The history of KDMS

In the long history of giving to MIT, planned gifts and bequests have been the largest source of income for MIT’s endowment. In 1994, MIT established the Katharine Dexter McCormick (1904) Society (KDMS) to honor those donors who continue this practice. 

The society is named for Katharine Dexter McCormick, who was one of the most generous individual benefactors in MIT’s history. Her largest gift came as a bequest. 

“Since my graduation in 1904,” she wrote in her will, “I have wished to express my gratitude to the Institute for its advanced policy of scientific education for women. This policy gave me the opportunity to obtain the scientific training which has been of inestimable value to me through my life.”

MIT invites alumni and friends who share Katharine Dexter McCormick’s commitment to the Institute to consider joining KDMS by creating a planned gift. 

Society Gatherings

On September 29, 2019, KDMS members came together for their annual appreciation brunch at the Samberg Conference Center on campus. The event is an occasion to thank those MIT donors who have generously made provisions in their estate plans or made other planned gifts to benefit future generations of MIT students and research. This year, KDMS members spanning a wide range of class years along with current MIT students came together to enjoy the event.

The brunch began with opening remarks by host MIT Provost Martin A. Schmidt SM ’83, PhD ’88, followed by a performance of Brahms’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor by the MIT Ribotones. After four years as KDMS chair, Michael Dornbrook ’75 stepped down from his leadership role, and the society welcomed its first-ever co-chairs, Heather Cogdell ’89 and L. Robert Johnson ’63. The event continued with a presentation by MIT Institute Professor Sallie “Penny” Chisholm on her 2019 Crafoord Prize-winning research on Prochlorococcus. Professor Chisholm shared the story of discovering the most abundant phytoplankter in the ocean and what her research found regarding its genetic makeup and its role in the ocean’s ecosystem.

We hope to see you at the next KDMS appreciation brunch in September 2020!

Become a KDMS Member

Have you already included MIT in your estate plan? Let us know! We would love to welcome you to the Katharine Dexter McCormick Society.

Contact the Office of Gift Planning