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MIT Alumni News: Generosity

Jim ’76 and Denise Banks

San Jose, California

Jim ’76 and Denise Banks

Jim Banks started volunteering for MIT before he even graduated, taking part in the task force that led to the formation of the Office of Minority Education. He has remained a stalwart volunteer, serving on the MIT Alumni Association board of directors, among other roles, and is currently president of his class. During his tenure as an engineering manager at Hewlett-Packard, he also spent many years as HP’s corporate representative to MIT. “Since MIT prepared me so well for my career, I’ve always wanted to give back to make sure that people who follow in my footsteps also have a chance to succeed,” he says. 

Full circle. Banks participated in an early iteration of the Interphase EDGE program, which is now a two-year scholar enrichment program beginning the summer before an undergraduate starts at MIT. He says that program helped set him up for success at the Institute. When he decided to include MIT in his estate plan, his discussions with the Office of Gift Planning led him and his wife, Denise, to focus their bequest on that program by supporting the Kristala L. Jones Prather (1994) Interphase Fund so that other students can continue to benefit from the preparation it provides. 

Rewarding experiences. “Through working on committees and with alumni groups, you get to see a lot of the wonderful things that MIT alums are doing in their lives. That’s part of why staying involved is so rewarding,” Banks says. “College is not just a place to get your academic education—MIT is excellent at preparing people to be better citizens of the world.”

Help MIT build a better world. For more information, contact Amy Goldman: 617.253.4082; Or visit

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