A Trustee’s Challenge Raises $2.3M
Money will go to scholarships, emergency financial aid, and other pressing needs| From Digest | By Allyson Galle (CAS’12)
Richard Cohen says his Boston University education opened his mind. He wants to ensure that students today have the same experience.
When trustee Richard D. Cohen (CGS’67, SMG’69) offered the BU community a $1 million challenge in April, alumni, parents, and friends quickly rose to meet it. In three months, more than 5,800 Cohen Challenge contributions came in, raising $1.3 million in new or increased Annual Fund gifts in support of BU students, for a total of $2.3 million.
Cohen, who says that Boston University “opened his mind” to the possibilities of education, has supported the University in many ways over the years. He serves on the Board of Trustees and has established a scholarship and a professorship. He was also the first donor to the challenge he made to the BU community, increasing his own Annual Find gift this year, then matching the increased amount. Thousands of others followed his lead.
The money raised through the challenge, which ended at midnight on June 30, will go to a variety of BU initiatives. “The whole point of giving is to make a difference,” says Cohen, who designated his $1 million contribution to scholarships and emergency financial aid that will give more qualified students access to a BU education. The BU community’s collective $1.3 million Annual Fund gift will be used to support the University’s immediate needs—within the schools, colleges, and programs chosen by each donor—including financial aid, travel and research costs for faculty and students, career services, student organizations, and improved classroom technology.
Cohen’s primary motivation in issuing his challenge was to ensure that BU students continue to receive an education similar to his eye-opening experience. “That’s important to me,” he says, “and that’s why I’ve done it.”