Category: Campaign Newsletter, Issue 2
Benjamin Zhengmin Pan (Parent CAS’13) has become the first mainland Chinese parent of a BU student to establish a scholarship fund for Chinese undergraduates at BU, in response to BU’s Century Challenge. It is the first fund created by a Chinese parent under the auspices of the Challenge.
“I am honored to be the first mainland Chinese parent to do this,” Pan said, “and I hope more people with the financial capacity are willing to join this good cause to help students. These young people are our future. If we help them, we help ourselves!”
Support for international students
Pan’s gift is an endowed fund, the income from which will provide annual scholarship awards to deserving undergraduate students from mainland China, Asia, or other parts of the world. The scholarship provides financial support for students who would not otherwise be able to attend BU.
“With China’s rapid and continued economic and social development, I believe more people are going to be willing to help others in many ways,” said Pan. “BU has adopted a global and diverse management style that has made it one of the best-known universities in the world. I admire BU and want tohelp Chinese students come to BU for a good education. Eventually, these students will create greater value for society and all of mankind.”
Pan is chief executive officer and executive director of AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., a company he co-founded in 1993. He helped develop patents for the design and manufacture of AAC’s polyphonic speakers, miniature receivers, and transducers, and has spearheaded the company’s expansion outside China.
Weekend of events is filled with optimism, determination, and celebration.
Over the weekend of September 21 through 23—in ceremonies large and small, festive and contemplative—the Campaign for Boston University was formally launched. With an overall goal of as much as $1 billion, the campaign—BU’s first ever—is designed to support almost every aspect of the University’s academic work.
At a black-tie dinner on Friday evening, campaign chair and trustee Kenneth Feld (SMG’70) revealed how much money had been raised through early commitments to the campaign: a total of more than $420 million. “Thank you,” Feld told an audience of some 300 supporters of the University. “What a wonderful leap forward for this great institution!”
Feld also announced that 100 percent of the Board of Trustees had already contributed to the campaign. Taken together, Feld said, the University’s trustees and overseers had pledged more than $130 million to the drive. “This is enormously important,” said Feld. “This creates a new paradigm of philanthropy in support of BU.”
In another major development, Feld announced that trustee Rajen Kilachand (GSM’74)—who, with a $25 million gift to BU last year, established himself as the largest donor in the University’s history—had pledged an additional $10 million to the cause. In recognition of Kilachand’s extraordinary generosity, BU will rename Shelton Hall “Kilachand Hall,” and dedicate that building to the use of the Honors College endowed by Kilachand in honor of his parents.
President Robert A. Brown, in his remarks to the Friday night gathering, also made a major announcement. “Just last week,” Brown said, “we received a gift of $18 million from Sumner M. Redstone, the executive chairman of Viacom.
This was the cornerstone gift that we needed to undertake the expansion and improvement of our School of Law’s campus. After Rajen Kilachand’s magnificent gift of last year, this was the second largest gift from an individual ever received by this University. It is, almost literally, the key that unlocks the door to the future of our Law School. Now, we can move forward. We can create a Law School campus that’s as good as our faculty and students.”
Celebration of BU
Friday night’s air of optimism and determination carried forward into Saturday night’s “Celebration of BU,” held in a transformed Agganis Arena in front of a crowd estimated at more than 3,000 people. The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, under the direction of Keith Lockhart (Hon.’04), provided musical accompaniment as a series of speakers and performers celebrated the growth and accomplishments of BU over more than a century and a half.
Special guests included Kevin O’Connor (GSM’99), Andy Cohen (COM’90), Dean of Students Kenn Elmore (SED’87), Mike Eruzione (SED’77), and Erica Hill (COM’98). Peter Fiedler (COM’77), BU’s vice president of administrative services—and son of the late Arthur Fiedler (Hon.’51), longtime Pops maestro—took a turn with the baton. Entertainers included Boston University student groups ranging from the Dear Abbeys a cappella group, to the Inner Strength Gospel Choir, to the BU Figure Skating Team, and also featured skaters provided by FELD Entertainment.
