Donald ’67, SM ’69, and Glenda Mattes

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Don Mattes began donating to the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT before he himself was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Since his death in 2020, his wife, Glenda, has carried on Don’s passion for his work. “My wish is that no one should ever go through the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease again,” Glenda says. The Matteses have also supported MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

The legacy awakens hope. One of the first key employees of Andover Controls who later ran the company’s European operations, Don visited six continents with Glenda during their 30-year marriage, often for skiing or cycling. “Don’s was a well-lived life, too short,” Glenda says. The couple made arrangements in their estate plan to support the Picower Institute. After Don’s death, Glenda made a gift to MIT of properties that set up endowed and commonly used funds there to support research on Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Glenda is a cancer survivor, and the gift also provided a fund on behalf of the couple at the Koch Institute.

Great discoveries being made at MIT: “Don always said the best thing he got from MIT was to teach them to think,” Glenda says. “MIT is an amazing place. Picower Institute director Li-Huei Tsai and her team are doing more than just looking for a treatment for Alzheimer’s. They’re looking for the root cause of the disease. I’m also fascinated. with the merger of Koch’s engineering and biology. The chances of them one day solving the cancer problem are very high. ”

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