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Alumni Volunteer Connection

Alumni activities, news, and events.

Energy, Ideas, and Wisdom: A Tribute to Alex d’Arbeloff

The recent election of Dana Mead as the new chairman of the MIT Corporation brings to an end the outstanding six-year term of outgoing president Alexander V. d’Arbeloff ‘49. “Alex d’Arbeloff has been a remarkable contributor of energy, ideas, and wisdom for MIT,” said Charles M. Vest HM, MIT president. “Alex is a man of great intellect and accomplishment. He has long been a great advisor to me personally, and his service to MIT has been extraordinary. The Institute owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

Alex d’Arbeloff became the 15th president of the MIT Corporation in 1997, succeeding Paul E. Gray. During his tenure, d’Arbeloff led the MIT Corporation through a remarkable period of growth and achievement, including the record-setting success of MIT’s $1.6 billion Campaign for the Future.

Record of Achievement

Mr. d’Arbeloff’s volunteer service to MIT has ranged from traditional volunteer roles such as service on his 50th-reunion gift committee to unconventional dinners and one-on-one meetings with young MIT entrepreneurs. He brought creativity and ingenuity to all of his work at the Institute, from his service as a faculty member to his chairmanship of the corporation.

Renowned internationally for his role in building Boston-based Teradyne into one of the world’s leading makers of semiconductor test equipment, Mr. d’Arbeloff is also a director at Sematech, BTU, Stratus Computer, and several private companies. He continues to be actively involved in building new companies and will also return to the Sloan School faculty as professor of the practice of management, with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Dynamic Duo

Mr. d’Arbeloff and his wife, Brit d’Arbeloff, SM ‘61, have been long-time supporters of education at MIT. Together, they established a chair in mechanical engineering, contributed to the renovation of the d’Arbeloff Laboratory in mechanical engineering, and in 1999 gave the Institute $10 million to establish the Alex and Brit d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in MIT Education.

Unique in its focus on the process of education itself, the Fund for Excellence supports innovative teaching methods in science and engineering and has led to the development of some extraordinary student and faculty projects. A list of funded projects can be found at

Changing of the Guard

Mr. d’Arbeloff ceded the chairmanship on July 1, 2003, to Dana G. Mead, who has been a member of the corporation since 1996. Retired chair and CEO of Tenneco, Mead is a West Point graduate who received a PhD in political science from MIT in 1967.

“Nancy [Mead’s wife] and I are being asked to fill some very big shoes,” said Mead. “Brit and Alex d’Arbeloff provided such great leadership and contributed to the welfare of MIT in so many ways, we can only hope to emulate their enduring example. It is a very high bar indeed.”

Summing up his remarkable time as the corporation’s president, d’Arbeloff continued to put the emphasis on the Institute.  “I have been honored to serve as president,” he said. “No matter how big a company grows, it does not have the scope of MIT. It simply can’t contribute to society the way this institution can. The idea that I could contribute to this institution of excellence, to such a special place that has this impact on society, well, all I can say is, I’ve been truly honored.”

MIT Alumni Make a Difference in the World

Hundreds of enthusiastic alumni and guests gathered on campus to attend the Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC) on September 19 and 20.

ALC is the Alumni Association’s chance to thank alumni volunteers and expose them to some of the current issues and developments on campus. The conference also seeks to provide alumni with a framework for reconnecting and staying connected with the Institute and other alumni through a strong volunteer network and to give additional volunteer training.

“ALC is an excellent opportunity for all of these volunteers to come together in a learning environment and share their experiences, as well as expand their volunteer skills” says Paula Olsiewski, PhD ‘79, president of the Alumni Association.

ALC’s theme this year, “MIT Makes a Difference in the World, Alumni Make a Difference at MIT,” paid homage to all alumni volunteers who by their collective efforts make a difference at MIT by helping it maintain its position of leadership in education and research across the globe. “As a leading technology institution, MIT is engaging the energy, creativity, and intellect of its distinguished alumni. Without the active participation and commitment of these men and women, representing the broad spectrum of industry and commerce, MIT’s goals will remain only goals,” says Beth Garvin HM, executive vice president and CEO of the MIT Alumni Association.

