Deepika and Amar Sawhney stand together in a sunlit stairwell and smile at the camera.
Deepika and Amar Sawhney at the MIT Museum in Kendall Square. Image credit: Justin Knight.

Amar and Deepika Sawhney

The Sawhney Family embodies the very best values of MIT: curiosity, exploration, and kindness. Amar and Deepika have raised their family to celebrate science in their everyday lives through education, work, and service. Intrigued by MIT’s openness to new ideas, innovation, and even criticism, Amar was motivated to engage with the Institute.

“I think that right now is one of the most seminal and impactful times in the history of the MIT Museum,” says Amar. “Due to these improvements, we are going to get so many new visitors. I would tell others, ‘Get involved now, as things are being shaped!’”

Ed Thorp smiles while looking past the camera
Ed Thorpe

Ed Thorp

From a very young age, Ed Thorp has been driven by a natural curiosity that pushes him to embrace challenges and investigate complex ideas. His father fostered this exploration, even during the lean years of World War II, giving him advanced books to read and treating him to special gifts, including a mineral set Ed fondly recalls experimenting with during the summer of 1942. From there, his interest grew to chemistry. After moving to Southern California, Ed convinced a nearby pharmacy owner to sell him chemicals at cost, so he could experiment and see how they reacte

“The MIT Museum is a great introduction to MIT, and it plays a critical role in providing access to young minds who might not realize the opportunities available in science and technology.”
– Ed Thorp

Eric Silverman

Eric Silverman

A brief conversation with Eric Silverman, SM 91, is bound to leave you energized and inspired by his vast knowledge of business and his passion for museums and collecting. A natural extrovert and connector of people, Erics time at MIT Sloan helped him build a substantial network and a successful career as both an investor and an entrepreneur. While Erics career is an integral part of his life, his work with museums has long been a passion that continues to bring him personal fulfillment.

“The MIT Museum project is a great place to make a contribution. The legacy of your giving continues long after your lifetime. If you want to make a real, material impact over a long period of time, supporting this project is an important thing to do.”
– Eric Silverman

Portrait of Brit d’Arbeloff, facing camera and smiling in front of a dark background.
Brit d’Arbeloff

Brit d’Arbeloff

“It’s all about accessibility and exposure,” explains Brit d’Arbeloff, SM’61, philanthropist, and advocate for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). With tenacity and a smile, Brit achieved pioneer status as the first woman to graduate from Stanford University with a mechanical engineering degree. She then made her way to MIT and pushed new boundaries, completing her SM in Mechanical Engineering in a culture that at the time was less than welcoming.

“There is a misconception that people have about science and technology, much like they do about the arts. If they haven’t been exposed, they feel they won’t understand. [This museum is working to disprove that notion and to] take complex problems solved at MIT and share them with the world in a way that is relevant to people’s everyday lives.”
– Brit d’Arbeloff

Portrait of Ann Allen at the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT Gala.Image credit: L. Barry Heatherington.
Ann Allen

Ann Allen

“Arts is another word for oxygen,” according to Ann Allen, and it has been a consistent and critical part of her life for as long as she can remember. Graduating with a BA in English literature from the University of New Hampshire, Ann was always engaged in the arts, be it music, theater, literature or the visual arts. She went on to study art history at Wellesley College, became a gallery speaker in the college’s museum and later received an MA in art history from Boston University.

“My goal for this gift is to reach new horizons with a new space, to explore approaches and techniques with the objects themselves, and help develop new ways to teach and to learn. I envision the Workshop to be a place abuzz with people of all ages, who are open to playing with curiosity, challenge, and discovery. The new MIT Museum at Kendall will be unique and experimental in this way.”
– Ann Allen

Martin and Eleanor Gruber. Credit: Caronchi Photography.
Martin and Eleanor Gruber. Credit: Caronchi Photography.

Martin and Eleanor Gruber

“At MIT, I developed a thirst for objectivity and rationality, and a belief that there was no problem that I could not solve,” shares Dr. Martin “Marty” Gruber ’59, reflecting on his time as an undergraduate majoring in chemical engineering. This natural curiosity and determination continued throughout Marty’s life, leading him to pursue an MBA and a PhD in finance at Columbia University, and then to a respected academic career teaching at the NYU Stern School of Business for more than 45 years. He remains a scholar in residence there, and continues to write actively on financial topics.

“[the Museum] captured so much of the achievements of MIT. It not only reflects the past and present projects, but also shows where MIT is leading in many areas of future research. We believe that the MIT Museum helps to show the world what an exciting place MIT really is.”
– Martin and Eleanor Gruber

Peter Athens. Credit Jon Sachs.
Peter Athens. Credit Jon Sachs.

Peter Athens

At MIT, anything is possible. For Peter Athens (’52, ’58), an MIT education in both civil and mechanical engineering, led to a successful career working in technological risk analysis at Arthur D. Little for over 35 years and, surprisingly, to a productive role as an artist of sculpture and painting.


“With the exposure to world-class public art, stellar programs in music and theater, and engagement with the SAA and the Center for Art, Science & Technology, these opportunities help produce well-rounded graduates. The arts at MIT are unique, and for this reason they should be celebrated and supported.”
– Peter Athens

Paul and Joan Gluck in front of MIT public art work Transparent Horizon, 1975, by Louise Nevelson. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington, 2017.

Paul and Joan Gluck

Dr. Paul A. Gluck ’68, and his wife, Joan, have enjoyed a life together celebrating a mutual passion for discovery and creativity in both science and the arts. Over 46 years of marriage, Paul and Joan have always known that their desire to help others was not their only common interest.

