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Profiles in generosity

Emerson Yearwood ’80

Phoenix, Arizona

April 27, 2021
Emerson Yearwood
Emerson Yearwood
CAITLIN O'HARA

Emerson Yearwood, who has spent most of his career as an attorney in the communications sector, is dedicated to supporting students of color at MIT through his giving and volunteerism. His current focus is the Black Alumni of MIT Community Advancement Program and Fund (BCAP), which supports student proposals for public service projects that address the needs of underserved communities of color on campus and beyond. In 2020, Yearwood worked with the MIT Office of Gift Planning to create a charitable gift annuity (CGA) to bolster the BCAP fund.

“A win-win situation.” A CGA provides a fixed annual income for one or two people for the duration of their lives and is then allocated to a donor-designated area at MIT. “The income stream, along with the tax deduction, will minimize the out-of-pocket cost of this gift,” he says. “The BCAP fund will also realize a healthy gift, which should be multiplied by the savvy investing of MIT’s money managers. All in all, it seems to be a win-win situation.” 

Opening doors. “Walking down the Infinite Corridor, you feel how MIT has an energy all its own and how you have to rise to match it,” Yearwood says. Supporting current and future MIT students from underrepresented communities is one of the ways he does that. “Because of my MIT education, I have never felt that I have been faced with a problem that was insurmountable,” he says. “I consider it an obligation to make sure the door remains open for others.”

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

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