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The Campaign for Boston University

When momentum becomes a movement

The Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering

The big story out of our $1.5 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign was the historic $115 million gift from global industrialist and BU Trustee Rajen Kilachand (Questrom’74, Hon.’14), which he dedicated to an endowment fund for integrated life sciences research at BU and a new cutting-edge research center.

But rather than taking a breather, Kilachand’s largesse only fueled our fire and we again broke a number of campaign records this past year.

The cash giving total for FY2018 stood at $158.5 million, a figure that marks the ninth straight year of cash increases, with overall gifts and pledges to the campaign coming in at $252.8 million for the year. To date, we’ve seen 213 donors reach the $1 million level of cumulative giving to the campaign, with 26 having reached that level in FY2018. Similarly, we’ve had 1,101 reach the $100,000 level, with 109 donors reaching it in FY2018.

Several of our schools and colleges—the College of General Studies, the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and Metropolitan College—netted seven-figure gifts for the first time. And giving among faculty and staff was $12.5 million for the year. Meanwhile, international contributions have climbed to $287 million to date, comprising 19 percent of the campaign total.

Some of the drivers behind all this activity? The University’s robust research enterprise, a steady rise in the academic and financial rankings, and proactive alumni engagement, such as the Black Alumni Leadership Council uniting the black affinity groups around the country under one umbrella. In other words, good attracts good.

The result is an enhanced culture of giving on campus and around the world. That generosity of spirit was on full display last spring during our annual Giving Day, when we raised a total of $3 million in 24 hours, 30 percent more than in 2017. A whopping 100 percent of our student-athletes took part in Giving Day—talk about showing up for BU!

Check out other campaign highlights.

Boosting scholarship, powering creativity

So far, the Campaign for Boston University has funded 77 professorships, attracting some of higher education's top minds to campus and cultivating young teaching talent. Below is the latest crop:

  • Gary Sheffer, senior corporate strategist at public relations agency Weber Shandwick, was named the first Sandra R. Frazier Professor of the Practice of Public Relations at the College of Communication, which was established in 2013 by a generous gift from BU Trustee Sandra Frazier (COM’01), founder of Tandem Public Relations.
  • James Rebitzer, a professor and chair of markets, public policy, and law at Questrom School of Business, was named the Peter & Deborah Wexler Professor. The professorship was created in 2012 by BU Trustee Peter L. and Deborah K. Wexler (both Questrom’93) to support a distinguished faculty member with scholarly and teaching expertise in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, and management.
  • Daniella Kupor, a Questrom assistant professor of marketing, Rory Van Loo, a LAW associate professor, and Travis Bristol, a Wheelock assistant professor of curriculum and teaching, each received Peter Paul Career Development Professorships, which are made possible through the support of BU Trustee Peter Paul (Questrom’71). Awarded to outstanding faculty who have been at BU for two years or less, each recipient receives a three-year, nonrenewable stipend.
  • Allyson Sgro, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, was chosen for this year’s Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professorship, which supports the work of a junior faculty member whose scholarship spans more than one school or college. The chair was funded by BU Trustee Ruth A. Moorman (CAS’88, Wheelock’89,’09) and Sheldon N. Simon.