Beta Theta Pi - MIT

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Beta Upsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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BACK BAY BETA Beta Upsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology P.O. Box 442100 Lawrence, KS 66044-2100 Address Service Requested f Beta Theta Pi - Massachusetts Institute of Technology House Corporation Fund: Educational Fund: J ames Cunningham '57 earned a bachelor's degree in geology and geophysics (course 12), a master's degree in electrical engineering (course VI-1), and an SCD in electrical engineering. Jim worked for Professor Claude Shannon, a pioneer in information theory, on his doctoral work. Jim helped to create the first portraits of the Earth's surface from space and helped develop the first ATMs. At Beta eta Pi, Jim formed many lifelong friends. He tragically died in 1983 while still in his forties. Some of his MIT classmates and fraternity brothers wanted to honor his memory, so James Draper '62 spearheaded the effort to raise funds in Cunningham's memory and to honor his legacy. Upon learning that MIT did not have any endowed funds exclusively for undergraduate women in engineering, the Cunningham Memorial Scholarships were formed. e first fund was established in EECS in 1984. is was followed by funds to support women majoring in aero/astro, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, bioengineering, biology, and, most recently, mechanical engineering. With help from MIT, the Cunningham Scholars program hosted a series of luncheons for current and alumni scholars from the mid- '80s up to the mid-2000s. ese luncheons featured guests and women speakers interested in promoting women in engineering, including Susan Hockfield (MIT's 16th president serving in 2004-12), MIT Professor Sheila Widnall, 1960 graduate of aeronautics and astronautics (wife of Bill Widnall '59), and MIT Professor Penny Chisholm of civil and environmental engineering. ese memorial scholarship funds serve as a legacy to Brother Cunningham and as a vision to fully realize the value of women at MIT and in our society. From its inception to the present, the Cunningham scholarships have been awarded to over 100 students. In 2020, the Cunningham scholarships are now entering a new era of leadership via a steering committee, including Cunningham alumni recipients and Betas James Draper and Mike Feinstein '82. A LinkedIn group was formed for Cunningham scholars and friends to further enhance the sense of community, provide support and networking opportunities, and help further the vision of the Cunningham scholarships. ere are seven Cunningham Memorial Scholarship funds, each for a different department at MIT. n Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (3401500) n Aeronautics and Astronautics (3402100) n Chemical Engineering (3402300) n Civil and Environmental Engineering (3402301) n Biological Engineering (3402302) n Biology (3402303) n Mechanical Engineering (3389910) To support them, visit and choose the department you prefer. If you have no preference, please choose mechanical engineering as that is currently the fund with greatest need. anks for helping us carry on the memory of Jim Cunningham and supporting women in engineering at MIT. If you have any questions, please contact James Draper at or Mike Feinstein at CUNNINGHAM SCHOLARSHIPS NEED YOUR SUPPORT Brother Kyle Markland '22 has always been interested in music. Throughout the quarantine period, he utilized his passion for good, releasing several pieces of music designed to help others cope with the negative impacts of quarantine. The 2020 Beta Graduating Class featured these 8 wonderful brothers who left a lasting legacy on the Beta Upsilon Chapter. Congratulations, brothers!

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