MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The central theme of the Association's year just completed has been partnerships. I would like to single out three of the many successful partnerships described in this report. First, this year will be remembered as the year of the Great Court Gala, a spectacular event made possible through the extraordinary efforts of the Association staff in partnership with many others at MIT. Secondly, my nearly twenty year partnership with Joseph S. Collins HM is changing as Joe leaves his leadership position in the Association to take on a special assignment for the coming campaign. I am deeply indebted to Joe Collins for his many years of service to MIT and the Association and look forward to continuing our work together in his new role. We anticipate a new kind of partnership among the staff with the creation of a management team responsible for alumni activities at MIT and around the world, alumni fundraising, alumni on-line services, alumni records and data, and support for alumni volunteer boards and committees. And finally, the staff and I value greatly the partnership with outstanding volunteer leaders who have led the Association this year to develop a campaign strategy, to initiate a new credit card program, and to focus attention on opportunities for alumni lifelong learning.

Other highlights of the past year are also featured in this report. The Alumni Fund has experienced its third consecutive record setting year, reporting total gifts of $28.8 million including the best Parents Fund results ever. More than 18,000 alumni and guests attended Association sponsored events on campus and around the world, including impressive Technology Day and reunion attendance and four successful MIT On The Road programs. Technology Review has continued to meet its growth and financial objectives. An alumni survey showed that 80 percent of MIT alumni have Internet connections from home, compared to 43 percent nationwide as reported in the July 12, 1999 Wall Street Journal. It is no wonder that on-line activities have become central to effective MIT Association programming for alumni.

It would be an oversight to fail to mention the substantial time and energy I have devoted, as chair of the Residence System Steering Committee, to issues about the implementation of the president's decision to house all freshmen on campus by the year 2001. While this assignment was not an Alumni Association responsibility, the recommendations of the committee will be important to all students and alumni, especially those who care deeply about the residence system.


John A. Morefield '56 served the Institute and the Association most ably as president of the Association for 1998-1999. Morefield led nearly 4,000 alumni volunteers who serve MIT as members of the Corporation and its visiting committees, as members of Association national boards and committees, as Educational Counselors, as class and club officers, and as Alumni Fund volunteers. This cadre of involved alumni working in partnership with the staff made possible hundreds of events attended by more than 18,000 alumni and their guests. Morefield himself visited nearly 400 alumni in nineteen cities across the country, concentrating on places which seldom are visited by MIT officers.

Under Morefield's leadership members of the Board of Directors took assignments as members of Association committees including three ad hoc committees. The Campaign Strategy Committee, led by DuWayne J. Peterson, Jr. '55, recommended the "sustained involvement of alumni for life" and proposed specific campaign fund raising initiatives through 2005. Scott P. Marks ‘68 chaired the Credit Card Committee which recommended the implementation of a FirstUSA credit card program. Jorge E. Rodriguez '60, as chair of the Committee on Lifelong Learning, reported on its survey and made recommendations at the June meeting of the Association Board of Directors. The work of these three committees, led by such dedicated volunteers, in partnership with members of the Association staff, will have long term impact on the activities of the Association.

One hundred twenty-one alumni served on Association national boards and committees, including chairs of the following committees: Linda Sharpe '69, Audit and Budget Committee; Paula J. Olsiewski CM'79, Alumni Fund Board; Gregory E. Moore '73, Alumni Fund Goals Committee; J. Michael Greata '63, Alumni Network Services Advisory Council; Paul Rudovsky '66, Awards Committee; Steven G. Finn '68, Committee on Nominations for Corporation Visiting Committees; Douglas W. Brown UN, Enterprise Forum Board; Richard A. Jacobs '56, National Selection Committee; George Raymond '55, Technology Day Committee; Christian J. Matthew '43, Technology Review Board.

The Association is responsible for the selection of fifteen members of the MIT Corporation. The National Selection Committee selects and recruits these alumni. In addition, many other Corporation members are alumni, with the result that more than 80 percent of current Corporation members are MIT alumni. The Association also selects six members on each of the 26 Corporation Visiting Committees. In addition to the Association's nominees, another 135 alumni serve on these visiting committees.

The National Selection Committee named the following alumni to MIT and Association governance positions.