The conference began on Friday with two workshops, one for first-time attendees and the other on building leadership skills. The day also included a variety of events and training sessions related to specific volunteer positions. “We want to engage a broad community of alumni leaders who are effective advocates for the Alumni Association and active supporters of the Institute and who will help involve other alumni,” said Christine Tempesta, director of alumni activities.

On Saturday, those who returned to Cambridge for ALC had the opportunity to hear from and interact with Institute leaders, including MIT president Charles M. Vest HM, dean for graduate students Isaac M. Colbert, and associate dean of engineering Dick K. P. Yue ‘74, who all gave talks about the changes taking place at the Institute, how these changes are affecting our world, and how alumni make a difference in the life of the Institute. “MIT is fortunate to have an extraordinary number of alumni who have achieved remarkable careers in their chosen fields-and who are willing to return and share their wisdom to make a difference at MIT and in today’s world,” continued Tempesta.

The day’s program included a large selection of workshops that gave volunteers hands-on, specific training, including sessions for club and class officers, educational counselors, and independent-living-group volunteers.

Tribute was paid to outstanding volunteer accomplishments at a celebratory luncheon. In all, 22 individuals and four alumni groups received awards. The Bronze Beaver award, the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association, was presented this year to James A. Champy ‘63, Louis J. Champy, MAR ‘71, James A. Lash ‘66, Richard P. Simmons ‘53, and Catherine N. Stratton HM for their outstanding service to MIT and the Alumni Association.

Other exceptional volunteers were recognized with the Harold E. Lobdell ‘17 Distinguished Service Award for alumni relations; the Henry B. Kane ‘24 Award for fund-raising; the George B. Morgan ‘20 Award for Educational Council activity; and Presidential Citations, awarded to outstanding groups. “MIT alumni volunteers are an incredible community of folks doing great work across the U.S. and around the world. ALC is the chance for alumni volunteers to come together and both celebrate and learn from each other,” commented Monica Ellis ‘91.

Next month’s issue of AVC will feature a story about and photos of all of this year’s award winners. Additional highlights of this year’s conference can be found at

Alumni Improve Association

Last summer, the association established advisory committees for alumni activities. Volunteers advised and served the Association in the areas of the Alumni Travel Program, Young Alumni Programs, graduate alumni, and alumni clubs. The committees met initially at the 2002 Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC), then in the spring of 2003, and once again this fall at the 2003 ALC. The committees are an initiative aimed at bringing more MIT graduates into the strategic process for Alumni Association programs. These committees work with the Association staff in their respective areas to recommend substantive products and services to the broad alumni community. “These committees have assisted the Association in evaluating existing programs, communicating alumni preferences and interests, and cultivating other alumni volunteers,” said Christine Tempesta, director of alumni activities. Dean Zeilon ‘55, chair of the Alumni Travel Program Advisory Committee, speaks of his experience: “Participating on the advisory committee has been energizing. Our team shared our combined experience on over 80 MIT-sponsored trips. Our strong common interest in further building the success of this program created very productive and satisfying teamwork.”

Alumni Travel Program Advisory Committee

Dean Zeilon ‘55, chair
Committee Members
Harl Aldrich ‘47
Donald Bishop ‘50
Frank Chin ‘44
Charles Charles ‘55
Francis LaPlante ‘54
Bill Layson ‘56
Richard Reese ‘50
John Weeks ‘51
Faculty Members
Don Harleman, SM ‘50
Jay Keyser HM
Gene Skolnikoff ‘49

Young-Alumni Advisory Committee

Committee Cochairs
Stephanie Chen ‘00
Cyrus Wadia ‘96
Committee Members
Frank Bentley ‘02
Gary Brackenridge ‘97
Esther Chang, MBA ‘00
Heidi Chang ‘98
Helen Chuah ‘02
R. Brad Gray ‘98
La Tonya Green, MCP ‘00
Caroline Hon ‘01
Katharyn Jeffreys ‘01
Joanna London, SM ‘99
Gregory Lubiniecki ‘94
Martin Mbaya ‘00
Karl Richter ‘99
Katie Shiels ‘00
Stephanie Sparvero ‘96
Matt Turner ‘96
Raul Valdez ‘94
Jennifer Yang ‘97

