Friday, August 12, 2022

Donald ’67, SM ’69 and Glenda Mattes

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

Legacy inspires hope. An early key employee of Andover Controls, who later headed the company’s European operations, Don visited six continents with Glenda during their 30th wedding anniversary – often for skiing or cycling. “Don’s was a life well lived, just too short,” says Glenda. The couple has made provisions in their estate plan to support the Picower Institute. After Don died, Glenda donated real estate to MIT, which established both endowed and current funds there to support research into Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Glenda is a cancer survivor and the gift also provided a fund in the couple’s name at the Koch Institute.

Great discoveries made at MIT: “Don always said the best thing he got from MIT was learning to think,” says Glenda. “MIT is a great place. Picower Institute director Li-Huei Tsai and her team are doing more than just seeking treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. They are looking for the cause of the disease. I am also fascinated by the fusion of technology and biology by the Koch. The chance that they will ever solve the cancer problem is very high.”

Help MIT build a better world.
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