1 million hours of community service
A special feature of both evenings was the announcement—made by Dexter McCoy (COM’14), president of the student body, and Alison Weltman (COM’13), event program manager for BU’s Community Service Center— that the BU student body intended to support the fundraising drive by contributing a million hours of community service over the life of the campaign. “Through this gesture,” explained McCoy, “we want to bring together our students’ impulse to be generous and their determination to serve.”
The Saturday night extravaganza marked the official beginning of the campaign’s public phase, which is expected to last five years. “We will succeed,” campaign chair Feld told his Friday night audience, “but it won’t be easy. Campaigns are not sprints, but marathons. To date, we’ve raised 42 percent of our campaign goal. So: 42 percent of 26 miles means that, in marathon terms, we can see that 11-mile marker on the side of the road just ahead of us. Eleven miles down, 15 more to go.”
Media giant and Boston native Sumner M. Redstone (Hon.’94) has given BU a landmark $18 million gift to support the construction of a new School of Law building adjacent to LAW’s present facility on Commonwealth Avenue. The new facility will be named the Sumner M. Redstone Building.
“This gift comes at a pivotal moment in the history of our School of Law, and it will have a tremendous impact in two ways,” President Robert A. Brown commented. “First, it will permanently link the School with the Redstone name, which will forever set a high standard for our work in legal education and scholarship. And second, it means that our long-deferred dream of transforming the School of Law campus can now begin with the groundbreaking for this new building.”
Scott Nichols, BU’s senior vice president for development and alumni relations, said the gift would both jump-start large-scale improvements at the Law School and result in a “first-rate building for a first-rate program.”
A history of philanthropy
Redstone is the executive chairman of both CBS Corporation and Viacom Inc. He is a far-ranging philanthropist, having contributed more than $130 million to a wide variety of worthy charities around the world.
A former School of Law faculty member, Redstone was the first BU academic to introduce a course on entertainment law, and pioneered the School’s curriculum for protecting intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry, which continues to be among the School’s strengths. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from BU in 1994.
“The Boston University School of Law is a hub of legal scholarship and academic achievement,” Redstone said at a BU ceremony celebrating his gift. “It’s my hope that this beautiful building, and I must say it has a pretty good name, will serve students for many years to come.”
Connecting to BU
Redstone’s connections with BU reach beyond his teaching stint. His daughter and business partner, Shari Redstone, is a 1978 and 1981 graduate of the Law School, and Redstone’s teaching assistant at BU, Tad Jankowski (LAW’82), became general counsel of National Amusements, the theatrical exhibition company owned by the Redstones. Redstone also inaugurated the annual Redstone Film Festival at BU, which is now in its 32nd year; many of the film world’s best-known directors, screenwriters, and producers have been Redstone winners.
Located west of the BU Law Tower on Commonwealth Avenue, the Redstone Building will provide a new entrance to the Law School, and will house most of the School’s classrooms. It will also provide space for the expansion of the School’s library and contain facilities to support clinical, transactional, and executive and professional education programs.
The BU School of Law was founded in 1872 and is nationally recognized for its premier teaching faculty and academic strengths in health law, intellectual property, and tax law. Enrolling more than 800 students from across the country, the Law School offers an expansive legal curriculum and extensive hands-on learning opportunities.
“Wish I could help, but the field is all booked.”
“I’m sorry but there is only one athletic field at BU and it is booked very heavily. We will not be able to find you the time requested.”
“Unfortunately, there is no weekend field time available for you over the next 2 months.”
Nickerson Field’s managers don’t like to say “no” to students. But as the schedulers of the one general-use field space available to a 23,000- student campus, they do—frequently, as in the above emails to students who were hoping to organize a pick-up soccer game, celebrate a South Asian spring festival, and host a carnival for local elementary school children, respectively.
Making it possible
But thanks to several significant donors, the managers of BU’s athletic and recreational facilities will soon be in a better position to say “yes.” The Boston-based athletic shoe manufacturer New Balance has pledged $3 million to name a new 100,000-square-foot Charles River Campus athletic field, scheduled to open in fall 2013 on a BU-owned site bordered by Babcock, Gardner, Alcorn, and Ashford Streets.