MIT Corporation for five-year terms:

Kenneth F. Gordon GM'60

Harbo P. Jensen CM'74

John A. Morefield, Jr. '56

Association president-select to serve as president FY2000:

Brian G. R. Hughes '77

Association vice presidents for two-year terms:

Emmanuel C. Ikpo OE'83

Hyun-A C. Park '83

Association district directors for two-year terms:

Michael L. Telson '67

Sharon Ross '65,

Herbert Amster '56

Gurumurthy Kalyanaram GM'89

Matthew D. Kallis '82

Association young alumni representative for a two-year term:

Michael D. D. Clarke '92

The Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC) annually celebrates and recognizes the importance of volunteer leadership at the Institute. This year volunteers were invited to come to campus on September 19, 1998 for a "glimpse of the ongoing research and classroom activity that so energizes MIT." The program, introduced by Robert A. Brown, MIT Provost, and Robert J. Birgeneau, Dean of Science, featured four faculty new to MIT who discussed their cutting edge work: Ian Hunter, Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Paul E. Laibinis '85, Doherty Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering; Raymond Ashoori, Assistant Professor, Physics; and Christopher Cummins CM'93, Professor, Chemistry.

The Association awards for outstanding volunteer leadership and achievement were presented at the ALC luncheon. Honorary memberships were presented at Tech Night at the Pops on June 4 and the Technology Day luncheon on June 6, 1998. Among the awards presented at the ALC luncheon, listed below, was a surprise recognition of the Executive Vice President of the Association for which I am most grateful.

Bronze Beaver Award for distinguished service to MIT, the highest Association recognition honor:

John J. Brown '32

William J. Hecht '61

John W. Jarve, Jr. '78

Robert M. Metcalfe '68

Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award for sustained alumni relations service of special depth:

Jack Baring '48

Malcolm Green '50

Philip F. Hudock '62

Sze-Wen Kuo '73,

Ellen S. L. Nedrebo PO'89

Thomas Weston '32

George B. Morgan '20 Award for excellence in service to the Educational Council:

W. Dean Free '62

Forrest N. Krutter '76

Ahmad S. Nawaz CH'47

Henry B. Kane '24 Award for exceptional fundraising service and accomplishment:

Marc J. Chelemer '81

Thomas C. Gooch '77

John A. McGann '54

Gregory E. Moore '73

Presidential Citation Award given to alumni volunteer groups for distinguished service:

Class of 1947 50th Reunion and Reunion Gift Campaign

Hartford Telethon

Committee for Spotlight MIT '97: Entrepreneurship

MIT Club of Maine

Honorary Membership:

Frank H. McGrory

Rebecca McCue Vest

Following the luncheon, alumni were invited to an open discussion led by Chancellor Larry Bacow '72, with panelists Rosalind Williams, Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education, John Hansman PH'82 and Robert Sibley, faculty chairs of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning, and Anders Hove '96, member of the student advisory committee to the Task Force. The panelists presented the findings and recommendations of the task force and responded to many alumni questions regarding the Institute decision to house all freshmen on campus by the year 2001.

The pre-ALC activities on Friday, September 18, provided workshop and training opportunities for Geographic Programs volunteers, class reunion gift solicitors, and Educational Council members.


The Alumni Fund set a new record for the fourth year in a row, with total gifts reported of $28,804,000 from 30,366 alumni donors. By far the most notable result of the year is the generosity of non-alumni parents. The Parents Fund set dollar and donor records with gifts of $431,000, representing a 90 percent increase over the prior year, from 1,034 parents for a 23 percent non-alumni parent participation, a record high.

The chart below shows Fund results against goals as well as changes from the prior year. For the ninth consecutive year graduate alumni donors continued to increase, with gifts from 11,243 individuals. On the undergraduate side, MIT's decision to change its freshman housing policy clearly reduced the number of contributors. Pre-campaign efforts were noticeable, however, as gifts from undergraduate donors increased by nearly $500,000 to $18.9 million reported in the Fund.


