Robert and Lisa Reitano
Bob earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in math from MIT in 1976. He was executive vice president and chief investment strategist of John Hancock/Manulife, where he led the Global Investment Strategy Group. He is now professor of the practice in finance at Brandeis University’s International Business School. Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree in math from Wesleyan University and was an actuary at John Hancock/Manulife, where she met Bob. They married in 1987 and have three children. They enjoy hiking, biking, and European travel.
Bob: “It’s been on my mind for most of my career to make a gift to MIT. I came from a state university, applied to grad school at MIT, and didn’t get in. But I was passionate and determined and went to see Professor Gil Strang, a top mathematician and educator, who was then director of math admissions. He could have said no—no today, no tomorrow. But he encouraged me, and also encouraged me to take an MIT course, then another with the late Professor Alberto Calderón, one of the foremost mathematicians of his time, whom I aspired to work with and who later took me on as a grad student. The MIT environment made me aware of the human potential for greatness. It changed me, motivated me to be my best. Now our gift will support renovation of the math building by naming a prominent classroom to honor Professor Calderón, and it will provide graduate fellowship support in math to honor Professor Strang. Now as an educator myself, I know that it’s not only ability but also passion that is needed to succeed.”