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MIT Technology Review

Ivan Burns ’69, SM ’70, and Anne Hayden

Concord, Massachusetts

April 15, 2020
Courtesy Photo

Ivan Burns studied electrical engineering at MIT before founding a software company, Business Systems Resources. He and his spouse, Anne Hayden, raised three daughters, one of whom attended MIT, and are active philanthropists. In honor of Ivan’s 50th reunion, the couple established a fund to support SPARC—the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center’s fast-track experiment to demonstrate by 2025 that a fusion reaction can produce more energy than it consumes.

An energy revolution. “There are dozens of exciting things going on at MIT that I’d be glad to support. But energy contributes to quality of life in many ways, and if we want to eliminate carbon-based energy sources, there’s only one answer: fusion energy,” Ivan says. Carbon-free and limitless, fusion produces little waste, makes few demands on natural resources, and can operate 24/7. “MIT is the first organization to take advantage of new magnet technology that greatly reduces not only the size of the tokamak device that produces fusion energy, but the cost and time to build it as well,” he says.

Long-term impact. Ivan worked with the MIT administration as president of his dormitory as a student and in a professional capacity in the 1990s, so he and Anne have confidently made unrestricted gifts to the Institute for many years. “I have a great deal of respect and trust in the MIT administration to make the best use of resources,” he says. “The world is a better place because of the science and engineering that takes place at MIT.”

Help MIT build a better world.
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