Corporation elects two life members and 11 term members


The MIT Corporation, the Institute's board of trustees, elected two life members and 11 term members at its quarterly meeting on June 7, just before MIT's 136th Commencement exercises. Alex d'Arbeloff, chairman of the Corporation, announced the election results.

All memberships are effective July 1. As of that date, the Corporation will consist of 64 distinguished leaders in education, science, engineering and industry, 20 of them life members. Another 33 individuals are life members emeriti, participating in meetings but without a vote.

The officers ex officio of the Corporation are the chairman, Mr. d'Arbeloff (S.B. 1949); the president, Charles M. Vest; the treasurer, Allan S. Bufferd (S.B. 1959, S.M., Sc.D.); and the vice president and secretary, Kathryn A. Willmore. Additional ex officio members are the president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, and the Massachusetts governor, commissioner of education and chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.

The following were elected to Corporation life membership:

Arthur Gelb (Sc.D. 1961), retired co-founder, chairman and CEO of TASC (The Analytic Sciences Corp.) and president of Four Sigma Corp.

Gelb earned the Sc.D. in instrumentation (systems engineering) from MIT after receiving the B.E.E. degree from City College of New York in 1968 and a master's degree from Harvard in 1969. He co- founded TASC in 1966, serving as its president, CEO and chair from 1966-91, when TASC was acquired by Primark Corp. TASC activities range from advanced navigation, guidance and communication systems for national defense to civilian weather data distribution and power utility software. Gelb is also president of Four Sigma, which develops mathematical, computer-based trading methods for financial markets.

Gelb, a Life Sustaining Fellow, has been a member of the Corporation since 1995 and served on its Executive Committee from 1997-99. He was chair of the advisory boards for the Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development from 1987-98 and Lincoln Laboratory since 1998. Gelb currently chairs the visiting committee for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and serves on committees for electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), the Media Laboratory/MAS program, brain and cognitive sciences, and the Engineering Systems Division.

Ronald A. Kurtz (S.B. 1954, S.B. 1959, S.M.), president of Cambridge Corp. and Commerce Graphics, Ltd.

Kurtz received S.B. degrees in industrial management and metallurgy and the S.M. in metallurgy, all from MIT. He was president of Kulite Tungsten Corp., which makes tungsten materials for the aerospace, medical, electronic and sporting goods industries, from 1970 until the sale of its tungsten division to CSM Industries in 1997. Cambridge Corp., the firm that resulted from that sale, is largely an investment company. Kurtz is president of Commerce Graphics, a distributor of fine art photographs.

A Corporation member since 1994, Kurtz has sat on the Auditing Committee since 1996 and the Corporation Development Committee since 1987. He has been a member of the Council for the Arts at MIT since 1983 and was on the Educational Council from 1979-1987. He became a Founding Life Sustaining Fellow in 1979. Kurtz won the Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award in 1994 and the Marshall B. Dalton '15 Award in 2000. Kurtz, who chairs the visiting committee for the Department of Architecture, also serves on the visiting committees for the Sloan School of Management; materials science and engineering; and earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences (EAPS).

The following were nominated by the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT and elected to five-year term membership:

Mark R. Epstein (S.B. 1963, S.M.), senior vice president of Qualcomm Inc.

After receiving two degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, Epstein earned the Ph.D. from Stanford in 1968. He has held his current position since 1986 at Qualcomm, where he guides corporate international development activities, technical standards and the development of intercorporate relationships in support of the company's wireless businesses. From 1980-86, he was deputy for communications, command, control and intelligence in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Army, where he led the Army's electronic research and development programs.

Epstein is a member of MIT's Council for the Arts and Educational Council, and is president of the MIT Club of Washington.

L. Robert Johnson (S.B. 1963), managing partner of Founders Capital Partners, L.P.

Johnson, who received his MIT degree in physics before earning an M.B.A. from Harvard, has worked in investment analysis, merchant banking and venture capital with several firms. In 1981, he co-founded Angenics, Inc., a biotechnology company. The business was acquired, and in 1988, he established Founders Capital Partners to invest in early-stage high-tech businesses.

Johnson is the outgoing president of the MIT Alumni Association and has held several other positions within that organization. He has been a Corporation member since 1996 and has served on three visiting committees and on the Corporation Development Committee since 1988. He will continue as chair of the visiting committee for the Department of Physics. He became a Life Sustaining Fellow in 1979. Johnson has won MIT's Henry B. Kane Award, the Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award, the Bronze Beaver Award and the Marshall B. Dalton '15 Award.

Jorge E. Rodriguez (S.B. 1960, S.M., Ph.D.), principal of Knowledge Management Associates, Inc.

Rodriguez, a native of Camag��ey, Cuba, attended the University of Havana from 1953-58, then entered MIT as a transfer student and earned three degrees in electrical engineering. On the research staff of the MIT Electronic Systems Laboratory from 1961-69, he was instrumental in the development of AED, an early component-based approach to system building. He was a founder of SofTech, Inc., serving in several capacities there from 1969-88, after which he founded Rodriguez Systems, Inc., a consulting company involving software-intensive systems. In 1995, he founded Knowledge Management Associates, which builds strategic information systems for companies using Internet, intranet, PC and handheld computing technology.

Rodriguez's MIT activities include serving as chair of the Lifelong Learning Committee from 1998-99 and the Technology Day Committee in 1993-94, and as a member of the Corporation Development Committee. He has won the Bronze Beaver Award (1999) and the Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award (1994).

The following new Corporation members were nominated by the Corporation Membership Committee and elected to five-year term membership:

Paul J. Ferri , general partner of Matrix Partners.