FY98 Results

FY98/99 Goals

FY99 Goals

FY99 Final Results


Total Alumni Fund






#Donors to Fund






#Donors $500






% Donors $500






#First-time donors





Graduate Students Exclusively

# Donors to Fund






# Donors $500






% Donors $500






# First-time donors






# Donors to Fund






# First-time donors





Total Giving $2k

#Donors $2,000






% Donors $2,000





Parents Fund

Total $






# Donors





Our special efforts to encourage support of classroom renovation and restoration of Baker House proved successful. More than 350 alumni earned either a piece of the Building 20 floorboards or a Baker House doorknob through an incremental $250 gift to the FY1999 Alumni Fund. Including gifts credited to the Alumni Fund, a total of nearly $1.3 million has been credited in gifts and pledges to the Baker House Restoration Fund, while over $200,000 was received in FY1999 for classroom renovation.

This year's reunion classes, the 4s and 9s, set a record with $62.5 million in gifts and pledges, including a record 50th reunion gift from the Class of 1949 of $28,200,000. The year end numbers for each class are reported in the chart below.

Class Year

Reunion Year

Gift Total




































































*five year campaigns

The Alumni Fund telethon program accounts for about one-third of all alumni donors to the Fund and this year raised $1.28 million. Nearly 1,000 callers, of which 82 percent were alumni and student volunteer callers, reached 30 percent of the alumni population by phone; 46 percent of those contacted made gifts and 20 percent of those gifts were increases over the previous year's contribution. New this year was the first west coast upgrading telethon, to complement the traditional Boston upgrading event.

At its June meeting, the Alumni Fund Board voted a new Killian Society donor recognition level. Alumni who make gifts of $5,000 and more will continue to be recognized as members of the Killian Society; there will be a second level of Killian recognition at the $10,000-and-up level.

Fiscal year 1999 marks a year of significant change for the Fund, inasmuch as Joseph S. Collins HM concludes twenty years of service as Director of the Alumni Fund. In September 1999, Joe begins a new assignment for the capital campaign as Senior Development and Fund Officer. His long career as Fund Director was recognized by the Fund Board at its June 2, 1999 meeting with the following citation:

"Whereas Joseph S. Collins, honorary member of the MIT Alumni Association, has led the MIT Alumni Fund as its director since 1979 and as such has attended and staffed more than sixty Fund Board meetings; and whereas he has worked with eleven Alumni Fund Board chairs to oversee the growth of the Alumni Fund from $5M in fiscal year 1980 to $27.9M in 1998; and whereas he has conducted countless solicitor training sessions and solicited personally many gifts to the Fund; and whereas he has served as mentor and friend to fund staff and volunteers over these years; the Alumni Fund Board, on this day, June 2, 1999, wishes to acknowledge his leadership and to offer him our congratulations and best wishes in his new responsibilities for the Institute in the capital campaign."

The Association Board of Directors, on June 3, 1999, voted to create The Joseph S. Collins HM Award for the staff member "who has made a difference" in the work of the Association. The first award was presented by the Board to Collins himself.


As use of the Internet and the Web becomes ubiquitous world-wide, the Association has recognized the critical impact these technologies are having on the work we do. MIT alumni are almost twice as likely as the general population to be connected to the Internet from their homes. The Lifelong Learning Committee survey reported that 80 percent of MIT alumni are on-line from home; the Wall Street Journal reported in July 1999 that 43 percent of American homes are connected to the Internet. The Association Campaign Strategy Committee's vision for the Association over the next five years requires Web based tools to foster alumni connections among one another and with the Institute. The recommendations of the Lifelong Learning Committee assume a robust system to deliver MIT content to alumni on the Web.

Alumni Network Services (ANS) is the Association vehicle for creating these Web based opportunities. Our goal is to build a worldwide MIT community which includes alumni, students and faculty. During FY1999 we introduced a new ANS system with enhanced features which encompass the On-line Alumni Directory, Email Forwarding for Life (EFL), profile management, and customer service. EFL enhancements include the capacity to have up to five different forwarding addresses and the ability to send email from your EFL address for special purposes such as subscribing to email lists. More than 25,000 alumni are now members of the ANS system, a 67 percent increase over FY1998. More alumni are involved in ANS than in any other alumni relations activity.

Asynchronous conferencing was introduced in collaboration with MIT's Office of Academic Computing. A recent on-line survey concluded that alumni approve of the technology and are willing to participate in future discussions, but that a new method of structuring the service needs to be developed. The ANS staff are also working with other Institute staff on a calendar management program and the introduction of students into the ANS environment.

