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The 16 MIT reunion classes donated a record $75.4 million to the Alumni Fund during fiscal 2001, primarily for scholarship aid, faculty support, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and facilities development. The previous record was $62.7 million in fiscal 1999.
The gifts were announced at the annual Technology Day luncheon at the Johnson Athletic Center on Saturday.
The leading contributor was the Class of 1936, which celebrated its 65th reunion by donating $23.1 million, just $600,000 shy of the record gift from the Class of 1923 at its 65th in 1988. Contributions were made by 74 percent of the members.
The Class of 1951 celebrated its 50th reunion by raising $21.7 million, with 69 percent of members participating. The amount was second only to the Class of 1949's 50th reunion gift of $28.1 million.
The Class of 1976 announced its 25th reunion gift by inviting the audience to calculate the total with hints such as the number of Smoots (364.4) in the Harvard Bridge multiplied by 9466.15, the number of steps in the Green Building (320) times 10,780, and the number of members of the Class of '76 (825) times 4,181.
"For all you Harvard grads in the audience," said class president Robert Lepkowski, "the Class of 1976 is proud to present our 25th reunion gift of $3.5 million from 64 percent of the class."
The Class of 1996 donated $457,127, setting a fifth-reunion record.
"The generosity of our alumni is always a matter of serious practical importance," President Charles M. Vest said at the luncheon. "We simply could not do what we do without your continued help. But your gifts also have a larger value in that they represent a crucial vote of confidence.
"For those of us involved in the daily life and work of the campus, your gifts are a great reassurance that MIT is still your MIT, an institution that meets your demanding standards and continues to earn your respect."
Association of MIT Alumni and Alumnae President Paul Rudovsky (SB 1966) introduced two new honorary members of the association: Thomas R. Henneberry, MIT's director of insurance and legal affairs for 11 years, and Bonnie S. Jones, who has served the association in a number of positions for 25 years.
He also bid farewell to Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow (SB 1972), who will become president of Tufts University next semester after 24 years on the MIT faculty." We will miss your compassion, humor and very, very strong leadership," Mr. Rudovsky said. Professor Bacow's wife, Adele Fleet Bacow, graduated from MIT in 1977.
Before adjourning the luncheon, Mr. Rudovsky presented the gavel to the incoming president of the Alumni Association, L. Robert Johnson (SB 1963), who received the Bronze Beaver Award in 1992 in recognition of his leadership. "I know he will be an effective and energetic president," said Mr. Rudovsky. Mr. Johnson will be the Alumni Association's 107th president.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 13, 2001.