Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Joseph S. Collins ended his 20-year tenure as director of the MIT Alumni/ae Fund by announcing record donations for the fourth consecutive year as the fund celebrated its 60th anniversary.
In making the announcement at a celebration at the University Park Hotel on July 19, Mr. Collins said $28.8 million had been contributed in 1999 by more than 30,000 alumni/ae, their families, parents and friends of the Institute.
Mr. Collins, who joined MIT in1969 and became director of operations of the MIT Association of Alumni/ae in 1995, has resigned his dual positions to accept a special campaign assignment with the Alumni/ae Association and the Office of Resource Development, effective September 1.
"It's been a privilege to serve as director of the Alumni Fund for such a long period, working with our alumni leaders and committed, effective staff colleagues," he said.
"We will not even try to replace Joe; he is clearly irreplaceable," said Executive Vice President William J. Hecht, head of the Alumni/ae Association. "Going forward, there will not be a number two chief operating officer."
Instead, Mr. Hecht has created a management team that includes Elizabeth A. Garvin, director of the Alumni/ae Fund and Class Programs; Joseph P. Recchio, director of operations and support; Rosemarie Resnik, director of alumni activities and geographic programs; Margaret Bruzelius, director of Alumni Network Services; and Diana T. Strange, secretary.
"This management team will be responsible for strategic decisions and long-range planning as well as for the day-to-day operations of the organization," said Mr. Hecht.
A 1963 graduate of the US Naval Academy, Mr. Collins came to MIT as the special assistant on urban relations in the Corporation chair's office in 1969 upon his discharge from the Navy. He became Midwest regional director for the Association in 1976 and director of the Alumni/ae Fund in 1979. He added the title of director of operations of the Alumni/ae Association in1995. From 1986-88, he also served as executive officer of the Corporation Development Committee.
Under his direction, the Alumni/ae Fund grew from $5.1 million and 21,891 donors in fiscal 1979 to $28.8 million from 30,366 donors in fiscal 1999. His tenure saw the development of programs in reunion giving and graduate alumni/ae giving, the launch of the Parent Fund, and the successful implementation of a range of activities in the Campaign for the Future from 1987-92.
"The success of the fund is due to the excellence of alumni/ae volunteer leaders," he said. More than 1,800 alumni/ae volunteers participated in fundraising activities last year.
"The growth in our total giving from alumni/ae in recent years has been nothing short of extraordinary," said Barbara G. Stowe, vice president for resource development. "We are building an entirely new generation of private support for MIT and our success is due in no small measure to the leadership Joe and his Association colleagues have provided."
Mr. Collins, a retired captain in the US Naval Reserve, became an honorary member of the Alumni/ae Association in 1986. He has been an adjunct professor in the Lesley College School of Management since 1996.
A version of this article appeared in the September 11, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 44, Number 2).