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 26, 2021, KDMS members participated in the annual KDMS Appreciation Event, held virtually for the second time. The event is an occasion to thank 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 and time zones came together to enjoy the event.

The event began with opening remarks by host MIT Provost Martin A. Schmidt SM ’83, PhD ’88, who thanked KDMS members for their forward-thinking support of the Institute during the MIT Campaign for a Better World and for continuing the legacy of Katharine Dexter McCormick through planned gifts. KDMS co-chair L. Robert Johnson ’63 made remarks and introduced this year’s guest speaker, Nergis Mavalvala PhD ’97, dean of the MIT School of Science and the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics. Dean Mavalvala presented on her ambitions for the School of Science—encouraging cross-disciplinary work, focusing on climate change, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion—and also discussed the importance of a liberal arts education by reflecting on her own life experiences.

The hour-long event was recorded and is provided above for your viewing pleasure.

We hope to see you at the next KDMS appreciation event in 2022!

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