Alumni Clubs and Affinity Groups Advisory Committee

Committee Cochairs
Brian Brown ‘93
Janet Grosser ‘53
Committee Members
Monica Alcabin ‘83
Gregory Arenson ‘70
Robert Blumberg ‘64
Peter Burke ‘80
John J. Carney ‘76
Michael Davis ‘86
Deirdre Dunn ‘99
Henry Houh ‘89
William Reenstra ‘72
Laura Robinson ‘80
Sharon Ross ‘65
Connie Sadowski ‘99
Jon Samseth, PhD ‘88
Koji Sasaki, ME ‘70
Drew Sunstein ‘67
Mark Wang ‘87
Elizabeth Winston ‘94

Graduate Alumni Programs Advisory Committee

Committee Cochairs
Emmanuel C. Ikpo ‘83
Ellen Rizika, MBA ‘98
Committee Members
Lyne (Marie-Thrse) Bernard, MCP ‘95
Mary Breuer, MCP ‘72
Bill C. Booziotis, MAR ‘60
Dominick De Paola, PhD ‘74
Betsy Egan, MBA ‘86
Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, PhD ‘02
Ronald J. Fergle, SM ‘86
Catherine S. Fogelman, SM ‘98
Mark Hansen, SM ‘91
Gwendolyn Hasse, MBA ‘01
Tony Hoberman, SM ‘74
Hilary Lewis, SM ‘88
Nelson Lin, SM ‘91
Stephen C. Messner, SM ‘82
Gerhard Schulmeyer, SM ‘74
R. Gary Schweikhardt, SM ‘73

Alumni, Parents, and Friends Provide for the Future

Although it was a year of ups and downs in the economy, mit alumni, parents, and friends once again rose up in support of Tech, contributing over $29.3 million to the MIT Alumni Fund and Parents Fund. With 29,158 alumni making gifts, the fund exceeded its goal of 29,000 donors. Alumni gifts represent the commitment of each generation to provide tomorrow’s students access to the same extraordinary academic experience they enjoyed. “This kind of participation in hard economic times is a true measure of the dedication of MIT alumni and friends,” said Beth Garvin, executive vice president and CEO of the Alumni Association.

Complementing these annual gifts was a reunion gift total of $179.5 million that shattered all previous records. The money came from 17 classes-1923 to 2003-celebrating quinquennial anniversaries.

As with all annual fund-raising efforts, fiscal year 2003 is now one for the record books, and we are already into the second quarter of the new fiscal year with great expectations for continued support from alumni, parents, and friends. For more information about giving to MIT, please visit our Web site at

New Volunteer Web Pages

We invite you to explore the volunteer section of the alumni Web site, which has been enhanced with tools and services. These include information on how to become involved as a volunteer, a volunteer opportunity bulletin board where you can post or answer volunteer requests, and the newly established “Honor Roll of Service,” which recognizes alumni, parents, widows, spouses, faculty, or current students for exemplary volunteer work on behalf of MIT.

To find out more, go to

Alumni Activities Calendar

As the new academic year gets into gear, there are plenty of alumni activities going on. For an up-to-date calendar and information on all of these events, visit our Web site at

Oct. 8 Club of Delaware Valley, geographic phonathon
Oct. 8-25 Alumni Travel Program, Mandarin China
Oct. 10 Club of Germany annual meeting, Aachen
Oct. 11-20 Alumni Travel Program, Sicily, Professor Emeritus John Southard
Oct. 13 Club of Germany Alumni Semi- nar, Gerhard Schulmeyer
Oct. 14 Club of Boston Alumni Seminar, Alice Gast
Oct. 14-26 Alumni Travel Program, Legendary Passage (Rhine and Moselle Rivers), Professor Emeritus Donald Harleman
Oct. 16 Graduate Alumni Seminar, Washington, DC
Oct. 17-19 Family Weekend
Oct. 21 Club of Washington, DC, geographic phonathon
Oct. 21-31 Alumni Travel Program, Ctes du Rhne Passage, Professor Emeritus Robert Whitman
Oct. 22 Club of Orlando Alumni Seminar, Harvey Sapolsky
Oct. 22 Club of Northern New Jersey Alumni Seminar, Marilee Jones, dean of admissions
Oct. 22 Club of New Hampshire Alumni Seminar, Klavs Jensen
Oct. 25 European Alumni Club Officers Workshop, Spain
Oct. 30 MIT Club of New York, Tech Seminar, Ketterle and Kastner

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