After their son Nicky ’22 broke his leg competing for the MIT indoor track team in 2019, Mark and Teresa Medearis, 3,000 miles away in California, were heartened by the outpouring of support from the MIT track community and the Division of Student Life. “We were embraced by the community when we had this adversity,” Teresa says. “Our eyes were opened to MIT and how it cares for its students.”
Building bridges: Mark and Teresa are halfway through completing a gift to endow the head coaching position for men’s and women’s cross-country. Teresa has served as vice chair of the Parent Leadership Circle—on a mission, she says, to “create a bridge for parents from California to MIT”—and is currently on the Corporation Development Committee. The couple is also now considering creating a scholarship. “Two-thirds of MIT students are on some form of financial aid,” Teresa says. “That’s where the need is.”
Investing in minds and hands: “MIT changes the world in so many ways,” says Mark, a Silicon Valley attorney. “The very first speech students hear is: ‘Come and help us make the world better.’” Teresa, an engineer, cites the opportunities MIT offers women, who make up half the undergraduate enrollment and half the student athletes in the nation’s largest Division III program. “Giving to MIT is an investment in the future,” she says. “There’s no better payoff.”
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