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Alumni Volunteer Connection
September 1, 2003

Elizabeth A. Garvin HM heads Alumni Association

On July 1, 2003, Elizabeth A. Garvin HM officially became executive vice president and CEO of the MIT Alumni Association. Garvin was handed the reins by William J. Hecht ‘61, who had served in the role for the past 23 years.

“I inherited a nationally renowned association from Bill Hecht and the board,” says Garvin, “so I have a tremendous advantage from the outset.” Garvin, who has an MA in education from Stanford and a BA in English literature from the University of Cincinnati, points to the achievements of Hecht and his staff as a strong foundation on which to build. “Working with Bill and the staff of professionals he assembled over the years has been a great experience for me. One of the important lessons Bill always demonstrated is that alumni are the Institute’s most precious resource. They serve as our recruiters, ambassadors, and living testaments to the important work being done here. My job is to make sure we continue to nurture that great strength.”

Garvin will be the first woman to serve as executive vice president and CEO of the Alumni Association, a distinction that she downplays. “Many women are involved in leadership roles at MIT,” says Garvin. “So that aspect is really not new to the Institute. I view this as a natural evolution of my past experience with the Alumni Association.”

Garvin, who has been at MIT for over 17 years, has been director of reunion giving, director of class programs, alumni fund director, and most recently, managing director of the Alumni Association. One of the Association’s challenges going forward, says Garvin, will be communications. “Media and communication methods are rapidly changing, and alumni are busier than ever before, so keeping them informed and closely connected to MIT will be critical.”

Garvin says she has spent the past several months doing informal surveys and asking questions about the role the Association has played historically and what opportunities are available to it in the near future. “The interaction with alumni over the years has been the best preparation for the job,” she continued. “I’ve learned from them what’s vital to MIT, its world-class achievements in education, in research, and in developing great ideas and leaders for the future. It has been, and will continue to be, a great privilege to work with alumni.”

Reunion ‘03: Weekend To Remember

More than 2,400 alumni and guests returned to Cambridge June 68 for Tech Reunions, braving temperamental weather to gather among friends and mark significant milestones. “MIT’s already a lively place, but it was thrilling to see the campus come alive with the whole MIT community represented-alumni, friends, students, and parents,” says Monica Ellis ‘91, director of class programs.

Among the highlights of the weekend were tours and department receptions on Friday and the Technology Day symposium on Saturday. “Fast Times at MIT: What’s New, What’s Next-Now What?” featured presentations by faculty from each of the five schools at MIT, which were well received by the capacity crowd at Kresge Auditorium.

The downpour Saturday afternoon didn’t dampen the spirits of attendees at the Tech Night Dinner, where reunion gifts were announced. Gasps were audible when Alumni Association president James A. Lash ‘66 announced the record-breaking reunion gift total, $179.3 million-far surpassing the prior record of $90.7 million set last year. At the Pops concert following the dinner, the crowd enjoyed selections by Bach, Stravinsky, and John Williams, as well as a moving rendition of “In Praise of MIT,” dedicated to the Alumni Association’s departing executive vice president and CEO Bill Hecht ‘61.

On Sunday the weather improved enough for the Reunion Row, where the Class of 1963 prevailed, amid stiff competition from the Classes of 1973, 1958, and 1953. And the Class of 1978 took first place at the Tech Challenge Games, to the delight of scores of onlookers.

For more highlights see page 6 or view the reunion slide show at If you’re celebrating a reunion in 2004, it’s a great way to see the fun that awaits you next June!

Members of the Class of 1993 at their Welcome Back event on Baker House rooftop. Left to right: Paul Grewal, Natalya Eliashberg, S. Carolene Huguenin, Gowri Grewal and son Calvin, Kimberly Kohlhepp, and Raymond Sedwick, AA ‘94.

Reunion gift chairs (left to right) Kenan Sahin ‘63, Bob Johnson ‘63, Dick Simmons ‘53, Bob Piper ‘53, and John Jarve ‘78 are flanked by Charles M. Vest HM and James A. Lash ‘66 (left and right, respectively) at the Tech Night Dinner. Four classes announced record-breaking gifts: the Class of 1943 ($3.7 million and 72.3 percent participation), the Class of 1953 ($25.4 million and 63 percent participation), the Class of 1958 ($3.5 million and 48 percent participation), and the Class of 1978 ($6.2 million and 65 percent participation).

