MIT President L. Rafael Reif has accepted ALS Ice Bucket Challenges from Harvard University President Drew Faust and the MIT Edgerton Center. The Ice Bucket Challenge is raising funds to help scientists research the causes of and potential treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Reif invited the MIT community to participate with him on Killian Court this morning. He dedicated the event to Karolina Fraczkowska '01, whose husband recently died from the disease.
The challenge, which has gone viral on social media, has raised more than $40 million to date. Those who are called out are asked to pledge either to donate $100 to ALS research or to be doused with ice water. In recent weeks, people have taken to doing both, as President Reif did today.
In true MIT fashion, Reif was doused by student-built contraptions — one for each of his challenges. Members of the Phi Delta Theta and Pi Lambda Phi fraternities brought forth the dousing machines with less than 24 hours’ notice.
Reif now challenges Shruti Sharma, president of the MIT Undergraduate Association; Kendall Nowocin, president of the MIT Graduate Student Council; Thomas Rosenbaum; president of the California Institute of Technology; Christina Paxson, president of Brown University; and Nicholas Dirks, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. They each have 24 hours to respond.