2:1 matching in place until 12/31 for gifts to renew and replace aged equipment in the DCIF

Liz McGrath, Senior Individual Giving Officer
December 29, 2017

Pictured: A complex tangle of cables is required to keep the DCIF Inova 500 MHz NMR in operation. The room temperature probe on this system and the companion system is out for repair every few months. With Varian no longer manufacturing high-resolution NMR systems, these repairs are costlier, and more time consuming, since they are done by third-party firms. Options for operating these systems will inevitably run-out. Photo / Liz McGrath

Department Head Professor Timothy Jamison has made raising funds for instrumentation renewal and replacement in the Department of Chemistry Instrumentation Facility (DCIF) his top fundraising priority. Recognizing how important it is to provide the research programs of the department's faculty, and other researchers at the Institute and beyond, with a facility that has up-to-date and reliable instrumentation, the Dean of Science has committed to matching all donor gifts to the fund 1:1 up to $1 million until December 31, 2017.  The Institute has also committed to the same amount in matching - a 2:1 match in total. Therefore, every $1 you contribute will provide $3 to this effort.

The Department of Chemistry is charged with the task of raising $1 million to reach the $3 million needed to complete the project.  Gifts of any size will be greatly appreciated and donors giving $10,000 or more are invited to be recognized on a plaque to be displayed inside the DCIF.

The department is most grateful to Drs. Judy and Lee Selwyn who kick-started the department's fundraising efforts with a lead gift of $100,000. Judy, who received her PhD in Chemistry in 1971 is a member of the Department of Chemistry Visiting Committee and is acutely aware of this critical need.  Other members of the committee generously collectively contributed $60,500, and with gifts from loyal alumni and friends received todate, the fund has reached $828,738 (including pledges), which is effectively $2,486,214 (including the 2:1 matching) of the $3 million needed.  (Photo credit: Richard Meyer)

Three full-time staff DCIF members provide instrumentation training, maintenance, repair, and applications assistance to more than 500 users per year. The facility houses seven NMR spectrometers, one high resolution Fourier transform mass spectrometer, a GC-MS, a polarimeter, a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer, a Q-TOF mass spectrometer, an EPR, and an FT-IR spectrophotometer, most of which would be prohibitively expensive for individual research groups. 

Critically, all instruments located in the faciltiy have finite useful lifetimes.  By the time an instrument is 12 to 15 years old, that instrument will be several model generations out of date and will also begin to fail with increasing frequency.  Because both the usefulness and reliability of a given instrument declines precipitously at the twilight of its operational lifetime, a constant effort is required to renew aging instrumentation. With increased instrument age comes increasing rates of failure.  Increasingly, researchers encounter the vexing problem of preparing precious samples that require immediate analysis, only to find that the analytical instrument they wish to use is down because another aged component has failed. At  the present time, the facility has four major instruments dating from 1998, and one from 1999, and the average age is over 15 years!  The most recently acquired NMR (600) was purchased in 1999 before Professor Tim Jamison arrived as a junior faculty member that year.

Will you help us reach our goal?  Gifts of any size will be greatly appreciated!

Gifts of $10,000 and greater will be acknowledged on a plaque displayed inside the facility. Checks made out to the “The Department of Chemistry Instrumentation Fund #2612049” can be sent directly to Liz McGrath, Senior Individual Giving Officer, MIT Department of Chemistry, Bldg 18-388, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. Gifts online may be made by clicking here.

Plaque inscriptions may include "in memory of," or "in honor of", an individual(s) if so desired.
DCIF Partner:  $100,000+
DCIF Patron:  $50,000-$99,000
DCIF Benefactor: $25,000-$49,999
DCIF Sponsor:  $10,000-$24,999