Al and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center DAPER
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Al and Barrie Zesiger
Al and Barrie Zesiger

Al and Barrie Zesiger, in whose honor the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center is named, are generous and active benefactors of MIT. Their extraordinary philanthropic support of MIT athletics reflects a deeply held commitment to lifetime health and fitness. Mr. Zesiger, for example, has run 17 marathons, climbed a number of major peaks-including Mount Rainer, Mount Washington, and Mount Kilamanjaro-and is a dedicated open water long-distance swimmer. The couple has swum together from Alcatraz to San Francisco, and from San Francisco to Marin County under the Golden Gate Bridge. The two have given expression to their commitment not only to MIT but also in New York City. There, a major athletic facility known as Asphalt Green, which includes the only public Olympic-standard swimming pool in the city, was constructed largely thanks to their leadership and philanthropy.

The Zesigers have been generous with their time and leadership skills as well as their resources. Barrie Zesiger is a member of the MIT Corporation and was recently named to the Corporation’s Executive Committee. She also chairs the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Visiting Committee and is a member of the Dean for Undergraduate Education Visiting Committee. Mr. Zesiger is a member of the Corporation Development Committee, Athletics Visiting Committee, and the National Business Committee.

Al Zesiger is a 1951 graduate of the Institute, where he majored in civil engineering and was in both sports and musical groups. After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, he worked in manufacturing and later in investments for a series of firms, including General Tire and Rubber, the Anchor Group of Mutual Funds, and Lazard Freres. He founded his first company, BEA Associates, in 1968, and, after its sale to Credit Suisse, launched his current firm, Zesiger Capitol Group LLC, in 1995.

Barrie Zesiger holds a doctor of law degree from Stanford University. After receiving her J.D., she served as a securities analyst with the Madison Fund. She also was a lawyer in private practice from1974 to 1984, specializing in land-use law, which included the drafting of the California Coastal Act for the state legislature. While devoting much of her time since then to leading philanthropic ventures, she also is a managing director in Zesiger Capitol Group LLC.

The Zesigers’ giving to MIT is not restricted to Athletics. Mr. Zesiger, for example, created an endowment for fellowships in economics, Mrs. Zesiger has supported the MIT Council for Economics, and the two have made joint contributions to such entities as the World Economy Laboratory at MIT. Their giving reflects both a philanthropic spirit and a deep dedication to the Institute. Mr. Zesiger has remarked that he sees his giving as the repayment of a debt. “When I went to MIT, the world opened up,” he says. “I’ve done well in business, and I wanted to give something back.”


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