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
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. Their assistance will
help the project continue to document the history of
music at MIT by expanding interviews with current and
former music faculty, staff, students, and visiting artists. The
interviews will all be available for listening in the
Lewis Music Library.
“Choosing music and the Libraries goes back to
what helped me at MIT and later in life,” said
Lionel. The music library continues to be a place of
peace, comfort and inspiration for MIT’s students,
many of whom find there a welcome release from the pressures
of the Institute.
“Music has always played an important role at
MIT, and future generations entering the library will
be touched by the Kinneys’ generosity and vision,” said
Music Librarian Peter Munstedt.
With their gift the Kinneys hope their philanthropy
will help expand students’ exposure to music. As
Lionel noted, “If you give money to a worthy cause,
like the Libraries, it’s good for the future.”
Find out more about making a bequest: Contact