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Reunion classes increase giving by $7M

From Tech Night at the Pops to families merrily competing during Tech Challenge games, more than 3,200 alumni and guests gathered last weekend to renew their MIT connections. They also honored this lifelong tie to the Institute as they announced class giving results at the annual Tech Day luncheon at the Johnson Athletic Center June 9. In all, the classes from 1922 through 2007 donated $53,869,125--more than $7 million above last year's reunion results.

The Class of 1957, many in new jackets to reflect the 41-year-old tradition of donning red blazers beginning with the 50th reunion, added to their class history of philanthropy with a five-year giving total of $12,568,341. Class members gave at a high rate--68.7 percent made a gift.

The senior class, which faced the challenge of besting last year's record-breaking participation rate of 51 percent, passed that mark shortly before Commencement and turned in a 52 percent giving rate. Their donation to MIT included $11,875 plus $15,000 in challenge funds from outgoing MIT Alumni Association President Martin Tang (S.M. 1972).

President Susan Hockfield thanked senior class president Susan Shin '07 during Commencement for the gift and the 10-month fundraising effort. "Thank you very much for the enthusiasm that 52 percent represents," she said.

Three classes set new giving records: the 80th reunion Class of '27 with $8,902,542; the 45th reunion Class of '62 with $8,848,145; and the 35th reunion Class of '72 with $3,774,133. The 60th reunion Class of '47 reached a notable participation level at 81.6 percent.

Tang also applauded the strong results of the MIT10 Power of Participation challenge. Tang had pledged to contribute $100,000 to support students at MIT if undergraduates who earned their degrees in the past 10 years increased their collective participation by 50 percent to 3,000 donors. Although the challenge extends until June 30, Tang released $50,000 to acknowledge the 2,500 donors who have given $384,633 as of June 11. "Some said that achieving an increase to 3,000 donors would be impossible," Tang noted. "My checkbook indicates the naysayers were wrong!"

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 13, 2007 (download PDF).

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