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Class gift campaign commences

Students in the MIT Executive MBA program are going for a third year of perfect participation in their class gift to the MIT Sloan Annual Fund.

“Our goal remains 100 percent class participation and we’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it,” said Marc Badiane, EMBA ’15, following the first multi-program kickoff event for the annual class gift campaign.

Badiane joined more than 125 students, faculty, and staff at the MIT Media Lab March 30 to help launch the campaign, a student-led fundraising effort for the MIT Sloan Annual Fund.

Each degree program runs its own campaign and fundraising goal, but the multi-program event, which included the MBA and Leaders for Global Operations programs, MIT Executive MBA, MIT Sloan Fellows, Master of Finance, and Master of Science in Management Studies programs, was designed to bring the classes together, said Renee Hirschberg, associate director of alumni relations and annual giving.

“We are really looking to educate our student body more on the annual fund and why it’s important to give,” Hirschberg said.

The MIT Sloan Annual Fund provides unrestricted support for student fellowships, faculty research, alumni engagement, and the overall student experience. Many people do not realize that tuition only covers about 60 percent of the cost of a student’s education at MIT Sloan, Hirschberg said. Philanthropic support helps offset the remaining cost of tuition.

“Educating our students about the importance of giving back is at the heart of the campaign,” Hirschberg said.

Last year, the MBA and Leaders for Global Operations class raised more than $300,000 for the fund. Ninety-three percent of the class gave to the fund, a record participation rate.

For the past two years, 100 percent of the MIT Executive MBA class has participated in its class gift campaign, and last year students raised a record $433,459 in gifts and pledges, a number Badiane and his fellow committee members plan to reach again.

“The class gift kickoff event was so inspirational,” Badiane said. “The campaign is a remarkable opportunity to leave a legacy here at MIT Sloan, which will always belong to all of us.”

Jason Shapiro, MBA ’15, a co-chair of the MBA and Leaders for Global Operations class gift committee, agreed.

“It was wonderful to have students from multiple programs in one place listening to personal stories about how the class gift impacts everyone at MIT Sloan … We’re also excited about the new social media drive complementing the campaign,” he said, referring to the #SloaniesGiveBack campaign on social media.

The goal is to raise these pledges by commencement on June 5, Hirschberg said.

The MIT Sloan Lewent Challenge has also launched, with a goal of increasing alumni participation in the MIT Sloan Annual Fund. If the school can acquire a total of 4,000 donors in this fiscal year and raise the alumni participation rate by 3 percent, Judy Lewent, SM ’72, and her husband, Mark Shapiro, will donate $200,000 to the fund.

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