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Profiles in generosity

Jeffrey Steinfeld ’62

Boston, Massachusetts
December 27, 2019
Photograph of Jeffrey Steinfeld
Photograph of Jeffrey Steinfeld

As a professor in MIT’s chemistry department from 1966 to 2008, Jeffrey Steinfeld had the opportunity to carve out a career that evolved from the use of time-resolved spectroscopy to the study of Earth as a large, interconnected system. Now he gives back to numerous MIT programs and has created the Ann and Paul Steinfeld Memorial Fellowship Fund, which is named for his parents and supports chemistry students who are working to address global environmental challenges. “It is essential for institutions such as MIT to take on leadership roles on these issues,” he says. “The Institute has been doing so in research, education, outreach, communication, and mobilization for action, all of which are important.”

The benefits of planned giving. Steinfeld supports the fellowship fund partially through a charitable gift annuity (CGA) and will further support it through a bequest. The CGA provides income in his retirement—“a welcome addition to my pension, with a better return on capital than other cash investments anywhere,” he says. “Experiences have been good with the Office of Gift Planning. Their active encouragement and leverage helped get the fellowship started and put the pieces together in a coherent way.”

Leading through education. “Education is probably the most effective measure toward achieving long-lasting advancements,” Steinfeld says. “Because of MIT and other educational institutions, we do have a chance of repairing the damage we have caused and are still causing to the Earth system. And hopefully, we will not just help show the way but effect transformative change.” 

Help MIT build a better world. For more information, contact Amy Goldman: 617.253.4082; goldmana@mit.edu. Or visit giving.mit.edu/planned-giving.

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