[Dear Howard: I write with regard to the MIT Endowment for Divestiture of which you are a Trustee.]
by Willard Johnson
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Ocxtober 4, 1994
Letter to Congressman Howard Wolpe about the appropriateness of terminating the MIT Endowment for Divestiture, of which Wolpe is a Trustee. One might argue this should have been done a year ago, since MIT had not divested and apartheid had not ended by the end of 1993, by turning the funds over to the United Negro College Fund and/or Amnesty International, Inc. in keeping with Section 4(D) of the original Trust document. However, at that time apartheid clearly was dying, and we judged that our intent in establishing the fund would be better served to use the funds in a manner that would permit MIT assistance to victims of apartheid. Willard Johnson and Phil Katz now propose to act in keeping with the spirit of section 4(C) of the original Trust, which calls for us to "pay over to MIT all funds then in the trust fund for the purposes of minority scholarship aid," with the understanding that the minority status would include members of South African groups that were disadvantaged and victimized under apartheid. We propose to release to MIT what funds would be left after Court or other necessary costs of terminating our Trust. MIT could use these funds, within the provisions of the U.S. laws governing use of funds for charitable purposes, in support of deserving South African students. There are such students at MIT, and already MIT has given some assistance to such students. Counsel has advised that the most appropriate way to accomplish the original intent would be to amend the Trust document. Please indicate your approval or disapproval of a resolution that would accomplish this.
Collection: Private collection of Willard Johnson