Another effective use of the Internet has been our experiments with email solicitation. The chair of the Alumni Fund sent an email pledge reminder to approximately 1,000 alumni at year end resulting in pledge payments within a two week period from nearly half of the people contacted. This experiment, together with email solicitations from the 15th reunion gift chair, have encouraged Alumni Fund staff to try more email fundraising during the coming year. The Giving to MIT Web site provides a secure transaction procedure for making credit card gifts on-line and more than 200 alumni have used this service during 1999. Benchmarking data suggests that growth in e-commerce gifts could be ten-fold in the coming year. We continue to support more than 100 email lists, moderated by alumni volunteers together with our staff; and event registrations from the Web continue to increase.

A mailing was sent to all alumni with a complete record of each alum's personal profile to determine that the information which the Association has on record is accurate. We received more than 9,000 address updates to our records. The mailing announced to alumni that their record would be available in the secure on-line alumni directory (OAD). Alumni also were asked to decide which information, if any, they would like to have hidden from other alumni who look up their record in the OAD. The OAD now has records for all alumni available for searches which can be made using twelve different criteria, including a range of degree years, zip codes, living groups, and employment data. This directory has set a standard for other universities to emulate.

Much of the technical work during this year, supported by a significant allocation of MIT resources, was directed to the development of an ANS Oracle database which was integrated with the new Association alumni records Advance system. The integration of these two systems, supported by an ATG-Dynamo Web interface, was a massive undertaking, resulting in a system which allows for frequent transfers of data to keep both systems synchronized with one another. Address updates made in either system are transferred to the other system several times an hour. This complex system was developed in partnership with staff in the Association's Alumni Information Services group, as well as with members of MIT's IS unit.

Plans for the coming year, already begun before FY1999 year end, include new networking services for creating and maintaining connections among alumni and between alumni and the Institute. In addition to the new OAD search feature, other projects include on-line mentoring, lifelong learning initiatives, and targeted asynchronous discussions such as "meet the author talks" sponsored by the MIT Press. ANS will continue to develop alumni volunteer support services. We are working with the Admissions Office to provide support for the Educational Council. We will support alumni owned mailing lists in addition to current Association mailing lists. Continued support for the more than 50 volunteer Webmasters for class, club and other alumni group Web pages on the Association alumweb server will remain a priority. Finally we are making the ANS and Association public sites more interactive. One such project in the works is the development of an insignia catalog with The COOP.

MIT alumni are accustomed to using the Internet to accomplish myriad personal tasks as well as business transactions. They expect MIT to be available to them in the same ways. The way the Association accomplishes its work has changed significantly over the past year; while our mission stays the same, Web mediated services are rapidly being integrated into every aspect of our work throughout the entire Association agenda.

Alumni Programs at MIT

The overarching mission of the Alumni Association is to foster the connections among alumni and between the alumni and the Institute. Each year, Tech Week and reunion programming provides the opportunity for the greatest number of alumni to renew that connection face-to-face. This year, a new tradition was begun, one which casts an even broader reach across the MIT community, and one which allows alumni of different reunion classes to interact in a relaxed and light-hearted setting: the Great Court Gala. In keeping with the year's theme of partnership, Association staff convinced many diverse constituents around the Institute of the viability of such an event—and of the necessity of holding it in the Killian Court! The Court had previously been reserved for only two regular events in the Institute calendar, events which fell at the beginning and the end of the undergraduate experience: freshman picnic and of course Commencement exercises. As the third such event, the Gala will allow alumni to remember those life-changing moments five, fifteen or fifty years later, but this time under the light of the moon and to the strains of a big band under a majestic tent. The Gala also included graduating seniors and their families, creating a true community spirit. No one who attended this year's Gala could fail to appreciate the resounding success of the event, and the Association owes a debt of gratitude to Vice President Kathryn Willmore, Director of Conference Services Gayle Gallagher and Chief of the Campus Police Anne Glavin for their invaluable assistance and support of this exciting event.

