More than 3,300 alumni and guests -- from 106-year-old Charles Yardley Chittick (S.B. 1922) to the youngest Class of 2006 members -- gathered last weekend to celebrate their MIT connections and give back to the Institute. Alumni gifts to MIT, reported at the annual Tech Day luncheon at the Johnson Athletic Center on Saturday, June 10, totaled $46,511,164.
The Class of 1956, which honored the 40-year-old tradition of donning red blazers at their 50th reunion, added to their class history of philanthropy with a five-year giving total of $12,353,460. Reunion gift co-chair Harris Weinstein (S.B. 1956, S.M. 1958) noted that the class, which previously established a faculty chair and a scholarship fund, this year inaugurated a student life fund.
The senior class, spurred by a challenge grant from outgoing MIT Alumni Association President Scott Marks, reported 50 percent participation for the Class of 2006 total gift of $31,614.
"This 50 percent participation rate set a new Institute record, but even more important, it set a new standard for class giving going forward," said President Susan Hockfield,
The giving reports include a dollar record for the 10th reunion class, 1996, which raised $136,515 from 22.6 percent of alumni. The Class of 1966 posted a 75 percent participation rate, breaking the record for a 40th reunion class, with gifts totaling $6,491,165. The 25th reunion class, 1981, turned in a $3,172,728 gift with 66.5 percent participation.
Three people were named honorary members of the MIT Alumni Association, a tradition since 1897. Dean for Graduate Students Ike Colbert, aeronautics and astronautics head Wesley L. Harris, and New House housemaster Liba Mikic earned the honor for their outstanding service to the association and the Institute.