Preview performance of the Huntington Theatre Company's James Joyce's The Dead, September 7, 8, and 9, at the BU Theatre

Vol. V No. 3   ·   31 August 2001 


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University raises a record-breaking $85.6 million in FY'01

By David J. Craig

Boston University's fundraising efforts brought in $85.6 million in gifts during the 2001 fiscal year, continuing a six-year stretch of unprecedented growth. The total exceeded the $73.4 million raised last year and surpassed the target figure set by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

  A cause for celebration: Taking time out from the festivities at the Development, Alumni Relations, and University Relations Banner Year Celebration, held on July 11, are (from left): Christopher Reaske, vice president of development and alumni relations, Edward Masterman, BU trustee, President Jon Westling, and Richard DeWolfe, chairman of the Board of Trustees. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

New pledges were up 22 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001. "From every point of view, it's just been a great year," said Christopher Reaske, vice president for development and alumni relations, at a July 11 function celebrating the University's most successful year of fundraising to date. The $85.6 million total included the first installment of a $14 million grant -- one of the largest single private awards in the University's history -- from the Whitaker Foundation, of Arlington, Va., which funds research in biomedical engineering.

At the celebration, Reaske announced a goal of $100 million for the coming year. In fiscal year 1995, just before Reaske arrived at BU, the University received only $37.7 million in gifts. BU President Jon Westling, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Richard DeWolfe (MET'71), and trustee Edward Masterman congratulated Office of Development and Alumni Relations staff at the July event. As a result of losing his light-hearted annual bet with Reaske about topping the University's fundraising record, Westling donned a comical cap. Reaske's choice this year was the chapeau made famous in Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat. "I must say that I have never offered myself up for humiliation with more enthusiasm than I do this afternoon," said Westling. "If wearing a funny cap is the price that one must pay for results like this, I welcome it, and I'm glad to do it."

The recent fundraising success has enabled the University to be more generous with financial aid to students, to be more competitive in attracting prominent professors, and to boost the visibility of its schools, Westling said. Alluding to a massive capital campaign the University is preparing to launch within the next two years, he said that building on the momentum in fundraising will be important for implementing planned improvements to the Charles River Campus. Among these improvements is the development of the Student Village at the site of the former Commonwealth Armory, which will include a recreation and wellness facility, a hockey and basketball arena, and student residences. The arena, Westling said, will "give us for the first time a place where most of the Boston University community can be together in one place for important community activities."

Such infrastructure upgrades, said DeWolfe, are the next logical improvement to BU. Since 1970, the University's vision "has been focused on building the credibility of Boston University. . . . Now, as we look at 2001 and beyond, I can tell you it's going to be about building the buildings. Because we have that credibility, we have that faculty, we have that vision, what we really need now are first-class accommodations for our students, for our academics, for our administration, for the world we serve."


31 August 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations