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Profiles in generosity

Richard ’89 and Kamie Lightburn

New Canaan, Connecticut

Rich Lightburn (1989, Mechanical Engineering) and wife Kamie Lightburn, pose for a portrait at the Newbury Hotel in Boston.
M Scott Brauer

Investments are Richard Lightburn’s business, and MIT, he says, is a good one. “There’s no doubt it’s the preeminent science and research institute in the world,” says Richard, CEO of MKP Capital Management in New York. “What other university has the same impact at the top of any field you can think of? MIT offers tremendous bang for the buck.”

Returning the favor to MIT: He and his wife, Kamie, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, have created the Kamie and Richard Lightburn Endowed Scholarship Fund. “I grew as a person in so many ways I didn’t anticipate at MIT and made lifelong friends there,” says Richard, who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. “I feel a connection and a kinship to this school. So I want to give back.”

Helping where they can: The Lightburns, who have two children, support a number of civic and charitable causes in the areas of medical research, education, and the arts. Kamie sees the MIT scholarship as very much of a piece with their other philanthropic endeavors. “I love the old saying ‘Service is the rent we pay to live on this earth,’” she says. “Do something for somebody else and you will always reap a reward.”

Help MIT build a better world. For more information, contact Liz Vena: 617.324.9228; Or visit

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