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2002 Reunion Giving Smashes Last Year’s Mark

The words “record” and “breaking” were heard several times on Technology Day on June 8 as the 2002 reunion gift totals were announced, but the most important record came when Alumni Association president L. Robert Johnson ‘63 revealed that reunion giving had shattered last year’s record.

This year, the Tech Reunions 2002 classes-the 2s and 7s-generously contributed an amazing $90.9 million dollars to the collective reunion gift campaigns. That $90.9 million total, announced by Johnson at the Technology Day luncheon as part of the Tech Reunions celebrations held June 6 to 9, easily surpassed the mark of $76.29 million set just last year by the 2001 reunion campaign. This year’s record-breaking effort comes thanks to the hard work of 17 gift chairs working for 16 reunion classes.

The classes were paced by the Class of 1962, which contributed a record $41.96 million to its 40th reunion; $15.39 million from the Class of 1942’s 60th-reunion gift; and the Class of 1952, whose gift came in at $13.15 million, including the contributions of four members of the class-Ralph W. Bell, Robert H. Damon, Clifford H. Heselton and Paul A. Lux-who have each given to the Alumni Fund every year since they left the Institute as proud graduates half a century ago.

“I was surprised when I got your message.Have I really given every year since I graduated?” Lux wondered recently in a phone conversation from his home in St. Louis. “That’s great. I just always felt I ought to support the Institute because I had gotten what I thought was a very fine education. I just thought it was my responsibility to continue to support MIT.”

Collectively they make a real statement about the importance of annual giving, representing 200 years of financial support of MIT as a group. Lux returned to campus for Tech Reunions and bumped into Damon, who has not only been active in financially supporting MIT but has also been a good volunteer for the Institute, working with the MIT Clubs of St. Louis and Puget Sound and as an educational counselor.

“I guess the answer is not just why I gave when I was a young man, but why does anyone give ever? I have always admired MIT for its commitment to making available a good education to worthy people, regardless of need, and based only on need-not athletic ability or family connections,” said Damon, who lives in Sammamish, WA. “That is why I give back to MIT. And giving for me now is a habit. It is just something I do every year.”

To read more about “200 Years of Giving,” go to the Giving to MIT Web site at web.mit.edu/giving/.

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