy-related products designed or developed by MIT alumni and faculty. Afternoon panel sessions focused on the limits of human performance, new technology and the economic and social implications of sports. Linda Sharpe '69 served as the chair of the Technology Day Committee and Woodie Flowers provided advice and inspiration as the faculty advisor to the committee.

The central events of Tech Week-Tech Night at Pops, the involvement of the 25th and 50th reunion classes in Commencement, a welcoming reception for new graduates, the events of Technology Day and the Tech Challenge Games-were well attended and served as a wonderful touchstone for alumni returning to campus for reunions. The Class Programs staff also implemented a new event for all classes, the Reunion Row, which brought a number of alumni back specifically to row on the Charles. The event was an unqualified success and will become a regular component of future Tech Weeks. More children accompanied parents this year to participate in Camp Tech, the program planned by the staff to provide interesting experiences for children while their parents attend Tech Week events.

At the end of FY97, the staffing of these programs was slightly changed to provide efficient services to all undergraduate classes. With the addition of program support for senior activities and the youngest 10 alumni classes into one comprehensive staff unit, the Class Programs staff hopes to further integrate activities among students, alumni, and MIT.


The annual Alumni Leadership Conference, attended by nearly 400 alumni and their guests, was held September 20-22, 1996. The Saturday morning program, "The Learning Community: Integrating Student Life and Learning at MIT," was introduced by Association President DuWayne J. Peterson '55 who is also chair of the Corporation Visiting Committee on Student Affairs. After remarks by MIT President Vest, Rosalind H. Williams, Dean for Undergraduate Education, moderated presentations by the following panelists: Paul E. Gray '54, Chair, MIT Corporation; R. John Hansman, Jr. PH'82, Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics and Co-Chair, Presidential Task Force on Student Life and Learning; David A. Mindell HU'96, Dibner Professor, Science, Technology and Society; and Robert J. Silbey, Professor, Chemistry, Co-Chair, Presidential Task Force on Student Life and Learning.

After the awards luncheon, breakout sessions were led by members of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning in which alumni were asked to give feedback on issues the task force should take under consideration. Workshops were held on Friday for club officers, Educational Council members, Alumni Fund solicitors, and student leaders attending the conference. Sunday events included sessions with class secretaries and with international club officers.


During the academic year 1995-96, the Association launched a new Internet based venture with the report of its Committee on Alumni Online Services in June of that year. A permanent director, Margaret Bruzelius, was hired and a search was begun for a webmaster to develop programs in this service. The first ANS product, Email Forwarding for Life (EFL), was introduced in February 1997 and by June 6,500 alumni had registered for the service, including nearly 1000 newly graduated alumni. ANS offers the Institute a gateway through which various Institute offices may offer services to registered alumni.

Under development at year end are an online alumni directory and conferencing services, slated for availability early in FY'98. Partnerships are being investigated with the MIT Libraries, CAES, faculty and students, the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education, and other offices at MIT.


The Association conducted the annual Family Weekend October 4-5, 1996. This successful program continues to attract more than 1800 members of MIT families to participate in MIT classes, tour MIT laboratories, question the deans and listen to performances of MIT student groups. Other activities of the Parents Association include publication of Parents News and solicitation of parent gifts to the Parents Fund which this year exceeded $550,000 in gifts from nearly 600 non-alumni parents, of which nearly $400,000 was reported in the Alumni Fund.


Continued progress was made toward implementation of the Association's new client/server computer system during FY'97, with the AIS staff completing its migration from a Macintosh to a Windows platform. This switch in operating systems will facilitate the AIS staff in its role as the primary testing ground for the new client/server system. As the launch date for this system approaches (March 1998), the AIS programming staff continues to receive the training; i.e., Powerbuilder, Oracle, etc., necessary to support development and maintenance of the new system.

Additionally, documentation of policies and procedures and the creation of an internal training program have begun in order to facilitate the conversion to our new environment. Work continues on a new events management system which will be fully operative sometime after the client/server "goes live."

Finally, the ongoing goal of "enhanced customer service" was addressed in FY'97 by successfully focusing on the improvement, enhancement, and careful documentation of the Alumni Association's email list service for alumni.


For the first time in MIT's Technology Review's history, the magazine has adopted a preliminary five-year business plan, unanimously endorsed by the Technology Review Board and Alumni Association Board of Directors. The magazine is now poised for growth. New benchmarks have been established -- a doubling of the magazine's circulation from the current 92,000 to over 200,000 -- as well as doubling of impact and recognition among the public-at-large through an aggressive sales campaign and newsstand sales.

