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The BU Symphony Orchestra performs works by Shostakovich, and Schumann at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, at the Tsai Performance Center

Week of 1 October 2004 · Vol. VIII, No. 3

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Leventhal gift jump-starts $15M fund to be allocated by next president

Alan and Sherry Leventhal Photo by Vernon Doucette


Alan and Sherry Leventhal Photo by Vernon Doucette

In a unique show of generosity and commitment, Trustee Chairman Alan Leventhal and his wife, Sherry Leventhal, recently donated to the University $5 million, which will serve as the seed money for a $15 million fund to be spent at the discretion of BU’s next president. The Leventhals intend their $5 million gift to be matched by an additional $10 million in gifts, which will be raised by members of the Board of Trustees and friends of the University.

The resulting $15 million Fund for Leadership and Innovation will be available for allocation to any BU school, college, program, or center — whether to support faculty hires or for scholarships, research, or capital expenditures such as building construction and renovation. Furthermore, the fund will be expendable rather than endowed, giving the new president maximum flexibility to support his or her top priorities at BU. (The Board of Trustees currently is creating a search committee to recommend candidates for the University’s next permanent president; see accompanying story.)

“As chairman of the Board, I feel a strong responsibility to make a significant contribution to the University, one that will allow BU to take advantage of as-yet-unidentified future opportunities,” says Leventhal, a real estate developer and chairman and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners, which he founded in 1998. “We have made great progress, and in order for that to continue, we need to provide the next president with the resources to fund his or her vision for a world-class university.”

Leventhal and his wife say they explored many options for showing their commitment to BU, including funding a group of professorships across several schools in order to attract new talent, or creating a scholarship fund for undergraduate students or a fund for graduate fellows. But eventually they decided to provide a large, unrestricted gift for a set of University-wide presidential initiatives.

“In my many years in academia, I am unaware of a new president being provided with such an innovative funding opportunity,” says Aram Chobanian, president ad interim. “I am certain that my successor will find unique ways to utilize this fund to enhance and invigorate our first-class university.”


1 October 2004
Boston University
Office of University Relations