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Bowman gift to endow research

MIT has received a $1 million gift, its largest ever from an African-American alumnus, which will provide an endowment for research in cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

President Charles M. Vest announced the gift at the Institute's annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The late Charlotte Nowak Bowman, who died in December, established the William Bowman Fund in memory of her late husband and in honor of his admiration of MIT, Dr. Vest said.

Mr. Bowman, a member of the Class of 1944, spent most of his career as a pioneer in aerodynamic design at Ford Motor Co. and headed that section at his retirement. In his 50th reunion class notes in 1994, Dr. Vest said, Mr. Bowman listed as his life's highlights being admitted to MIT, receiving his degree and marrying Charlotte.

This "magnificent leadership gift" reflects "the vision of an MIT graduate who made a big difference in the world and is now making a big difference in MIT," Dr. Vest said.

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