The business plan calls for a positive revenue stream, driven by new growth in circulation among non-alumni readers, and the resulting increase in advertising revenue. This growth began in 1997 with a doubling of advertising revenue and a solidifying of the circulation revenue base.

Adopted as part of this growth plan is a focus on re-aligning of the look and editorial content, as well as a strengthening of the MIT relationship. Initial strides have already been made through a logo change made in the February 1997 issue to read "MIT's Technology Review". The logo change has been very well received by current readers, and the design and editorial staff are undertaking an exhaustive review of the magazine.

MIT's Technology Review's editor resigned in the Spring. An editorial search committee, a subset of the Technology Review Board, is in the final stages of recruiting a new Editor-in-Chief, to be at the editorial helm by Fall of 1997.

MIT's Technology Review also has had significant success containing its costs this year. Production costs have been reduced through two new contracts negotiated with the magazine's printing and circulation vendors. To further contain costs, a reduction in force plan was implemented resulting in the elimination of three positions. All efforts have successfully focused on constructive repositioning for growth.


In January Edmund M. Dunn ML'73 joined the Forum as Executive Director. A chapter chairs' meeting was held in Oxnard, CA in April to learn about the concerns of the chairs, to learn about effective chapter practices, and to discuss the Forum's changing emphasis to bring chapters into closer contact with the Institute.

To further this objective in June 26th, the Forum presented the second in a series of satellite broadcast programs designed to provide useful information to entrepreneurs and business professionals. Bob Metcalfe '68, incoming Association president, conducted a lively presentation titled "Internet Futures" with 450 attendees in Kresge auditorium and an additional 600 in chapters in Hartford, New York City, Toronto and Washington D. C. and the MIT Club of Northern California. The director of MIT's Lab for Computer Science, Michael Dertouzos EE'64, provided opening remarks and moderated the Q&A portion of the evening. Following the broadcast about one hundred requests for copies of the text have been received.


Matters of personnel continued at their usual pace, with a spike in the summer months of 1996, when a record number of open positions were filled with a record number of first-rate staff members. Edmund M. Dunn ML '73 was named Director of the MIT Enterprise Forum in January, and has already accomplished a major satellite broadcast event featuring incoming Association President Robert M. Metcalfe '68. The Geographic Programs group was enhanced with the hiring of a number of Alumni Affairs Officers in the areas of club support and departmental relations, including Heidi Ganss, Kevin Holland, Christine Tempesta, and Angela Um. A new Manager of the Data Entry group was found in Jean Connolly, and the brand new Alumni Network Services effort attracted its first Director in Margaret Bruzelius. Jill Pullen moved from the office of the Dean of Students to join our Student Programs contingent.

Departures in the year included Steve Marcus, Editor in Chief of MIT's Technology Review, who left to explore new writing opportunities, hoping especially to complete a book. A search committee is well on its way to finding a replacement to fill this important post. All told, there were 18 departures, and the same number of new hires, during a year in which still more records in the fundraising arena were logged, and in which MIT's Technology Review began to successfully explore redesign possibilities. There were also 10 promotions, as the Association continued to grow and develop its best staff.


Honorary Memberships were presented at the Technology Day luncheon on June 8, 1996. All other awards were presented at the awards luncheon of the Alumni Leadership Conference on September 21.

Bronze Beaver: Mr. Glen V. Dorflinger '46, Mr. L. Robert Johnson '63, Mr. John A. Morefield '56, Mr. R. Gregory Turner '74

Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award: Ms. Lois J. Champy AR'71, Dr. Eva Krug LI, Dr. Roseanna H. Means '76, Ms. Linda C. Sharpe '69, Mr. Charles O. Staples '59

George B. Morgan '20 Award: Mr. Bruce Anderson '63, Dr. Lisa C. Klein '73, Mr. Jay W. Van Dwingelen '74

Henry B. Kane '24 Award: Mr. Theodore P. Heuchling '46, Mr. James A. Lash '66, Mr. William E. Murray Jr. '67, Mr. Martin H. Schrage '63

Presidential Citation Award: Class of 1995 (Senior Gift Committee), Class of 1975 20th Reunion Gift Committee, Class of 1970 (25th Reunion), BAMIT-McNair Development Committee (Ronald E. McNair PH'77 Scholarship Fund), MIT Club of Germany

Honorary Membership: Mr. Harold "Hatch" Brown Jr., Professor Phillip A. Sharp

William J. Hecht

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97