Ferri, a native of Rome, holds degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell and the Polytechnic Institute of New York, and an M.B.A from Columbia. A venture capitalist for 30 years, he was the founding partner of Waltham-based Matrix Partners in 1982. He has worked with hundreds of high-tech entrepreneurs, including many MIT graduates. In 2001, Forbes magazine named him one of the "20 best VCs of all time."

Alan G. Spoon (S.B. and S.M., 1973), managing general partner of Polaris Venture Partners, LLC.

After earning two degrees from the Sloan School of Management, Spoon received a law degree from Harvard in 1976. From 1991-2000, he worked for the Washington Post Co. as president, chief operating officer and member of its board of directors. Previously, he was president of Newsweek and supervising executive for Post-Newsweek (Television) Stations. Since 2000, he has been managing general partner at Polaris Venture Partners, a venture capital firm with investments in information technology and life sciences enterprises.

Spoon has been on the Dean's Advisory Council at the Sloan School since 1999.

The following were nominated by the Corporation Membership Committee and re-elected to five-year term membership:

Norman E. Gaut (S.M. 1964, Ph.D.), former chair and CEO of PictureTel Corp.

Gaut enrolled at MIT and earned advanced degrees in planetary geophysics after earning a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He was trained as a meteorologist by the U.S. Air Force, where he served from 1959-62. He co-founded Environmental Research and Technology, Inc., in 1968 and was with the company until 1985. He then joined PictureTel and was president and CEO from 1986-97 and 1998-2001.

Gaut has been a member of the Corporation since 1997 and has served on its Auditing Committee since 2000. He became a Founding Life Sustaining Fellow in 1979. Currently serving as chair of the visiting committee for EAPS, Gaut also sits on the visiting committees for Whitaker College and the Department of Mathematics.

Susan E. Whitehead , chair of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Whitehead received the B.S. from Cornell in 1976 and the J.D. from Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in 1982. From 1989-93, she maintained a private law practice in Boston, specializing in criminal defense litigation. She has also worked as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, and for the Brooklyn Law School and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Whitehead, a Corporation member since 1997, is a lifetime board member of the Whitehead Institute, which was founded in 1982 by her father, philanthropist Jack Whitehead. She has served on several Corporation committees, including Membership and Auditing, and four visiting committees, chairing the committee for the Biological Engineering Division.

Robert E. Wilhelm (S.B. 1962), retired director and senior vice president of Exxon Corp.

Wilhelm, who received his undergraduate degree in humanities and science from MIT and an M.B.A. from Harvard, spent his entire career at Exxon until his retirement in 2000. He was responsible for Exxon's worldwide marketing, refining and transportation of petroleum products; research in petroleum products and processes; accounting and financial controls; and United States petroleum and natural gas business.

A Corporation member since 1997, he became a Life Member of the Sustaining Fellows Program in 1985. He has served on the Educational Council and is a member of the Corporation Development Committee, and is a long-time member of the visiting committee for the Department of Political Science.

Nominated by the Corporation Membership Committee and elected to a three-year term was James H. Simons (S.B. 1958), president of Renaissance Technologies Corp.

Simons received the S.B. in mathematics from MIT and the Ph.D. in 1962 from the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1976, he has established and managed several private investment advisory companies devoted primarily to trading securities and other financial instruments. He founded Renaissance Technologies in 1982.

Prior to his financial career, he chaired the mathematics department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1968-76, was a cryptanalyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton from 1964-68, and taught mathematics at MIT and Harvard from 1961-64. He won the Veblen Prize in geometry from the American Mathematical Society in 1975. Simons has served on the visiting committee for the Department of Mathematics since 1993.

Nominated by the Corporation Membership Committee and elected to a one-year term was Theresa M. Stone (S.M. 1976), president of broadcasting for Jefferson-Pilot Communications Co. and chief financial officer for Jefferson-Pilot Financial.

Stone received her master's degree in management from MIT after earning the B.A. degree in French literature from Wellesley College in 1966 and studying Romance languages at Cornell from 1966-70. She worked in high-level positions for Morgan Stanley and Co., Inc., and the Chubb Corp. before joining Jefferson-Pilot in 1997.

Stone's MIT activities include membership on the Corporation from 1996-2001 and on its Development Committee, Investment Committee and Joint Advisory Committee on Institute-Wide Affairs, as well as three visiting committees in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. She is also a current member of the Council for the Arts and the Dean's Advisory Committee for the Sloan School.

Elected as a member of recent classes for a five-year term was Jennifer A. Frank (S.B. 2000), area director for housing and residence life at Tulane University. Frank received the Ed.M. in higher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education after earning her undergraduate degree in biology from MIT. While at the Institute, she was heavily involved in student government and residence life, holding internships to redesign the summer housing selection process and to implement the Fire Safety Systems Renewal Project. She was president of the Dormitory Council and a member of the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor, and president and rush chair of the East Campus House Committee. She won the Karl Taylor Compton Prize in 2000.

Chairman d'Arbeloff also noted the selection of James A. Lash (S.B. 1966) as the 2002-03 president of the Alumni Association. Lash is chair of Manchester Principal LLC. He received an M.B.A. from Tulane in 1966 after earning the S.B. in aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. During the 1960s, Lash worked on the Apollo program for the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and Boeing. He then served as assistant dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Tulane and taught graduate-level courses in information technology. In the 1970s and 1980s, in addition to his investment activities, he was a management consultant.

A Corporation member since 2000, Lash is a member of the Campaign Steering Committee and the Corporation Development Committee. His many other MIT activities include serving on the Alumni Network Services Advisory Board and the Alumni Fund Board, and membership on two visiting committees. He became a Life Sustaining Fellow in 1979 and has won the Harold E. Lobdell '17 Distinguished Service Award and the Henry B. Kane '24 Award.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 12, 2002.

Topics: Administration

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