2013: Beyond the Launch

BU launched its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign in September 2012. As chairman of the largest provider of family entertainment in the world, BU Trustee and Campaign Chair Kenneth Feld knows a billion dollars will turn heads, but he also knows about timing. “BU is now at a stage where it is breaking through,” he says. “The goal is to become one of the top research universities in the world.”

Hear more from Feld and other University leaders:

That’s a lot of zeroes.

“One billion dollars.” You’re going to be hearing that number a lot over the next five years now that BU has begun the first University-wide fundraising campaign in its 173-year history. The theme for the Campaign for Boston University—“Choose to Be Great”—comes directly from the strategic plan set in motion seven years ago by President Brown. Along with laying out a vision for Boston University, that document states that BU is “at a point in our institutional evolution where we must make the kinds of choices that will move the University forward.” Having made significant progress on many of the plan’s goals in the past few years, it is now time to complete the process and ensure that the University’s future is truly secure.

The Campaign’s goal of $1 billion might seem like a daunting number. The good news is, we’re off to an incredible start toward reaching that goal. Before the formal Campaign announcement, $420 million had been pledged during the quiet phase. Included in that figure are a number of generous donors who have already demonstrated how important BU and its mission are to them.

Leaving Their Mark:
Engaging Alumni to Lead on Campus and Beyond.

International Advisory Board: Focus on a Global World

Affiliation: University Leadership, BU Alumni

Mission: Working with Advisory Boards to develop ways to engage alumni and enhance the BU brand around the globe

Marciano Commons: State-of-the-Art Dining

Affiliation: BU Undergraduates and Graduate Students

In Brief: New dining facility boasts 12 service stations, a bakery, and vegan and gluten-free kitchens

Shelton Hall: The World Under One Roof

Affiliation: Kilachand Honors College

In Brief: On top of a $25M gift, global entrepreneur Rajen Kilachand (GSM'74) pledges $10M to renovate Shelton Hall

Giving Thanks: Taking BU to the Next Level

Affiliation: The Boston University Community

In Brief: BU leaders reflect on alumni support at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur gallery

Medical Student Residence: Fostering Esprit de Corps

Affiliation: Boston University School of Medicine

In Brief: A new nine-story, 86,000-square-foot building is home to 208 med students (more than half first-years)

Center for Student Services: Bringing It All Together

Affiliation: BU Undergraduates and Graduate Students

In Brief: $65M project unites academic and career advising, tutoring, and study resources from across campus


The largest gift in BU history, from Trustee Rajen Kilachand (GSM¹74) to endow the Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College and renovate Shelton Hall as the College's home.


From Sumner Redstone (Hon.’94) for a 93,000-square-foot, five-story annex next to the Law Tower.


From Bahaa Hariri (SMG’90) for the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering.


From Alan Leventhal (Hon.¹09) and Sherry Leventhal for the Leventhal Challenge to spark substantial gifts for financial aid and professorships. The result: 34 endowed professorships and scholarships.


From Shamim Dahod (CGS’76, CAS’78, MED’87) and her husband Ashraf to found the Shamim and Ashraf Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center at the School of Medicine.


Annual gift through the campaign’s 2017 finale from Trustee Richard Cohen (CGS’67, SMG’69) to support undergraduates at BU.

Gifts like these are just one approach to achieving the goals of the Campaign. Another innovative way for donors to show their support is the Century Challenge to increase student financial aid. The proposition works like this: if a donor contributes $100,000 or more to establish an endowed undergraduate scholarship fund, the University will use funds from its existing financial aid budget to match the payout from that fund every year for 100 years (up to a maximum of $100 million). In effect, this will double the impact of the donor’s named gift. To date, 21 donors have pledged $7.2 million to the Century Challenge.

Another unique feature of the Campaign is the Million Hours Project, an initiative where BU students donate one million hours of community service to the city and its surrounding areas.

So what’s $1 billion get you these days? About 70 percent of the target $1 billion will be allocated toward completing and/or

fine-tuning the important goals of the strategic plan. Some gifts will support programs in new facilities, such as tutoring and career counseling in the newly opened Center for Student Services.

There are also ongoing needs, such as $210 million (in FY 2013) in financial aid, which the University disperses to 55 percent of undergraduates. Increasing faculty salaries is an important priority. And the University wants to raise the number of endowed professorships.

A lot of progress on the hiring front has been made already. In fact, since 2007, 320 new faculty members have been hired on the Charles River Campus, 87 of whom were in newly created positions. But as the Campaign begins, there’s a renewed emphasis on endowing professorships as a way to ease the financial demands of the schools’ operating budgets and help attract and keep topflight faculty.

But a Few Examples:

Allen Questrom (SMG’64) and the Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation gave $10 million to the School of Management. The gift will endow two professorships and kick-start plans for a new executive education center.

The Robert and Jeanne Knox Foundation has given $2.5 million to create a professorship named for Robert A. Knox (CAS’74, GSM’75) that will support advancements in public health research and care.

The Peter Paul Professorships, given by Trustee Peter Paul (GSM’71), continue to support young faculty by awarding them $40,000 for three years to support their research.

Richard (SMG’82) and Minda (SMG’82, GSM’84) Reidy gave a $1 million gift to establish the Reidy Family Career Development Professorship at the College of Engineering.

The Feld Family Foundation has pledged $10 million to create three endowed professorships at the BU schools attended by Kenneth Feld (SMG’70), Bonnie Feld (CAS’73), and Alana Feld (COM’02).

With a $1.66 million gift from Andrew Lack and an $833,333 matching gift through the Leventhal Challenge, the College of Communication is establishing an endowed journalism professorship.

Brick By Brick, A Landscape Evolves.

Generous gifts to the University helped fund all of these bricks-and-mortar projects, too.

The $65-million, LEED-registered (we anticipate gold certification next year) Center for Student Services opened in August with new dining facilities and expanded educational and career support services.

Thanks in part to an $18 million gift from Sumner Redstone, the School of Law will break ground on a new 93,000-square-foot, five-story annex to the west of the Law Tower.

The new Medical Student Residence opened in June 2012. It’s the first residential facility owned and operated by BU on the Medical Campus.

The College of Engineering is consolidating its instructional machine shops from three locations to a single space. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2012 and will be finished in the fall of 2013.

Technology in another 30 classrooms across the Charles River Campus has been upgraded to improve and standardize media equipment, room lighting controls, and stereo audio systems.