New Endowment Deepens Commitment to Diversity

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have long been important at MIT Sloan—even more so after events in 2020 underscored urgent, widespread societal issues. The MIT Sloan Endowment for Enduring Diversity and Inclusion (EED), established in 2020, reflects a strengthened commitment to DEI at MIT Sloan. Fellowships established by donors as part of the EED directly encourage and empower students from underrepresented populations and are designed to increase diversity, not just in the accepted student population but also in the yield of those diverse applicants. But what does this look like practically?

In short, the aim is to expand and deepen DEI across all facets of students’ experience from orientation to beyond graduation. In the classroom, funds provided through the EED will diversify materials and experiences, including classroom content like case studies and simulations, Action Learning Labs, co-curricular activities, and the MIT Sloan Intensive Period. The EED will also contribute funds toward creating an ongoing diverse speaker series and expanding the diversity of existing speaker events.

MIT Sloan alumni have already been showing their support through the establishment of fellowship funds matched by the EED. Dr. Tamara (Lucero) Rajaram, MBA ’01, and Gokul Rajaram, MBA ’01, chose the EED as a way to help future students experience the same educational opportunities they did.

Mindy Hsu, LGO ’06, and David Lee, MBA ’04, decided to support the EED after seeing the underrepresentation of women in STEM via the experiences of their two young daughters. Chris Chia, MBA ’98, and his wife Karen created the Chris and Karen Chia Fellowship Fund as part of the EED to give back, particularly to those impacted by the pandemic. Yu-Ting Kuo, SM ’94, made a gift to the EED to remove obstacles and fuel a trend where graduate schools truly value diversity.

David Gitlin, SF ’03, and his wife Stephanie were also inspired to establish the Gitlin Family Sloan Fellowship Fund to support at least one MIT Sloan Fellow in perpetuity. “With this fellowship, we hope to encourage more representation at MIT Sloan in order to put more Black leaders in C-suites everywhere. It is very important that people see themselves represented on their company’s senior leadership team,” said David.

To date, alumni and friends have established 16 fellowships for students from underrepresented backgrounds and allocated $11 million in matching funds towards DEI through the EED. Thanks in part to these efforts, the incoming class of MIT Sloan MBA students was one of the most diverse ever. Through the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2022), MIT will match endowed fellowship gifts two to one, which continues to strengthen the EED’s efforts.

“The impact that fellowships make on the composition of the incoming class is significant,” said Dawna Levenson, SB ’83, SM ’84 (Assistant Dean, Admissions). “Candidates we admit to our programs are often in demand by other schools as well. Our goal is to ensure that funding is not a factor for someone to turn down our offer.”