Margaret (Peg) Warner, special assistant to the executive vice president and treasurer, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 7, at her Lexington home after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 67.
Peg began her career at MIT in 1998 as associate director of the Office of Budget and Financial Planning, responsible for Institute financial planning and budget development, submission and reporting. Appointed as special assistant to the EVP and treasurer in 2007, Peg used her deep knowledge of MIT, particularly of campus/capital planning activities, to provide invaluable and outstanding service.
She began her financial career 39 years ago at the Harvard University Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, where she was division administrator for the Radio and Geoastronomy Division. In 1984 she joined Raytheon Company, where she served first as business and program manager for several profit centers and later as marketing manager and director of competitive intelligence for Raytheon Service Company. While managing professional, technical and field personnel in the United States and Egypt, Peg also established a computer system to manage finances and logistics for critical air shipment of parts and assemblies to Cairo.
A native Californian, Peg graduated from Stanford University with a BA in French Literature and from Harvard University with an MA in Romance Languages and Literature; she was fluent in French, Italian and Spanish. She received an MBA from Boston University in 1984. A tireless volunteer for the causes in which she believed, Peg served on numerous non-profit arts, civic and cultural boards in the Boston area, including the Museum of Science (where she served on the Finance Committee), the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MIT Museum Advisory Board, the Friends of the Public Garden, Light Boston (an organization dedicated to illuminating Boston's historic buildings), Arts in Education "Think Tank", the Harvard University Credit Union and the Five Fields Neighborhood Association in Lexington. She was active in several animal welfare groups around the country including the Charles River Feline Association and the Somerville Alley Cats.
Friends fondly remember Peg's whimsical, off-beat sense of humor; her voracious love of all things edible, especially sweets; her interesting tales of MIT, Harvard and California; and, of course, her delightful stories about and love for her three cats, Thomas, Lucy and Ida. Peg enjoyed gardening, hiking, horseback riding, traveling and spending time in her log cabin in the New Hampshire woods. She loved to attend theater, dance, and music concerts and especially enjoyed having lunch with friends and colleagues around the Institute.
"Peg was a very truly special person and friend," said Vice President for Finance Israel Ruiz. "Everyone in the MIT community that got to meet Peg knows that, beyond her passion for budgets and watching MIT's financial 'bottom line,' she had a myriad of wonderful interests and talents.
"Personally, I always looked forward to having an enriching end-of-the-day conversation with her. She embraced me and counseled me since my first day at MIT and always made sure to look after me from a distance," Ruiz added. "Despite my great sorrow at her passing away, I find comfort in remembering our shared moments and great memories of our many years working together with shared passion for MIT."
She will be fondly remembered for her delightful spirit, her sincerity and her loyalty to her many friends at MIT. She will be tremendously missed by all.
A memorial service celebrating Peg's life will be held at 3:30 p.m.Â Tuesday, March 24Â in the MIT Chapel,Â followed by a reception.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 25, 2009 (download PDF).