Serving as “a drive multiplier for good”


“At MIT, we imagine that public service could be—and needs to be—as intense, significant, and intellectually rigorous as educational work. MIT alumni assist convey this philosophy … that serving others shouldn’t be an exercise separate from educational {and professional} pursuits; it’s a very important ingredient of a clever, inventive life.” 

Institute president L. Rafael Reif shared these ideas with alumni volunteers throughout a session on the 2021 Alumni Management Convention (ALC), the place the MIT Alumni Affiliation (MITAA) formally launched its MIT Alumni Higher World Service Initiative. Equal elements networking web site, workspace, undertaking aggregator, and storytelling platform, this initiative connects MIT alumni working to make a greater world by way of volunteer efforts in local weather and sustainability, human well being, STEM schooling, social justice and fairness, and extra. 

“MIT persons are stressed, eternally trying to make use of our minds and arms—and hearts—to unravel issues, huge and small,” says Annalisa Weigel ’94, ’95, SM ’00, PhD ’02, the Affiliation’s 127th president. “By means of the service initiative, we hope to shine the sunshine on the alumni who’re making tangible impacts of their careers and by way of volunteering their time and skills in significant service tasks.” 

By means of a digital platform hosted by the MITAA, the initiative permits alumni to speak about their efforts with friends across the globe. There are three important methods to take part. Alumni are invited to submit tasks they’re engaged on to raise their visibility and enlist others fascinated with taking part. Alumni who’re looking for to become involved in a brand new volunteer alternative can search current tasks by kind of trigger to search out methods to share their expertise and information. Lastly, the Affiliation is enlisting “service ambassadors,” or volunteers who can work throughout the community of almost 143,000 alumni to construct extra help for the tasks. 

Inspiring others to motion 

Whereas the MIT Alumni Higher World Service Initiative is a brand new endeavor, serving the neighborhood has been a pillar of the MIT alumni expertise because the Institute’s first courses. The Affiliation itself was fashioned in 1875 “to additional the well-being of the Institute within the college and one another.” Later, in 1896, the Affiliation of Class Secretaries turned one of many MITAA’s first volunteer teams, and the efforts to trace the historical past of the courses and preserve their members united proceed right this moment, within the pages of this publication. 

Whereas the Institute has benefited from a major corps of advocates—in the course of the lifetime of the MIT Marketing campaign for a Higher World, greater than 27,000 alumni and buddies served as volunteers—the brand new initiative focuses on the world past campus. (See the sidebar at proper for latest examples of alumni in motion.) The custom will likely be additional honored when the Affiliation bestows its inaugural MIT Alumni Higher World Service Award this spring on a person whose service efforts supply inspiration to alumni friends. 

With the launch of the MIT Alumni Higher World Service Initiative, the MITAA hopes that examples of excellence will spur others to share, join, and elevate their particular person contributions, combining forces for a better affect.  

“The Affiliation’s final imaginative and prescient is ‘to have interaction and encourage the worldwide MIT neighborhood to make a greater world,’” says Whitney T. Espich, the Affiliation’s chief government officer. “If we wish to fulfill that promise, we must be harnessing all of the factors of power, and that features factoring within the exponential energy of our alumni in service to others. As they did as college students, MIT alumni working collectively can proceed to be a drive multiplier for good.” 

Highlight on Service

The custom of service to others runs all through the historical past of the MIT alumni neighborhood. Some latest examples:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *