The 2005 Alumni Leadership Conference brought more than 375 MIT alumni and guests to campus Sept. 23-24 to honor outstanding volunteers -- including MIT Professor Rafael Bras -- and to brainstorm ways to strengthen the alumni network and raise funds for MIT.
Bras, the Edward A. Abdun-Nur Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won the MIT Alumni Association's highest award, the Bronze Beaver, for his successful fund raising and his service on the Alumni Association Board and Annual Fund Board. Bras, a hydrologist, holds three MIT degrees -- S.B. '72, S.M. '74 and Sc.D. '75. Bronze Beavers also went to Southwest Florida volunteer Frank Hulswit '49 and New Jersey club leader Dale Schain Krouse '71.
The MIT Alumni Association builds connections among the 117,000 alumni in 149 countries and between these alumni and the Institute. Association groups, led by 8,502 volunteers, host more than 1,500 events a year. In fiscal year 2005, alumni gifts totaled $33 million for the Alumni Fund.
President Susan Hockfield saluted the volunteers' efforts -- and asked for more. "I have seen the spectacular benefit that MIT gets from its incredibly devoted alumni," she told the audience. "I view this group as our information army, and your dedication and help in spreading the news about MIT is important beyond description. The nation desperately needs the kind of inspiration that comes out of MIT."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 28, 2005 (download PDF).