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Tom Peterson

Tom Peterson

Tom Peterson owns a book collection of 4,000 technology volumes dating back to the 1500s. His favorites include a first edition Galileo; an early edition Benjamin Franklin; and an original signed photograph of Albert Einstein. Over the years, he has had many of his own rare books restored and valued the results, so he wanted to do the same for MIT.

Recently, Peterson gave the Institute $1.5 million to establish the Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. (1957) conservator position at MIT Libraries. The gift will make it possible for MIT's collection of rare books and materials to be preserved in perpetuity.

Peterson's gift is one of the largest ever made by an individual to the MIT Libraries. "I just wanted to get this project started," he says. "I really wanted to preserve rare books for scholars to use 500 years from now."

full story: Tom Peterson

Jim and Marianne Rothnie

Jim and Marianne Rothnie

Colorful canvases with sun-splashed landscapes of Italy and coastal Carolina fill Jim Rothnie's home art studio. Painting is an interest this MIT alumnus is able to devote more time to since he and his wife, Marianne, retired to South Carolina in 2002. When Jim reminisces about his years at MIT, he paints a picture that is as warm and vibrant as his artwork.

"I loved being a student at MIT," said Rothnie when he recalls the excitement around learning that he found amongst his MIT peers. Jim's fond memories of MIT and his gratitude to the Institute where he earned three degrees (SB in EECS in 1970, and an SM and PhD in civil engineering in 1972) recently inspired the Rothnies to establish a $50,000 endowment for the MIT Libraries.

full story: Jim & Marianne Rothnie

Vilma and Lionel Kinney

Lionel and Vilma Kinney

“Music was a very important part of my life here at MIT," said Lionel Kinney ’53. As a trumpet player and general manager of the Combined Music Clubs at MIT, he gained skills that helped him during his forty-year career at the industrial tractor company Caterpillar. When he and his wife, Vilma, a former librarian, began to consider their estate plans, the work of the Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library was a natural fit.

The Kinneys have included a bequest to the Lewis Music Library and the Music Section of SHASS in their estate plan—naming MIT the beneficiary of Lionel’s employer retirement plan. “We want to help others,” said Vilma. Both she and Lionel noted that they trust MIT to put the funds to good use.

To support the Library’s work in preserving musical heritage, the Kinneys also made an outright gift to the Music at MIT Oral History Project.

full story: Lionel & Vilma Kinney

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