Alumni Volunteer Connection

Hecht Retires as AA EVP and CEO; Garvin Named

At the March board meeting, James A. Lash ‘66, president of the Alumni Association, announced that William J. Hecht ‘61 will retire as executive vice president and CEO of the Association effective June 30. Elizabeth A. Garvin HM, managing director of the Association and director of the Alumni Fund, will succeed Hecht, who will continue half-time as CEO emeritus until 2005.

“I regard this as good news both from an Association and a personal point of view,” says Hecht, who has been in this position since 1980. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve MIT for so many years. This is a rare and wonderful place that deserves the support, criticism, and affection of all alumni.”

“The Association partnership between alumni volunteers and staff has served MIT and its alumni extremely well for generations,” says Garvin, who has been at MIT since 1985 and joined the Association staff in 1988. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to help guide the direction of these efforts in the coming years.” Garvin was named an honorary member of the Association last June.

Lash praised Hecht for his “patient, thoughtful leadership” over 23 years and for building “one of the most highly regarded alumni associations in the country.” Noting that Garvin was the unanimous choice of the Association Board of Directors, Lash commented, “Her 17 years at MIT have given her strong working relationships with alumni, faculty, and administrators.”

“Alumni have a deep and abiding affection for Bill, which is evident here on campus, across the U.S., and, indeed, throughout the world wherever MIT alumni gather,” noted MIT president Charles M. Vest HM. “I have seen firsthand Beth’s enthusiasm, commitment, and effectiveness with MIT and our alumni,” he continued. “I am looking forward to working with her to strengthen MIT’s vital alumni relationships.”

During Hecht’s tenure the Alumni Fund grew to over $30 million, the Association Web presence was established, Technology Review grew in national stature, and the Enterprise Forum was created. In addition to leading the Association, Hecht served MIT in many volunteer capacities. He received the Bronze Beaver Award, the highest honor MIT bestows upon its alumni for service to the Association and MIT, in 1999. 

Alumni Leadership Conference

MIT alumni volunteers, mark September 19 and 20, 2003, on your calendars to return to campus for the 2003 Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC).

Sponsored each year by the MIT Alumni Association, ALC is a program featuring educational sessions, volunteer workshops, networking events, and presentations by key Institute administrators and members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The conference is designed to keep alumni leaders abreast of current campus developments, provide leadership training, and encourage interaction among alumni volunteers while promoting the free exchange of ideas.

“We want to engage a broad community of alumni leaders who are effective advocates for MIT, are active supporters of the Institute, and will help involve other alumni,” says Association executive vice president and CEO William Hecht ‘61.

Alumni who attend the conference will be treated to an inside look at all facets of MIT, hearing from and interacting with the university’s top leaders on a variety of issues important to the Institute. They will learn of opportunities for involvement in alumni activities that help promote the Institute’s goals. They will also be given a chance to socialize at various receptions and dinners throughout the weekend. Participants will leave the conference with tools and resources that will help them carry out their volunteer roles around the world. ALC is also an opportunity to recognize volunteers for distinguished service to the Institute and/or the Alumni Association.

While a specific schedule is still being finalized, each ALC builds on elements of past leadership conferences to give volunteers the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills, information, and resources, which they can bring back to their constituencies. Sessions on program planning, officer responsibilities, goal setting, and recruitment are all staples of the ALC experience. Regardless of volunteer experience level, alumni enjoy the chance to learn from other dynamic alumni while exploring the many opportunities for further involvement with MIT’s ongoing mission of education, research, and service.

Invitations and registration packets will be mailed to all alumni volunteers in late July. Online registration will also be available at that time. For additional information, visit the ALC Web site at, or contact the Alumni Association at 1-800-MIT-1865, or

Alumni Activities Calendar

Each year, Tech Reunions draws more than 2,500 alumni and their guests back to Cambridge for a purposeful mix of learning and fun. Reunions offer countless opportunities to reconnect with classmates and other reunion celebrants.

This year, Tech Reunions will be held June 58 and will be celebrated by all alumni who graduated in years ending in three or eight. Faculty sessions on topics of interest keep participants up to date on current trends and the latest research at the Institute. Alumni travel from as far away as China, Germany, Belgium, and Norway to be present for these events. Whether you live near or far, don’t be left out! Make plans now to celebrate, reminisce, reacquaint, and reconnect with old friends.

For these and other event listings, visit the Association events calendar online at

May 22 Club of New Hampshire alumni seminar
May 23 EECS 100th- anniversary celebration
May 29 Club of Northern New Jersey alumni seminar
June 5 Tech Reunions
June 5-8 Enterprise Forum satellite broadcast
June 9 Commencement
June 9-17 Alumni Travel Program, Veneto, Italy
June 13 Club of Norway alumni seminar
June 13 Graduate alumni event, northern California
June 14-15 Pan-Arab Conference, Dubai
June 16 Club of Germany alumni seminar
June 17 World Bank corporate-alumni event, Washington, DC

Networking Young Alumni

In recent years, the MIT Alumni Association discovered through young-alumni focus groups and an online survey that young alumni (defined as undergraduate alumni of the 10 most recent classes and graduate alumni of the five most recent classes) were looking for additional opportunities to network with one another and gain career assistance.

In response to the focus groups and survey, the Association piloted its Young Alumni Seminar Series in New York City on February 7, 2002. Offering networking opportunities and career-related information relevant to recent graduates, the pilot seminar proved a resounding success. With over 100 attendees, it was the most successful MIT young-alumni event of that time.

What’s New on the Web

Bold new buildings are rising from MIT’s soil. OpenDOOR, the Alumni Association’s award-winning Web magazine, featured “The Built Environment” in its March/April issue (
). The special issue examined MIT’s many approaches to the built environment: our architectural edge, the evolving campus and neighborhood, and sustainable buildings. Interviews include Dean William J. Mitchell and Patrick Jaillet, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The future is here. The May/June issue of openDOOR features a look at the graduating class of 2003 as seen through dozens of amazing student Web sites (

The Institute’s amici curiae brief in the University of Michigan affirmative-action case was a major focus at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. President Charles M. Vest HM delivered a speech on the subject that was quite personal in tone. Civil-rights activist Julian Bond gave the keynote address, “Faces at the Bottom of the Well: Nightmare of Reality vs. Dr. King’s Dream.” The event can be viewed on MIT World at

Controversy about the war on Iraq spilled over into “What Matters,” the alumni opinion column. Randall Caroline Forsberg, PhD ‘97, director of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies and cofounder of the arms control education coalition, presented her view, “Alternatives to War in Iraq” ( In March a special open forum with dozens of diverse responses was published at By the time you read this, the shooting may have stopped, but the debate about foreign policy doesn’t seem likely to die down anytime soon.

MIT Parents Get Involved

Over the past 10 years, the MIT Parents Association has worked with hundreds of alumni- and nonalumni-parent volunteers who have offered their time, energy, and commitment to enhance the MIT community and their children’s experiences. Parent volunteers play an important role in fostering long-term involvement with the Institute.

Parents can get involved in a number of ways. Those interested in supporting the Institute’s financial needs can join the 29-member Parents Fund Committee, led by cochairs Eileen and Simon Chow, P ‘03. The committee raises money through peer-to-peer telephone calls and personal support. To date the committee has raised $36,000 for the Institute.

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