“The arts at MIT have always been a special factor in the Institute.”
—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.
Terry and Rick arrived at MIT Sloan with uncommon academic backgrounds. She received a BA in French literature from Wellesley College and studied romance languages at Cornell University, and he studied English literature, receiving an AB at Princeton and a PhD from Cornell University where they met and married. “When we decided to change careers, we found that MIT was happy to take a couple of non-scientists. We loved our MIT experience, and have been involved with the Institute ever since.” Coming from academic backgrounds at the core of the humanities and with a personal interest in music and dance, they quickly discovered the artistic creativity on and around campus. “MIT is all about the new discovery, invention, creation, obviously in science and engineering, but also in architecture, management, the humanities and social sciences—and the arts. So, it is natural that one would find intense and thrilling degrees of artistic creativity at MIT.”
They understand the special role that the arts play in the education of MIT students. “Our students come with strong art backgrounds; our curriculum allows all students to experience art; and many, many of them discover, if they didn’t already know it, that the arts—in the acts of experiencing, performing, and creating—exercise the brain as does the discovery of problems and theories in science and engineering. All these disciplines are more than complementary; they are practically echo chambers for one another.”
When the Stones considered a major gift to MIT, they naturally gravitated toward MIT Sloan, which launched their professional careers, and to the arts, because they contribute so much to the life of the Institute. The Stones created funds to support fellowships for women at MIT Sloan, exhibitions at the List Visual Arts Center, and an annual concert within the MIT Sounding series presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. The First Annual Terry and Rick Stone Concert took place October 30, 2015, in Kresge Auditorium, and featured acclaimed violinist Johnny Gandelsman performing Bach’s Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.
“To the people who love MIT and who love the arts, and haven’t made or experienced the connection between what MIT is and what art is, 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.”