Judy and John West

Cupertino, California

  • April 23, 2013


John founded Personalis, a leader in human genome interpretation, and was CEO of Solexa, which develops breakthrough technology in next-generation DNA sequencing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear science and engineering in 1978, a master’s in mechanical engineering in 1980, and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1988. He is one of four students responsible for the famous hack at the Harvard-Yale game, when a weather balloon marked “MIT” inflated at the 46-yard line. John and Judy have been married for 31 years and have traveled to 45 countries.

Judy and John West

“We’ve made a series of unrestricted gifts to MIT. We’re 3,000 miles away and believe that MIT’s leadership knows better than we do how to spend the money, so we don’t want to be prescriptive. People at MIT are going to be successful developing renewable energy, advancing the medical field, or finding cures for cancer, but it’s going to be tough to do that if you can’t find a parking place. In addition to funding exciting headline projects, at some point MIT will need a new parking facility, somebody to fix the boiler, or perhaps uninteresting infrastructure elements; otherwise, people can’t take on the big ideas. Our sense is that in addition to exciting architecture, a new building also needs a foundation. We’re confident that if we fund that, MIT will build the great building. General support is a vote of confidence in MIT’s management. We know they know what they’re doing. They just need the funds to get on with doing it.”

Please consider your own unrestricted gift to MIT.
For information, contact Rob Scott: 617-253-3394; rscott@mit.edu. Or visit giving.mit.edu.

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

You've read of free articles this month.