“The arts at MIT are flourishing, and MIT’s unique approach to the arts is vital to the student experience. CAST is now getting the recognition it deserves as artist and scientist creatively work together. We strongly believe that this is the future of artistic innovation.”
– Paul and Joan Gluck

Philip and Barbara Bobko 2017, Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

Philip and Barbara Bobko

Phil (’70) and Barbara Bobko are avid symphony fans and often make the trip from their home in Pennsylvania to attend concerts in the Washington, DC area. The Bobkos found great joy in attending concerts, but even more in sharing their love of music with others. At the same time, they were keen to find ways to support the learning experiences of students who attended MIT. So, after buying season tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Phil and Barbara contacted MIT, and offered to donate the tickets so that current MIT students might enjoy and benefit from the BSO performances.


“We hope to provide MIT’s current and future students with the same enriching experiences we were lucky enough to find many years ago. It makes us quite happy to know that many students will see firsthand how glorious such music can be.”
– Philip and Barbara Bobko

Ron Kurtz stands inside the Kurtz Gallery for Photography. Photo by Justin Knight.
Ron Kurtz stands inside the Kurtz Gallery for Photography. Photo by Justin Knight.

Ron Kurtz

Arriving at MIT in 1950, Ron Kurtz was eager to explore the world of science, but had no interest in the arts. In grade school, Ron did not care for music or enjoy drawing. At the time, he felt that was all art had to offer. Yet for Ron, MIT has always been a place where learning extends far beyond the classroom.  He never expected MIT to be the place where the arts would begin to carve out a special place in his life.

“MIT students… grow to understand the importance of engaging in the arts, celebrating their passions, and giving back through meaningful support to the arts.”
– Ron Kurtz

Mark Epstein in the MIT Museum. Credit L. Barry Hetherington.
Mark Epstein in the MIT Museum. Credit L. Barry Hetherington.

Mark Epstein

Mark Epstein is passionate about the education he received at MIT and remains grateful for the foundation it provided. Mark received his SB in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1963 and the next year completed his SM, also at MIT. He then went on to receive his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. Given Mark’s talent and achievements in science and engineering, many people are interested to learn that Mark has chosen to focus his support of the Institute at the MIT Museum.

“The MIT Museum advances a very important part of the Institute, supports key relationships with the local innovation community, and serves as a place to celebrate and discuss key achievements in science and technology, while constantly looking to the future.”
– Mark Epstein

Dasha Zhukova

Dasha Zhukova

With a $1 million gift to the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), Dasha Zhukova, philanthropist, art collector and founder of Garage, is making her first major gift to a university and her first endowment of a visiting artist program. The Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Program will bring artists to campus for one to two year residencies to collaborate with MIT faculty, students and researchers. The program will support the research and development of new work in an experimental environment that combines artistic vision with the extraordinary talent across multiple disciplines at the Institute.

“I’ve always held an interest in science and technology and their powerful intersection with the worlds of art and design… the fusion of these worlds is where vital creativity and innovation take place.”
– Dasha Zhukova

Four people pose for a photograph: three are standing and one is in a wheel chair.
Margaret McDermott with 2014 McDermott Award Recipient Olafur Eliasson, MIT President L. Rafael Reif and MIT First Lady Chris Reif. 2014.

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott (1912-2018) and her husband, Eugene McDermott (1899–1973), were MIT’s greatest arts patrons and generous benefactors of the Institute. A geophysicist and co-founder of Texas Instruments, Eugene McDermott was a member of the MIT Corporation from 1960 to 1973. Although not an alumnus, he was passionate about MIT as a lab for creativity in all fields of study. Margaret was an advocate for the arts at MIT, in addition to her support for many arts organizations in Dallas and beyond.

“not only are MIT people different – the campus and town, Cambridge, are unforgettable. It’s a place of learning, with knowledge [and] accomplishments that have changed our world.”
– Margaret McDermott

Rick and Terry Stone. Credit: L. Barry Hetherington.

Terry and Rick Stone

Theresa M. “Terry” Stone and Charles Frederic “Rick” Stone III have been actively engaged with the MIT community since they graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1976. As treasurer and executive vice president of MIT during Susan Hockfield’s presidency, Terry led MIT’s response to the 2008 financial crisis during a time of significant pressure on the endowment. She was also key in the development of MIT 2030, the framework for understanding and planning for the future needs of MIT’s campus. Terry is now a member of the MIT Corporation, and Rick is the chair of the Council for the Arts at MIT, recently appointed by President L. Rafael Reif.

“… we say: ‘Come and see it, hear it, and feel it. Meet our artists, our students in the arts, and encounter our art; discover for yourselves how deeply MIT and art go together.’ They are cutting edge; both are advanced; both are discovering and creating the new; and both are wonderfully fulfilling to anyone devoted to the life of the mind and the hand.”
– Terry and Rick Stone

Anne Street. Credit Justin Knight.
Anne Street. Credit Justin Knight.

Anne Street

Anne Street has been pushing boundaries and making an impact throughout her life. Indeed, she has much to be proud of: a stellar career in supporting both government and private industry in materials engineering and business development, her tireless volunteer work for many institutions, and certainly her 50th reunion, which she celebrated this past June. She recalls that her class—the Class of 1969—was the first class to enter MIT with 50 women students, and is pleased to see that MIT’s admission rates for women now reach close to 50 percent. Anne reflects on her time at MIT as being formative in preparing her for a demanding career and in nurturing the desire to make a visible impact.

“[The MIT Museum’s presence in Kendall Square will serve as a place of welcome for] young folks who would never have imagined attending such a place and who will be fired up to get here. They are the ones who will change the world, and I wanted to be a part of a project that best celebrates that.”
– Anne Street