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Alumni Connection

Association news and events
January 1, 2005

25 Years and Counting

BAMIT, the Black Alumni of MIT, celebrated its 25th anniversary over the Columbus Day weekend. To mark the occasion, a conference entitled “Great Accomplishments, Great Expectations” looked back at a century of achievement by African Americans who graduated from the Institute.

“This was a special event in many ways,” said Beth Garvin, executive vice president and CEO of the Association. “This conference memorialized important historical accomplishments of MIT’s black alumni. It was inspiring to attend.”

Said BAMIT president Chiquita White ’85, “Listening to the four keynote speakers was a special moment for many members. These four alumni were contemporaries at the Institute and took significant personal risk to raise awareness of key issues facing minority students at MIT.”

The conference also included a special tribute to MIT alumnus and astronaut Ronald McNair, PhD ’77, who died in the Challenger explosion in 1986. Shirley Ann Jackson ’68 delivered the keynote address at the gala and received a standing ovation from the overflow crowd. “The tribute to Ron McNair really captured the essence of this conference,” said White. “He was a risk taker, a pioneer, and a champion of following one’s dream to reach an important goal. Those characteristics are what BAMIT is about in many ways.”

Networking Success

Networking isn’t something that comes easily to many people. Some­times, just leaving the house is the hardest part. But a number of alumni have found success simply by staying connected to the Institute.

Krisztina Holly ’89, SM ’92, is a great example. Since cofounding Stylus Innovation in 1991 and winning the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition that year (an event she later judged), she has been involved with two startups and has served on the board at the MIT Enterprise Forum. Now she’s the executive director of MIT’s Deshpande Center, thanks in part to an evening at the Chairman’s Salon.

“Sometimes you don’t really feel like heading to a networking event. You have deadlines to meet. You don’t want to drive through town in all that traffic. But I’m glad I did that night. It changed my life.”
Krisztina says that networking has played a crucial role in her career. “It has not only allowed me to meet aspiring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other alumni, but it has also kept me involved with the Institute.”

MIT Young Alumni “Get Out There”

After kicking off the new MIT Young Alumni Travel Program in 2003, MIT has hosted 49 young alumni and their guests on three successful trips: two to Costa Rica and one to Peru.

Marsha Ibanez, a guest traveling with Marc Ibanez, SM ’96, said the Costa Rica trip was “one of the best I have ever taken.” The demanding trek on the Inca Trail offered alumni the chance to challenge themselves and to learn about the Inca civilization and Peru. Celestine Chang ’00 remarked, “I had a wonderful time. The trip logistics were well planned and coördinated. I would highly recommend this trip.”

Photos from all trips are online at Coming up for 2005 are a ski trip to Whistler and a safari to Tanzania, including two days on the warm beaches of Zanzibar.

Save the Date
Tech Reunions 2005, June 2–5

Tradition and innovation meet at Tech Reunions 2005! Contact your friends, and join thousands of MIT alumni and their guests for traditional events like the 108th annual Tech Night at the Pops, reunion class dinners, and the Tech Challenge Games. You can also learn about the frontiers of bioengineering at this year’s Technology Day program, see cutting-edge research while touring an MIT lab, or take a tour of the architecturally innovative Stata Center. A complete list of events and registration materials will be mailed to reunion classes in March, and online registration forms will be posted on our site in March. For more information, please visit

Resolution? Stay Connected

Looking for a new job, or just in the mood to do some networking? Then the Institute Career Assistance Network (ICAN) is for you. In the last year, 200 alumni have joined the ranks of the more than 3,000 current ICAN advisors. This is a great way to share business ideas and to meet new people in your field or even your own town. And be sure to check our secure online Job Postings board for the latest job listings posted by alumni for alumni. Another great way to stay connected to Tech is to join an MIT club. Spread across major markets nationally and internationally, MIT clubs keep you up to date with mailing lists, social events, and networking tools. Get more information at

Toast to IAP

Building on the success of last year’s event, the second annual Toast to Independent Activities Period (IAP) takes place this month. More than 300 young alumni gathered in 14 cities across the country in 2004, and this year’s toast looks to be even more popular. Over the past 30 years, IAP has provided students, staff, and alumni with a monthlong learning emporium, from neuroscience research to backgammon instruction. To salute this unique MIT experience, young alumni are holding toasts in Hartford, CT, Washington, DC, the Delaware Valley, South Florida, Long Island, and many more locations. Contact your local MIT club to find a toast to IAP near you.

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