The MIT Alumni Association—working with nearly 15,000 volunteers—provides a range of services, events, online offerings, and support for MIT. Each fall, at the Alumni Leadership Conference, selected volunteers are honored for their work with classes, clubs, reunions, giving, and prospective students. The highest honor—the Bronze Beaver—is being award to these three extraordinary volunteers on Saturday, September 24: Gerald M. Appelstein ’80; Barry R. Bronfin ’60, SM ’61, ScD ’63; and Mohammed A. Jameel ’78.
Gerald M. Appelstein ’80
Course: Chemical engineering
Living Groups: Baker House
Activities: Educational Studies Program, Sigma Xi, Student Cable Group/MITV, Tau Beta Pi (Mass Beta Chapter), Undergrad Research Opportunities Program
Sports: Intramural Basketball, Intramural Football, Intramural Ice Hockey, Intramural Softball
Alumni Club: Club Area of Northern New Jersey
Committees: Educational Council, Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program Advisory Board, Council for the Arts at MIT
Home: Mahwah NJ
Work: Tauber Oil, retired/vice president trading
Commendation: Appelstein has been a tireless champion for many MIT’s initiatives and a dedicated volunteer and leader in countless ways. He has held many leadership positions including serving on the Corporation Visiting Committee for Libraries and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Appelstein’s Institute service dates back to his graduation year of 1980, with service on the Dormitory Council. After graduation, he immediately volunteered to be an MIT educational counselor, and he remains one today. He has contributed his fundraising leadership and infinite wisdom during two terms on the Annual Fund Board and 10 years as a Corporation Development Committee member, including three years as the national engagement chair.
Appelstein was the first chair of the leadership giving group—the William Barton Rogers Society (WBRS)—and has served as a lively host at WBRS and other MIT events across the US. As a good citizen in the name of MIT, he responded in record time to the Boston Marathon terrorist activities, becoming one of the first to make a gift in Officer Sean Collier’s memory. His tremendous loyalty, initiative, and sustained service make him a most deserving recipient of the Bronze Beaver Award.
Barry R. Bronfin ’60, SM ’61, ScD ’63
Course: Chemical engineering (three degrees)
Living Groups: Senior House
Activities: Alpha Phi Omega (Alpha Chi Chapter), WMBR Radio
Sports: Sailing Club
Alumni Club: Club Area of Hartford
Committees: Legislative Advocacy Network Member, Educational Council Representative, Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program Advisory Board, Corporation Development Committee
Home: Avon CT
Work: Venture capital
Commendation: Beginning in the early 1970s, Bronfin has been heavily involved with regional fund soliciting and telethons, serving as chair and cochair of various class reunion gift committees, a member of the Corporation Development Committee (CDC) and Annual Fund Board, and national committee regional chair for the Campaign for MIT. He has also devoted much time to Alumni Association boards and committees such as the K–12 STEM Education Working Group and was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
His tireless and creative devotion to the MIT Club of Hartford as chair, director, and Alumni Association liaison over the years has made the club a vibrant organization. He has earned three earlier Association awards for his many roles with the Hartford club and his fundraising efforts as cochair of his Reunion Gift Committees. Bronfin conceived the class of 1960 project—the Endowment Fund for Innovation in Education (EFIE)—launched at his 25th reunion. Bronfin’s more than 40 years of service and devotion to the Institute, as well as the variety and depth of his contributions, is truly inspiring.
Mohammed A. Jameel ’78
Course: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Alumni Club: Club Area of Saudi Arabia
Committee: Life Member, MIT Corporation
Home: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Work: Abdul Latif Jameel Company Limited, chair and president
Commendation: Jameel is a dedicated supporter of initiatives at MIT that improve lives around the world. He has been engaged with MIT since the early 1990s, when he established a scholarship fund for students from Saudi Arabia and other specified countries in memory of his father. Since 1994, he has supported the educational aspirations of more than 140 students at MIT and he personally reached out to the recipients to begin building a network of these scholars.
In 2005, he made a gift to endow the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), followed by substantial contribution in 2009 to greatly expand its work. Today, J-PAL, which pioneered the use of randomized controlled trials to test the effectiveness of antipoverty programs in developing countries, has more than 500 field projects in 66 countries. He has also supported D-Lab’s Scale-Ups program, which develops and helps commercialize affordable products for the poor. In 2014, Jameel established the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab at MIT to spearhead research that will help humankind adapt to a rapidly changing planet and combat worldwide water and food supply scarcity. He was named a member of the MT Corporation in 2009 and became a life member in 2014. Jameel’s ability to inspire others, lead diverse constituents around common goals, and create meaningful connections between institutions and nations make him a deserving recipient of the Bronze Beaver Award.