Other highlights of the Tech Week activities included the Reunion Row, which keeps growing into a much-anticipated high point of the week for many alumni of all years, and which was won this year by the indefatigable Class of 1954; newly introduced tennis and golf clinics; and the third annual Welcome Reception for new degree holders, held the day before Commencement on Kresge Oval. And wrapping it up, the class of 1979 was this year's champion in the Challenge Games held on Sunday morning. Reunion classes planned an assortment of events from on-campus to private homes, to area museums, and a few resorts. Nearly 3,000 alumni and guests attended events from the 5th to the 70th reunions.

This year's Technology Day program was entitled "The Human Body: Emerging Medical Science and Technology." The program was opened by President Charles M. Vest HM; the plenary session which followed featured Robert S. Langer, Jr. CH'74, Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering; David C. Page, professor of biology; Robert A. Weinberg '64, American Cancer Society Professor of Biology, all of MIT; and Martha Constantine-Paton, Professor, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, in her first speaking appearance as a new MIT faculty member. Their topics ranged from biomaterials, to the human genome project, to cancer and developmental plasticity. President Vest moderated a lively question and answer period, and as always, there were many more questions than time allowed.

The other component of Technology Day, afternoon panel discussions, were rearranged somewhat. Based on comments from last year's events, the panel on biomedical entrepreneurship was moved to Friday afternoon, to allow greater flexibility for audience members. This exciting discussion was moderated by Jerome H. Grossman '61, Chairman and CEO, Health Quality, Inc. Panel subjects on Saturday afternoon included aging, Alzheimer's and arthritis, moderated by Corporation member Mitchell Spellman, Dean Emeritus for Medical Services, Harvard Medical School; and the ethical dilemmas of genetic testing as discussed by Professor Page and Phillip R. Reilly, MD, JD, Director of the Shriver Institute for Mental Retardation. All three panels were made up the an array of distinguished alumni and guests. George Raymond '55 led the efforts of this year's Technology Day Committee, which planned these remarkable events.

The Association continued to forge connections with current students, in particular seniors. This year's Senior Week activities were successfully managed by Association staff. Highlights of the week included a pancake breakfast which was attended by over 400 seniors and their families, and where servers included some 15 faculty and staff, not least President and Mrs. Vest; and 450 of the graduating contingent helped to sell out Symphony Hall for Tech Night at the Pops, conducted this year by Oscar-winner John Williams. Association involvement in Senior Week complements our ongoing sponsorship of Senior Dinners at the home of President and Mrs. Vest. This tradition allows invited alumni volunteers to meet and interact with the students who are about to enter the alumni population.

Family Weekend kicked off the fall season in October, and continues to be a strongly attended event. This year's program centered on the theme of student life at MIT and brought 1,500 family members to the campus. There was more of an emphasis on the academic side of the student experience, and speakers included Professors Gene Brown and Graham Walker of Biology; the late Gian-Carlo Rota of Mathematics; Toyoichi Tanaka of Physics; and many other faculty and staff who conducted tours and demonstrations. The stand-out event was certainly the Family Weekend Luncheon, held on Friday afternoon, and hosted by Chancellor Lawrence Bacow '72 P '02, who introduced Nobel laureate Professor Jerome Friedman, whose talk on science and the excitement of scientific collaboration was exceptionally well received.

Another successful Alumni Activities Expo was held for graduating students in Lobby 10 in May, with the requisite quiz, prize drawing, and popcorn; 820 students took the opportunity to sign up for ANS in the Bush Room as well. First-time participation by the Association in the Campus Preview Weekend for accepted students led to the Association is sponsoring four events; and staff contributed to the ongoing "professional development" of our Student Ambassadors, 35 of whom participated in 50 programs and events.

Services Worldwide

As often as the Association brings people back to campus, and as many people arrive for these programs, one can virtually triple those numbers in discussion of service to alumni around the world. In all, 15,188 alumni and guests attended some 291 events; these range from Alumni Seminars held through regional clubs, to Alumni Travel Program excursions everywhere from China to Alaska and throughout Europe, to the revivified MIT On The Road program. As often as possible, these events include MIT faculty, over 30 of whom traveled on behalf of the Association this year, with the gratitude of the staff and alumni alike.

