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MIT to receive $260m from foundation

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive $260 million after the sale of a North Carolina company, officials said.

The money is being distributed after the $3.7 billion sale of the LORD Corp. to Parker Hannifin Corp, which was finalized in late October.

The money is going to the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts, which is one of four existing foundations established by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Lord, who led the company until his death in 1989. The foundation is controlled by MIT, which will be able to invest the money around the university.

A total of more than $1 billion from the sale of LORD, a global technology and manufacturing company, is being divvied up by four foundations set up to support four institutions: MIT, Duke University, the University of Southern California, and the Cleveland Clinic, MIT said in an announcement in mid-November.


“Thomas Lord and his successors at LORD Corporation have pioneered a distinctive strategy for giving back to society,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in the announcement. “Their generosity to all four institutions is remarkable. ... We are tremendously grateful.”

The money will be distributed to the university over time, MIT said. The general mandate of the four foundations is to support the advancement of education, research, science, and technology.

MIT officials said the fact the funds were unrestricted and could be spent however the university wished was a big boon.

“The unrestricted nature of these funds gives us the opportunity to use them to invest in pressing needs that are often difficult to support through other means," said MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. He said the money would allow the university to "invest even more deeply in its efforts to help solve the world’s great challenges through research, education, and innovation.”

The Lord Foundation of Massachusetts has already given MIT about $34.4 million in funds since it began supporting MIT in 1986.


Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.