“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.
Marty is grateful to MIT for the academic foundation it provided him. Studying in the Boston–Cambridge area also offered the opportunity for Marty to meet his wife of 57 years, Eleanor “Ellie,” while she was a student at Boston University. Together, they raised a family in New Jersey. Both agree that, at this stage of life, it is important to give back to the places that helped shape their future.
The idea of drawing together past and present, history and future, inspired the Grubers to support the MIT Museum at Kendall Square. “Growing up in New York, I spent lots of time at the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium,” Marty shares. “I’ve long been a student of history, and I believe that museums capture the past and the present, and point the way to the future.”
MIT has a particularly rich history of innovation and research that has paved the way for multitudes of inventions and discoveries. Furthermore, MIT is constantly taking the pulse of the future, looking ahead and anticipating new opportunities and challenges. The MIT Museum is uniquely positioned to do just that: celebrate the range of MIT’s accomplishments, while providing a view into the future.
Currently located at 265 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, the MIT Museum’s mission is to make research and innovation accessible to all. Now charged with the opportunity to move to Kendall Square and serve as the Gateway to MIT at 314 Main Street, the Museum is beginning a new chapter.
Well placed to meet visitors when they exit the T-stop, the MIT Museum at Kendall will be a hub of learning, with three floors of purpose-designed galleries, expanded educational teaching spaces, and a large makerspace for hands-on experimentation. In addition, the Museum’s programmatic work will continue and expand, including new opportunities for lectures, workshops, dialogues, and fun events for a range of ages.
At first, Marty and Ellie hadn’t realized MIT had a museum and had never explored its range of exhibitions and programs. When they saw the current museum and heard about the Kendall project, the Grubers were “impressed that [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,” Marty and Ellie add, “that the MIT Museum helps to show the world what an exciting place MIT really is.”