Alumni clubs continue to serve as the backbone of our volunteer-driven organization, most often producing the partners who will eventually lead the Association in its many and diverse enterprises. In our 16 "major markets" (defined as an area where one can find 1,000 or more alumni), some 29 percent of alumni belong to a local club. A total of 689 alumni serve clubs as officers and board volunteers; they guided and developed nearly 850 events in the past year.

The MIT On The Road program, reestablished in 1998, continued to bring a day on campus to alumni around the world in fiscal year 1999. First out of the box was a very exciting program in Lisbon, Portugal, designed to coincide with the Expo being held in that city, and featuring a successful Alumni Travel Program journey through Portugal which was designed entirely by Association staff. Other destinations for the year were Washington, DC, northern California, and Boston. Faculty for the year included President Charles M. Vest HM; Chancellor Lawrence Bacow '72; Deans Philip Khoury and Richard Schmalensee '65; and Professors Jeanne Bamberger, Robert Birgeneau, Erik Brynjolfsson GM'91, Michael Hawley AR'93, W. Eric Grimson MA'80, Nancy Hopkins, Henry Jenkins, Simon Johnson EC'89, Marc Kastner, Andrew Lippman '71, Tom Malone, and David Marks.

Besides successfully meeting the challenge of the Lisbon program, the Alumni Travel Program (ATP) continued to offer outstanding expeditions worldwide. Twenty-nine trips were offered in fiscal year 1999, and of these, 20 had an MIT component, usually a faculty speaker, sometimes an event held in conjunction with a local club. From a polar bear watch in Canada, to Alumni College Abroad programs, to a cruise of China's Yangtse River, the ATP continues to be among the preferred alumni activities for those alumni who participate.

For over twenty years, the MIT Enterprise Forum has been helping entrepreneurs start and grow successful technology-based businesses. While much of the Forum's activity is through its 19 chapters around the world, the Association's mission for the Forum includes the goals of bringing alumni to campus, bringing MIT-centered programming to alumni, and developing sponsorship revenue to fund operations.

The centerpiece of the Forum headquarters programming is the Satellite Broadcast Series which has expanded to three programs each year. The program is broadcast before a live audience on campus to remote sites around the world. The first program on September 28, 1998, featured Alex d'Arbeloff '49 with moderator Prof. Edward Roberts '57, "Entrepreneurship-Starting and Running New Businesses." On January 21, 1999, Prof. Michael Dertouzos EE'64 with moderator Robert M. Metcalfe '68, presented "What to Do: Strategies for the New World of Information." The final program, held on May 20, 1999, presented Raymond Stata '57 with moderator Paul Brountas, Esq, senior partner at Hale and Dorr LLP, speaking about "The Soft Side of New Enterprise."

These programs reached more than 2,000 people in 46 separate venues in addition to the those attending on campus. Establishment of many receiving sites involved the 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. These popular programs also offer opportunities for sponsor participation; revenue from sponsors and program admissions totaled $150,000 in this past year.

All of these programs could be described by our alumni as lifelong learning activities–and they are, according to a survey commissioned by one of this year's successful volunteer task groups, the Committee on Lifelong Learning, chaired by Jorge Rodriguez '60. This committee, which also included alumna Sandra Morgan GM'73 and alumnus/faculty member Steve Lerman '72, received a mandate from the Board of Directors to investigate, document and expand upon or create opportunities for alumni to continue learning with MIT's help in one way or another throughout their lifetimes. This committee ultimately determined that there we should try to establish the level of alumni need, or even interest, in lifelong learning at MIT. A survey was commissioned, and the results indicated a few particularly critical elements: support for delivery of education via the Web was enthusiastic; MIT content was highly desirable, and perceived as elusive; and low cost was important. Rodriguez eventually reported back to the Board that sufficient interest exists among the alumni to embark upon some special initiatives, in collaboration with several Institute entities, to provide some of that MIT content in new venues, not least the Web. With the support of the Board, these initiatives will be taken up by the staff in fiscal year 2000.

