SMG Given $10 Million for Two Chairs
Second big gift from the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation| From Campaign 101 | By Susan Seligson. Video by Alan Wong
In the video above, Allen Questrom (SMG’64) and Kenneth Freeman, the Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of the School of Management, talk about the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation’s $10 million gift. Photo by Cydney Scott
Allen Questrom (SMG’64), retired chief executive officer of several of the nation’s largest department and specialty stores and a member of the BU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Kelli, have made a second major gift to the University. They have given $10 million from the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation to the School of Management, which Allen Questrom credits with launching his 39-year career as a leader in retail management.
The $10 million gift will endow two professorships and kick-start plans for a new School of Management executive education center, according to Kenneth Freeman, the Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of SMG. “This represents one of the most significant gifts in the history of the School of Management, as we approach our 100th anniversary in 2013,” says Freeman. While details of the endowed chairs are being worked out, he says, the professorships will have many indirect impacts as the faculty increases its emphasis on ethics in business. “That’s the beauty of the Questrom name, which is synonymous with business success, business results, and the highest integrity,” says Freeman, describing Questrom as “an icon of corporate America.”
“We are grateful that Allen and Kelli Questrom share with us a vision for the future of the School of Management and that they are willing to so generously help make our aspirations a reality,” says BU President Robert A. Brown. “Their gift will help to attract and support distinguished faculty members and to seed the fundraising for a new extension to the school’s facilities. Together, these initiatives will further strengthen the quality of the education available to our students and help place the School of Management in the forefront of business schools worldwide.”
This is the Questroms’ second major gift to SMG. In 2007, the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation gave $4 million for the school’s endowed deanship and professorship. Former SMG Dean Louis Lataif (SMG’61, Hon.’90), who retired in 2010, was the first Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, the chair now held by Freeman. The chair is the only endowed deanship at BU. Questrom is a former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the J.C. Penney Company, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, and Federated Department Stores, Inc., which today is known as Macy’s.
“I wouldn’t have found a fitting career in retailing without BU, so I have a very clear responsibility to give back,” says Questrom, who studied finance and marketing, but had no idea what he wanted to do until he excelled in an elective course in retailing. He says his SMG course work gave him a substantial academic edge, and he went on to legendary success, restoring to health several retail corporations, and saving and creating thousands of jobs.