Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A Vote of Confidence

Alum gives MIT $140 million—with no strings attached.

  • August 16, 2017

Two days before commencement, president L. Rafael Reif announced what he called a “remarkable” gift: a graduate has pledged $140 million to the Campaign for MIT. Like the famous “Mr. Smith,” whose generosity helped fund MIT’s move to Cambridge in the early 1900s, this new donor wants to remain anonymous. And by making the gift unrestricted, the modern-­day Mr. (or Ms.) Smith demonstrates the same belief in MIT and its important work. Unrestricted funds provide much-needed flexibility, allowing the Institute to invest in daring ideas, address some of the world’s most urgent challenges, and sustain support for students, faculty, and the physical campus.  

“No one has ever made it through life without someone else’s help. As a past recipient of MIT’s generous financial aid, I benefited tremendously from the opportunity to pursue my MIT education and am extremely appreciative of all the ways that MIT has shaped me,” the donor says. “I am also inspired by MIT’s vision in tackling global challenges, and I trust its leadership to take bold steps to make the world a better place. I am blessed to be able to give back to the Institute so other students can experience what I did, and so that the Institute can continue to excel in groundbreaking achievements. I hope this gift inspires others to give back to MIT and to pay it forward to the society that we all share.”

“Everyone who contributes ‘unrestricted’ dollars gives MIT flexibility and nimbleness—the ability to seize unexpected opportunities, to solve crucial but unglamorous issues around buildings and grounds, to respond to emergencies, to provide the fundamental support that allows us to attract many of the most creative people in the world,” Reif wrote in a letter to the MIT community. “And these supporters give us one thing more: the great gift of their confidence—confidence in the mission, power, and people of MIT to do good for the nation and the world.” 

AI is here. Will you lead or follow? Countdown to EmTech Digital 2019 has begun.

Register now
Next in MIT News
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to MIT Technology Review.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

    The MIT Technology Review App

  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.