Cathy earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a master’s from Harvard, both in chemistry; a master’s from MIT in 1981 in chemical engineering; and a PhD from Princeton in molecular biology. After a stint at Mobil R&D Labs, she worked at Merck Research Labs, designing new processes for the production of drugs. Later, she worked in London as director of international research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is now retired and spends time on volunteer activities in New York and North Carolina.
“I wanted to support renovation of Building 66 for chemical engineering, so I established a unitrust at MIT. It’s a well-informed investment because a unitrust provides me with income for life, a charitable tax deduction, and a diversified portfolio that I couldn’t have on my own. For us baby boomers, outliving our savings is a concern. A trust provides assurance that the money is well invested and may grow over time. And investing in the MIT endowment, I now have a portfolio with venture capital funds, equities, hedge funds, real estate, and private equity. With the economic uncertainty in the world, putting together the right portfolio requires great expertise and know-how, both of which MIT investment managers have more of than I do. I want to protect the assets I’ve given MIT but also want to see them grow over time. I can think of no better way than establishing a trust, which benefits me throughout my life and later benefits MIT.”