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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Treasurer

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0142

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the Massasachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Office of the Treasurer contain the choronological file of outgoing correspondence from the Treasurer's Offices relating to the financial affairs of MIT while Joseph J. Snyder was Treasurer, 1949-1975. Also included are correspondence and contracts concerning the ownership of property given to MIT by business and individuals between the years 1897 and 1941. Box 7 is undescribed.


  • Creation: 1897 - 1976
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1954 - 1976


Conditions Governing Access

This collection must be reviewed to identify any restricted material before access can be granted. Please submit your requests at least ten business days before your desired visit to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within five business days to let you know whether your requested material is open. For complete information on this policy, see our Statement on Accessing Institute Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical Note

The Office of the Treasurer is responsible for stewardship of the financial resources of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation and is concerned with the financial aspects of the Institute’s operations, gifts, plant facilities, and investments. The treasurer is authorized to sell, transfer, and invest the property of the Corporation. Subject to the authorization of the Investment Committee, the treasurer appoints an investment manager, or managers, who administers the financial assets of the Institute on a day-to-day basis. The treasurer also serves as an ex officio member of the Investment and Development Committees and of the Corporation. The Institute’s financial transactions are summarized annually by the Office of the Treasurer in the MIT Treasurer’s Report.

The treasurer is one of the principal officers of MIT, along with the chair of the Corporation, the president, and the secretary. The treasurer reports to the Corporation, generally at the annual meeting, and to the Executive Committee of the Corporation. The treasurer also reports regularly to the Investment Committee regarding their investments.

The position of the treasurer was created when the Institute was incorporated in 1861. The first treasurer was Charles Henry Dalton. Like the other principal officers of the Institute, Dalton was appointed by a five-member nominating committee. He was charged with keeping an account of all moneys received and expended for the use of the Institute. He was authorized to make disbursements only upon vouchers, approved by the Committee of Finance, which also advised him in the care and investment of the Corporation’s funds. He was required to report to the Corporation semi-annually, or more often, and to the Institute annually.

The primary responsibilities of the treasurer included preparing the annual budget, overseeing the purchase and sale of securities and real estate, managing property insurance policies, mortgages, leases and building contracts, and administering bequests and scholarship funds. Although the bursar handled the routine finances of the Institute, particularly difficult problems regarding salaries, pensions, and individual scholarships were referred to the treasurer. By 1883, the treasurer was appointed by the Executive Committee.

In 1892 an executive subcommittee, consisting of two committee members, was appointed to assist the treasurer in the preparation of the budget. The treasurer would solicit annual budget requests from each academic department, and the Budget Committee would submit recommendations for budget appropriations for departmental expenses and salaries to the Executive Committee for approval. Because of his intimate knowledge of Institute finances, the treasurer was routinely appointed to other committees such as the Technological Fund Committee, 1904-1907; the Site Committee, formed in 1906 to find a new location for the MIT campus; the Income Fund, formed in the same year to secure funds for the project; and the Presidential Search Committee, formed in 1907.

By 1906 the payment of salaries and the authorized borrowing of funds were specifically listed among the responsibilities of the treasurer. By 1934 the financial agent of the Institute Corporation was appointed by the Finance Committee, of which the treasurer was an ex officio member.

The ever-increasing need for the Institute to raise money to enlarge endowed and permanent funds rendered the investment returns on the Institute’s assets extremely important. In 1952 the senior administration of the Corporation was restructured to include both a financial vice president and an academic vice president. Joseph J. Snyder, appointed treasurer in 1950, became vice president and treasurer.

In 1973 the Corporation Executive Committee redesignated the functions of the treasurer, separating them from the management of financial operations which report to the vice president for fiscal relations (later the vice president for financial operations). The treasurer of the Corporation became solely responsible for the stewardship and enhancement of the Institute’s assets and investments. The vice president for financial operations had responsibility for the Comptroller, Accounting, Finance, Lincoln Laboratory Fiscal Office, and the Office of Sponsored Programs. As a result, the treasurer reported jointly in the MIT Annual Report to the President with the vice president for financial operations.

In 1974 the sale, transfer, or investment of Corporation property was governed by the policies and procedures set down by an Investment Committee. This committee consisted of the chair of the Corporation and the treasurer, ex officio, plus five members and two rotating members of the Corporation and could be chaired by any of the nine members. The treasurer was required to report to the Investment Committee and the vice president for financial operations.

In 1986 the vice president for resource development retired, and the responsibilities for that office were transferred to the incumbent treasurer, Glenn P. Strehle. Strehle then became vice president and treasurer. As treasurer, he had become involved in the cultivation and solicitation of numerous important donors and was responsible for the processing of gifts to the Institute through the recording secretary’s office. With the new appointment, Strehle devoted the majority of his efforts to the management of resource development and the deputy treasurer and director of investments, Allan S. Bufferd, assumed day-to-day responsibility for operations of the treasurer’s office.

In 1994 the senior administration of the Institute was reorganized and Glenn Strehle became vice president for finance and treasurer. The Office of the Treasurer was organized under two functional components: capital gifts and investments. The Office of Capital Gifts and Legal Affairs became responsible for managing capital gifts. The Office of the Deputy Treasurer for Investments became responsible for managing investments.

With Allan Bufferd’s retirement in 2006, the MIT treasurer and investment functions were split into two positions. The treasurer’s function became part of the responsibilities of the executive vice president for finance and administration. Theresa M. Stone was appointed executive vice president and treasurer effective February 2007.

The treasurer is an ex officio member of the following Corporation committees: Development Committee, Executive Committee, and Investment Committee.

Treasurers of the Institute: Charles Henry Dalton, 1865-1867; William Endicott, Jr., 1867-1872; John Cummings, 1872-1889; Lewis A. Tappan, 1889-1891; George Wigglesworth, 1891-1907; Francis R. Hart, 1907-1909, 1913-1921; William B. Thurber, 1909-1913; Everett Morss, 1921-1933; Horace S. Ford, 1934-1950; Joseph J. Snyder, 1950-1975 (and Vice President); Glenn P. Strehle, 1975-1986, 1986-1994 (and Vice President), 1994-1998 (and Vice President for Finance); Allan S. Bufferd, 1999-2006; Theresa M. Stone, 2007- 2011 (Executive Vice President and Treasurer); and Israel Ruiz, 2011-2020 (Executive Vice President and Treasurer).


7 Cubic Feet (7 record cartons)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Some folder titles in Series 2 have not been published due to the presence of restricted information.

Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 August 23: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.
  • 2023 July 6: Revised by processing archivist Chris Tanguay to add access notes and enhance description.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US