BU Alumni Web

BU Community Responds to Feltenstein Challenge

5,000 alumni, parents, and friends step up to the plate with donations

Sidney J. Feltenstein (COM'62). Photo courtesy of BU Photography

When BU Trustee and entrepreneur Sidney J. Feltenstein and his wife, Lisa, pledged $1 million to match gifts to the Annual Funds, their goal was to inspire the BU community to help meet the needs of students. Five thousand alumni, parents, and friends rose to the challenge, contributing $1.4 million — for a Feltenstein Challenge total of $2.4 million.

Annual Funds at each of the University's schools and colleges give deans the flexibility to meet new, pressing, and often unexpected needs. The Feltensteins issued their challenge in April to match new and increased gifts made through June, the end of the University's 2009 fiscal year. Despite what might be expected in this recession, the number of donors who increased their gifts during that period more than tripled over fiscal 2008, and the number of new donors increased by nearly 25 percent.

New and increased gifts to the Annual Fund in the last three months of the fiscal year rose by 51 percent — a great success for this first all-University Annual Fund challenge grant.

A longtime BU supporter and a trustee since 2000, Feltenstein (COM'62) has contributed to the School of Hospitality Administration and has served on its board of advisors since the board's inception in 1984.

Feltenstein is founder and past chair of Sagittarius Brands of Nashville, Tennessee, the parent company of the restaurant chains Captain D's and Del Taco. Previously, he was executive vice president of worldwide marketing at Burger King Corporation, where he is credited with reversing an eight-year decline in customer traffic, and chief marketing officer at Dunkin' Donuts.

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