Virtual Events Connect People from Across the Globe

The MIT Office of Gift Planning hosted two virtual events in 2020—the Katharine Dexter McCormick (1904) Society Virtual Appreciation Event and the Corridor Webinar: 2020 Postelection Estate Planning and Philanthropy—to engage alumni, friends, and planned giving donors. While we hope to be together on campus again soon, an unexpected benefit of these gatherings is the relative ease with which people from around the world can attend. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event soon! 

The Katharine Dexter McCormick (1904) Society Virtual Appreciation Event 

In September, the annual KDMS appreciation event went virtual for the first time in its history, allowing KDMS members—donors who have made a bequest or established a life-income gift—to participate from all over the world. In the spirit of McCormick’s legacy at the Institute, host Provost Martin A. Schmidt SM ’83, PhD ’88 spoke about the importance of planned gifts in helping institutions like MIT weather and adapt to unforeseen events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Schmidt, who is also the Ray and Maria Stata Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, explores these ideas and more in a Q&A

During the main presentation, John Durant, the Mark R. Epstein (Class of 1963) Director of the MIT Museum, provided an illuminating preview of building and exhibit designs for the new, reimagined museum, which is scheduled to open next year in the heart of Kendall Square. The MIT Museum’s mission to bring the Institute’s amazing work out of the lab and into the community will be amplified in its new home, with increased gallery and outdoor space, interactive exhibitions, and unprecedented community access thanks to free admission for Cambridge residents. 

KDMS co-chairs Heather Cogdell ’89 and Bob Johnson ’63 gave remarks on the importance of MIT in these turbulent times, when society is facing problems such as racism, anti-science sentiments, and an environmental crisis. But, as Cogdell said, MIT gives us all “hope for the future.” 

A recording of the event can be found at

Corridor Webinar: 2020 Postelection Estate Planning and Philanthropy

The new Corridor webinar series kicked off on December 2 with a presentation by Brad Bedingfield and Nancy Dempze, partners at Hemenway & Barnes LLP, on the potential changes to philanthropy after the 2020 election. More than 450 participants attended the hourlong presentation and engaged in a lively Q&A session.

The presentation provided an overview of the current legal landscape regarding estate taxes and charitable giving as well as possible scenarios based on proposed Biden administration plans. Suggested giving strategies and planning tips were also highlighted for attendees to consider when reviewing their estate plans heading into 2021.

If you would like more information about events hosted by the Office of Gift Planning, please email 

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