Members of 16 classes -- from 1923 to 1998 -- announced gifts totaling $45.95 million to MIT during the annual Technology Day luncheon at the Johnson Athletic Center last Saturday, including a record $13.18 million from the class of 1948 to commemorate its 50th reunion.
The class of 1958 celebrated its 40th reunion by pledging $6.76 million, and the class of 1973 marked its 25th with a $2.28 million gift.
Record gifts were also announced by the classes of 1983 ($467,278) and 1978 ($2.69 million). Without mounting an organized campaign, the class of 1923 announced a donation of $2.58 million.
Noting that the class of 1947 had challenged his class to exceed its gift of $11.78 million a year ago, class of '48 gift chair Peter St. Germain announced with pride the goal of "pie squared plus delta (about $10 million)," and the class of '47 mark was resoundingly smashed. The announcement was made 50 years to the day after their graduation, Mr. St. Germain said.ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½
Moved by President William J. Clinton's offhand remark that he was "scientifically challenged"ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½during his Commencement speech, Gregory Moore, gift co-chair for the class of 1973 with Robert Millard, exhorted his classmates toï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½"recapture the activism of the '70sï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ let'sï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½put an MIT graduate behind the desk in the Oval Office rather than in front of it."
In accepting the gifts, President Charles M. Vest foresaw a thriving MIT in the future built on "the mutually reinforcing values" of education, research and community.
"MIT has enjoyed considerable success as a launching pad for new ventures in research, in teaching and in business, but all of our energy, innovation and entrepreneurialism will do us no good unless it remains rooted in the set of shared community values which has nourished our success," Dr. Vest said.
"As alumni and alumnae of MIT, your participation in building that community and preserving those values will be a crucial factor in the Institute's ability to achieve our vision for the next century.
"By your presence here today, you have signaled your willingness to be part of that process and affirmed that MIT remains the kind of vibrant, diverse and close-knit community that makes all things possible," President Vest said.
The luncheon concluded with the introduction of the incoming president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae, John Morefield '56. "I have been pleased and privileged to serve as the 103rd president of our association, and I am equallyï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½privileged today to present the association's new president with his gavel," said the outgoing president, Robert M. Metcalfe '68.
Francis H. McGrory, MIT associate treasurer and director of capital gifts and legal affairs, was made an honorary member of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae. Mr. McGrory, an MIT employee since 1957, joined Rebecca Vest in being honored this year. The announcement of Mrs. Vest's honorary membership was made at Tech Night at the Pops on Thursday by conductor Keith Lockhart. Mrs. Vest, who had attended the last seven Tech Day luncheons, did not come this year because she accompanied her mother to a family wedding in Chicago.
"I know that she was disappointed not to be here this weekend at all of the alumni events,"ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½said Mr.ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½Metcalfe. "We are honored to have such a wonderful first lady of MIT and I hope, Chuck, that you will pass on congratulations from all present today."
Other gifts from reunion classes included:
1998 -- $26,200
1993 -- $56,137
1988 -- $42,036
1968 -- $578,849
1963 -- $1.12 million
1953 -- $756,858
1943 -- $678,320
1938 -- $3.22 million
1933 -- $3.18 million
1928 -- $10.91 million
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 10, 1998.