In a departure from its long time position, the Association Board of Directors asked a volunteer committee, chaired by Scott P. Marks '68, to consider the advisability of offering an Alumni Association affinity credit card. In his report at the March 1999 Board of Directors meeting, Marks noted that "the objectives of a credit card program...are first of all to offer a service to alumni which enhances their MIT affinity and secondly to generate revenue to the Association and to MIT." After having examined proposals from three banks, the committee recommended the Association work with FirstUSA Bank to offer such a card. The contract was negotiated and alumni were invited to apply for the card during Tech Week in June 1999. Revenue from the card will be used to enhance and expand Association services to alumni; a significant portion of the income has been allocated for MIT scholarship support. Work on this proposal and the negotiation of the final contract included collaboration with MIT legal services staff, the Controller's office, and the Dean's office. Other alumni members of the committee were Joel Schindall '63 and Brian Lasher '89.

Technology Review

The magazine enjoyed tremendous success in "year one" of the new Technology Review, capped with a nomination for a National Magazine Award in the category of General Excellence–a feat nearly unheard of for such a relatively new effort. The magazine's new design was also recognized by a Merit Award from the Society of Publication Design, among other design awards. Highlight articles from the year included staff member Antonio Regalado's article "Biotech Taboo;" a special issue on wearable computers; and an interview by Director of MIT's Lab for Computer Science Michael Dertouzous EE'64 of Microsoft chair Bill Gates.

In FY1998, the Institute made a significant investment in the magazine to transform the magazine into a profitable, respected and highly visible magazine focusing on technology and innovation. The Technology Review Board, under the leadership of Christian J. Matthew '43, in partnership with Publisher and CEO R. Bruce Journey and Editor in Chief John Benditt, has led the magazine through a remarkable year. The financial performance of the magazine has been on track with its business plan to increase the circulation and to expand advertising. Results at year end show advertising revenue was up 200 percent over fiscal year 1998, circulation up 50 percent to a worldwide total of 205,000, and total revenue up 84 percent. The magazine continues on this ambitious plan in a very competitive magazine environment. No other university is attempting to accomplish what the Association has begun to do with this endeavor.

The re-launched MIT News section was also recognized in the awards department, with a Silver Medal for Magazine Publishing Improvement from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and a Bronze Medal from CASE in the category of University General Interest Magazine. Highlight articles included a piece by Associate Editor Abigail Vargus '97 on her experience with weightlessness in NASA's training plane.

Technology Review was founded by the organization of class secretaries in 1899. To celebrate this 100th anniversary, a centennial issue will be published in November 1999. The magazine will recognize 100 young innovators selected by a committee of illustrious company founders, academic leaders, Nobel prize winners, and innovators of recent decades. Members include, among others, Nobel laureates Philip Sharp HM and David Baltimore '61, and MIT inventors Robert M. Metcalfe '68, and Robert Langer CH'74. Plans are underway for a celebration in November 1999.

Several important positions at the magazine were filled in the past year. Lyn Chamberlin, formerly Director of Communications at Radcliffe College, came aboard as Director of Business Development, and will be spending the bulk of her time preparing for the gala events around the TR100 celebration. A Webmaster was sought, and eventually found in Jeffrey Foust GY '99, who was hired even before he successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. And MIT News Senior Editor Mary Tamer departed the magazine, and was eventually replaced by Jon Paul Potts, a seasoned New England newspaper editor and seller of peanuts at Fenway Park, who has already brought a fresh perspective on the MIT community.

Christian J. Matthew '43 stepped down as Technology Review Board Chair, after leading the Board through the re-launch period–four of the most challenging years in the magazine's 100-year history. He will continue as a member of the Board, and has been succeeded as Chair by DuWayne J. Peterson, Jr. '55. Edward T. Thompson '49 retired from the Board after more than 20 years of service to the magazine, along with Alan Lightman; both made major contributions throughout the re-launch, and we thank them both for their hard work on our behalf.


In anticipation of a capital campaign announcement in the fall of 1999, the Association Board of Directors and the Alumni Fund Board appointed a Campaign Strategy Committee. This committee, chaired by DuWayne J. Peterson Jr. '55, included Harl P. Aldrich '47, Bill C. Booziotis AR'60, Brian G.R. Hughes '77, L. Robert Johnson '63, John G. Kassakian '65, James A. Lash '66, Robert A. Muh '59, Hyun-A Park '83, Theresa M. Stone GM'76, and ex officio members Paula J. Olsiewski CM'79 and John A. Morefield '56.

