As a graduate student bartender at the Muddy Charles Pub, Gary Pace witnessed casual conversations between MIT community members—and the occasional astronaut—that sometimes led to real-world collaboration and innovation. He has seen similarly serendipitous intersections between scientific innovation and entrepreneurship in his career as a founder and investor in the life sciences industry. Now he and his spouse, Jinny, are paving the way for new generations of biological engineering students through a fellowship for graduate students.
Graduate student success. Originally from Australia, Pace was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college, ultimately winning a Fulbright scholarship. “MIT was a turning point for me, and the fellowship is truly about giving the same opportunity to graduate students starting their journey,” he says. The fellowship will be funded through a charitable remainder unitrust, which provides income to the donor and/or other beneficiaries while they are living and then goes to a designated cause at MIT.
A multidimensional space. “In life sciences, where engineering and biological principles intersect, you’re in a powerful position to solve problems in a multidimensional way,” Pace says. He sees the problem-solving skills he learned at MIT as essential to his life’s trajectory: “I have always maintained close connections with the academic world, because knowledge is fundamental to societal growth. MIT opened my eyes to a whole new level of opportunity.”
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