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Mike Dornbrook

Boston, Massachusetts
October 25, 2011

“I try to plan for economic disaster and be prepared. This gift is great insurance against that,” says Mike Dornbrook, who recently established a deferred gift annuity at MIT.

“I could have bought an annuity from an insurance company, 
but I’m not sure which one will be around in 30 years,” he says. 
”I certainly have high-level faith that MIT will be around when I need to collect, and I also got a high fixed income for life, an immediate income-tax deduction, and a way to diversify my investments.”

He also established a charitable remainder unitrust because he wanted a chance to invest in MIT’s endowment and increase his income over time.

“I was just totally blown away by MIT’s investment management,” says Dornbrook, a member of the Class of ‘75, who received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1980 and then went on to earn an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1983. “MIT can make investments that an individual can never have access to, like buying an oil well,” he says, adding that he now benefits from MIT’s top investment managers without the burdensome fees. “It’s a great way to further diversify, and I benefit MIT and myself in the process.”

The founder of four companies, Dornbrook spent much of his career as chief operating officer at Harmonix, which makes computer games for people who love music. Now an angel 
investor, he spends most weekends at his cabin on 110 acres 
in northern Vermont.

“I thought I would be joining a bunch of Einsteins when I came to MIT,” he says. “But the people were like me. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was home. MIT changed my life. I want to make sure it continues to be an exceptional place of excellence.”

Donors can establish a deferred gift annuity to receive guaranteed high fixed income down the road with an immediate charitable income-tax deduction today. Donors can also establish trusts invested in the MIT endowment and benefit from its diversified investment portfolio. The income paid by such trusts has the potential to increase over time as the endowment does.

For giving information, contact Judy Sager: 617-253-6463; 
jsager@mit.edu. Or visit giving.mit.edu/ways/invest-endowment.

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