In its report the committee said it would explore "a vision for the Association that encompasses a successful fundraising campaign and suggests what the Association will be at the end of the period in 2005." The vision proposed by the strategy committee was that "all Association initiatives be undertaken with the objective of creating opportunities for substantive engagement for the lifetime of each alumnus/a." This will be the standard by which Association programs in the next five years will be judged. The committee expects that the Association and MIT will be able to extend the MIT community through innovative Web-based programs and at the same time will need to expand and enhance more traditional engagement activities.

This committee proposed five specific initiatives related to campaign fundraising, leaving the campaign goal setting to the Alumni Fund Goals Committee. Proposals addressed graduate alumni, non-alumni parents, undergraduate alumni in reunion years, and undergraduate young alumni. In addition a proposal to provide research support for all these programs was recommended. After review by the Association's Audit and Budget Committee and approval by the Association Board of Directors, this ambitious five year plan was submitted to the Institute for funding in March of 1999.

Also during the past year Association staff members have been working in partnership with Resource Development staff to plan for a campaign communications strategy, to develop Web based support mechanisms for campaign volunteers, to help recruit campaign volunteers, and to plan for the campaign launch. More than ever before, the upcoming campaign has been planned with significant input from experienced Association staff in concert with our Resource Development colleagues.

Supporting Functions

Various administrative groups continued to provide the solid underpinnings to the wealth of activity in the Association and at Technology Review. The Alumni Information Services staff managed the successful conversion of the alumni database to a new client/server environment (after nearly 20 years on a mainframe). This conversion was skillfully executed by AIS programmers, in partnership with colleagues in the Offices of Resource Development and the Treasurer, such that all functions were fully operative and available with virtually no break in service. This new system will give staff access to on-line reporting mechanisms and allow them to control information on their desktop, enhancing their flexibility in supporting alumni volunteers. In addition, the system is much larger and allows AIS staff to store information in much greater quantity, and thus diversity. Again, such a comprehensive database will continue to devolve to the benefit of our alumni constituents.

This year's Alumni Activities Annual Report, produced by AIS staff, was recognized by alumni and MIT colleagues alike for outstanding design and presentation of data. And data entry staff processed tens of thousands of gifts and record updates, supporting ongoing efforts to keep alumni in touch with each other to the greatest degree possible.

Regular staffing issues are reflected in a turnover rate in the average range at 18 percent. As mentioned previously, Technology Review had some significant positions to fill in the areas of MIT News, Web projects and business development. Geographic Programs saw the retirement of long-time staff members Robert D. Blake HM and Janet Serman, while most other groups remained at full staff. Alumni Network Services was granted an addition of two staff to their headcount, and was able to fill only one of these positions, that of Web Projects Manager, during this year. A more senior level programming position has proven to be more of a challenge, though space for new staff is also at a premium. In fact, the extremely tight job market made all searches more formidable than in past years, but in time, excellent candidates continue to be attracted to the dynamic work environment of the Association and the magazine.

The departure of Joe Collins, Director of Operations and the Alumni Fund, engendered a serious look by senior volunteers at the management of the Alumni Fund and activities. It was determined that Joe would not be replaced in kind, but rather that a management team would be put in place to oversee all activity in the Association, exclusive in most respects of the Enterprise Forum and Technology Review. Five current staff members were promoted and will become partners in this effort: Margaret Bruzelius, Director of Alumni Network Services; Elizabeth A. Garvin, Director of the Fund and Class Programs; Joseph P. Recchio, Director of Operations and Support Services; Rosemarie Resnik, Director of Alumni Activities and Geographic Programs; and Diana Tilley Strange, Secretary. These five, along with the Executive Vice President, will be responsible for strategic decisions and long range planning as well as for the day-to-day operations of the Association.

As throughout the Institute, Association financial systems were converted to SAP, and after fairly intensive training, this conversion appears to have become incorporated into the regular business of the Association with ease. For instance, it can be fairly noted that the electronic streamlining afforded by SAP contributed positively to end-of-the-year Tech Week accounting processes. Thanks are due especially to Financial Officer Mary Ellen Gearin for spearheading the effort.

More information about the Association and its activities can be found on the World Wide Web at,, and

William J. Hecht

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99