Children attending Camp Tech fine-tune their creation for the domino physics activity as their counselors look on (left photo). Classmates Vincent James, Nanelle Stine, and Bob Tatz (all 1978) gather for a reception after their class forum, “Changes and Challenges.” (right photo)

Departing executive vice president and CEO Bill Hecht ‘61 shares a light moment with Mark Hamilton ‘63 and Ned Brish ‘63 at the volunteer thank you reception in the lobby of the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center (left photo). The pressure was on as the Class of 1983 shell took to the Charles for the Reunion Row (right photo).

Cardinal and Gray Society reunion attendees included (left to right) Holton Harris ‘44, Emily Roderman, Will Roderman ‘44, and Lou Demarkles ‘44 (left photo). With Keith Lockhart conducting, assistant professor Michael Hawley, PhD ‘93, of the Media Lab performed the Piano Concerto no. 2 in A by Franz Liszt at Tech Night at the Pops (right photo).

Connecting MIT with their Communities

Educational counselors have been serving as MIT’s admissions officers in the field since the 1930s, when MIT president Karl T. Compton appointed a number of outstanding graduates in major U.S. cities and some foreign countries as honorary secretaries of MIT. Today, ECs assist the Institute in a variety of ways-as recruiters, community resources, and interviewers-helping the Office of Admissions find the best and the brightest for each year’s freshman class. The more than 2,100 alumni volunteers provide a human element in the admissions process, both bringing MIT’s message to their communities and sending word back to MIT on the applicants they meet.

As science and technology have become more pervasive in our society, the landscape has changed in the college admissions process. Counselors play a vital role in ensuring that the best high-school students in the world apply to and enroll at MIT. “There is competition for our type of kid that never used to be there,” says Lisa Martinez ‘76, regional coordinator for the educational council in San Antonio, TX. “I know there are talented students in San Antonio; we look for the best and encourage them to reach for MIT. It’s good for the students and good for the Institute.”

The counselor’s role does not end when a student’s application is submitted. Indeed, educational counselors also have an important effect on yield-the percentage of admitted students who decide to enroll. Ten years ago, half of the students admitted enrolled; this year over 59 percent chose to enroll. This speaks of MIT’s high esteem in the eyes of the world and to the job counselors are doing. They make personal connections with admitted students and make sure they can make informed decisions about enrolling. For example, last spring, more than 50 receptions for admitted students were held so potential members of the Class of 2007 could learn more about MIT before making their enrollment decisions. Events were held around the world, from New York and San Francisco to Korea, Honolulu, and Puerto Rico. Martinez, who hosted a reception at her home, said, “These events provide an invaluable opportunity for students to make connections with current students, parents, and alumni.”

Looking to find out more about becoming an EC? Visit our Web site at

Join A Club: Whether you’re moving to a new area or back to your hometown, alumni clubs can connect you with local alumni.

Fall means back to school for MIT students. It also means back to the classroom for MIT alumni through an array of events that will connect them with the intellectual resources of the Institute and the alumni community.

For information on all these events and other listings, visit the Alumni Association Events Calendar online at

Sept. 715 Alumni Travel Program, Village Life in Umbria, Italy
Sept. 8-16 Alumni Travel Program, Normandy
Sept. 13-20 Alumni Travel Program, Big Bend National Park
Sept. 19-20 Alumni Leadership Conference, Cambridge
Sept. 22 Club of Boston Alumni Seminar Series, Richard Samuels,
director, Center for International Studies
Oct. 8 Club of Delaware Valley geographic phonathon
Oct. 8-25 Alumni Travel Program, Mandarin China
Oct. 10 Club of Germany, annual meeting
Oct. 11-20 Alumni Travel Program, Sicily, Professor Emeritus John Southard
Oct. 14 Club of Boston Alumni Seminar Series, Alice Gast, vice president for research
Oct. 14-26 Alumni Travel Program, Legendary Passage, the Rhine and Moselle Rivers
Oct. 17-19 Family Weekend
Oct. 17-27 Alumni Travel Program, Ctes du Rhne Passage
Oct. 21 Club of Washington, DC, geographic phonathon
Oct. 25 European Alumni Club officers workshop
Oct. 27 Club of Boston geographic phonathon

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