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Surpassing goals, providing opportunities

Robert Edward May 2011“MIT was recently recognized as one of the top universities in this country in enhancing entrepreneurship. That achievement, stemming primarily from efforts and programs launched by MIT Sloan, combined with our historic strengths in finance and in management theory and techniques, has made MIT Sloan the most unique leading institution in global management. It is wonderful to have been a part of this for over five decades and to be able to contribute to its future strengths.”
Edward Roberts, David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology, SB ’57, SM ’58, SM ’60, PhD ’62


As the MIT Sloan Annual Fund surpasses a major milestone—$3.5 million in fiscal year 2012—the energy and excitement around new opportunities and initiatives at the School are palpable. By providing the School with the ability to attract the very best students and faculty and support students as they participate in projects around the world, the Annual Fund is making a difference in nearly every activity at MIT Sloan. Rebecca Kirk Fair, MBA ’02, shares: “By giving to the MIT Sloan Annual Fund, I ensure that the School has the fastest access to the funds and can direct them to the area of most need. I personally feel that the School is best situated to determine where money is best utilized. I am always confident that it will go to enhancing the educational experience.”

That confidence is shared by the more than 3,500 donors to the MIT Sloan Annual Fund, including the 747 alumni who chose to support the School at the Dean’s Circle level during fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012). These generous donors provide support of $1,000 or more to the Annual Fund ($500 for those donors who graduated within the last five years). For Takako Ebata, SM ’92, “a contribution to MIT Sloan is the best way to advance innovation, technology, and management. I really appreciate the culture, history, and environment at MIT Sloan. I hope that my contributions will enhance the School and further its development.”

Time after time, as alumni reflect on their own experiences at MIT Sloan and on why they continue to be involved with the School through volunteerism and philanthropy, they share a consistent message about the impact the School has had on their lives and careers. “The biggest reason that I give back is that I am so appreciative of the experience that I had at MIT Sloan,” said Peter Cooperstein, SM ’81. “The instructors, the deans, the staff—all were so committed to the students and to making sure that we had the best possible educational experience. Our class had so many terrific people and a great camaraderie—giving back helps me stay connected.” When recent graduate William Blodgett, MBA ’12, reflected on his contribution to the Annual Fund through the class gift, he talked about the importance of providing support for future members of the community. “MIT Sloan was transformative for me and continues to shape my life as an alumnus,” said Blodgett. “The way the School inspires students to humbly make a significant difference in the world is a very unique experience. I want to show my gratitude and, like those who came before did for me, do my part to take care of those who come after.”

Being part of the MIT Sloan network is another theme that runs through many of the comments we received about the Annual Fund. “I feel very fortunate to have the affiliation with the School and fortunate that it’s enabled me to further the quality of my life,” reflected Brad Peterson, SM ’89. “One of the reasons I give back is that attending MIT Sloan was a tremendous experience and a life-changing event.” During challenging professional times, Kali Ramachandran, SM ’89, was able to rely on MIT Sloan. “MIT has given me friends throughout the world. The two times in my life when I was out of work and down on my luck, it was my MIT Sloan classmates and the MIT community that helped me get back on my feet again,” reflected Ramachandran. “That is why I annually contribute to the School.”

“MIT Sloan brought each of us opportunities that changed our lives forever. We also continue to be engaged with MIT Sloan in numerous ways, from taking advantage of ongoing education to staying connected with an amazing global network of classmates. It’s natural for us to support the School.” - Amy, MBA ’95, and Tim Rowe, MBA ’95

While motivations vary, the repeated themes of confidence in the School and its leadership, the importance of the network, and the transformative impact of MIT Sloan on the lives of individual donors were common threads from the many generations of alumni who shared their thoughts on the MIT Sloan Annual Fund. Alumnus and faculty member Edward Roberts sums it up well: “I think that philanthropy is motivated by two quite different concepts: ‘pay it back’ and ‘pay it forward.’ I include MIT Sloan in my philanthropy for both reasons. First, I am paying it back for the education I received initially as a graduate student but far more significantly as a faculty member for the past 51 years. I also must pay it forward and give to an organization that will so enhance the future of our society. MIT Sloan’s education programs make such powerful contributions to the mindset, knowledge, and skills of our students that contributing now generates an immense payoff in future years.”

To make a gift to the MIT Sloan Annual Fund, visit: https://giving.mit.edu/sloangift.