Major donors to the $24 million project include William D. Bloom (CGS’82, SMG’84), a former BU rugby player who made the first philanthropic contribution toward the field; Robert S. Trump (DGE’68, CAS’70); C. Lance Piccolo (SED’62); Lawrence and Judy Cohen (CAS’83); Raymond and Helen Killian (SED’59); Stuart W. Pratt (CAS’69); Bippy Siegal; and Ronald G. Garriques (ENG’86).
Imaginative use of space
New Balance Field will effectively double the University’s space for sports and recreation. The increased capacity will not only help BU meet current demand for field time, but also allow for increased sports offerings, most notably a new varsity men’s lacrosse team. The playing surface will also offer an option for teams playing sports that require a different turf than Nickerson’s—for example, the University’s varsity field hockey team, which hasn’t practiced or played on campus for 11 years. The field, which will replace a surface parking lot (with new parking to be created under its raised surface) and be bordered by tree-lined green spaces, will also beautify a now unattractive and underutilized area of West Campus.
“The new field is a highly imaginative use of precious space in an urban environment,” says Todd Klipp, BU senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the Board of Trustees. “New Balance is helping us create a special and much-needed new resource, which will have an enormous impact on athletic and recreational life here—not only for our sports teams, but for the entire BU community.”
For a century, the good that is done in your name will be doubled.
Generous donors to Boston University have already begun to take advantage of BU’s newest and most dramatic philanthropic tool, the Century Challenge, introduced earlier this year.
First, the rationale: The University inaugurated the Century Challenge to stimulate donor interest in supporting scholarships for undergraduates. This was a response to the fact that, while BU continues to embrace the notions of inclusiveness and diversity—reflecting the world around us—it is becoming more difficult each year to provide the level of financial assistance that students need.
Doubling your good
About half of BU students who enter the University each year cannot meet the full cost of their educations; so BU puts together financial aid packages for them that maximize grants and minimize loans. But this still leaves the average BU student with a debt that exceeds $31,000 upon graduation. The recent recession has exacerbated the problem, putting many families under severe financial pressure.
Under the terms of the Challenge, BU provides a one-to-one match of the payout distributed from all new endowed undergraduate scholarship funds of $100,000 or more for 100 years, thereby doubling the good that is done in the donor’s name for a full century. The match will apply to the first $100 million received through the Challenge.
Since its founding, BU has been committed to making sure that talented students from all economic backgrounds have access to its extraordinary academic resources. Scholarship assistance is the most direct route to making sure this happens and that a BU education will be affordable for students and their families.
But there’s added importance to the Century Challenge: BU competes for the best students with many of the finest universities in the country. Being able to provide more generous support for students gives BU significantly greater competitive strength.
The fund has already garnered more than $7.2 million, with additional gifts in the offing.
Century Challenge donors
Among the early Century Challenge donors are:
- Michael T. Lee (SMG’86), whose gift of $1.5 million will support undergraduate students at the BU School of Management from Hong Kong and mainland China. Mr. Lee has also provided $1 million to establish a scholarship endowment for graduate students at SMG, again from Hong Kong and mainland China.
- Anne and Todd Klipp, who have established the Dr. Beverley D. and Clara M. Causey Scholarship Fund in memory of Mrs. Klipp’s parents. The Klipps were among the first donors to the Century Challenge. Todd Klipp is senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the Board of Trustees.
- Michael Lyons (SMG’91), whose Patrick and Margaret Lyons Scholarship Fund at the School of Management was established in honor of his parents, in gratitude for the high priority they placed on their children’s educations.
Century Challenge gifts for endowing scholarships are invested by the University, and the payout on those endowments is determined annually. Because payout rates are fixed conservatively—to protect against inflation—endowments tend to grow over time. A $100,000 endowment established today is likely to be worth more than $5 million in 100 years.
When Jack Spivack heard that his nephew, Kenneth Cohen, was struggling during his first few weeks at Boston University School of Medicine, he decided to pay a visit.
“What I found,” he recalls, “was that this young man—a recent summa cum laude graduate of Princeton, where he had won all sorts of honors— was overwhelmed; he was frozen in fear.”
Convinced that Kenneth’s situation wouldn’t improve without an intervention, Spivack put his expertise as a value engineer to work. “Help was required,” he says. “I contacted the dean, who promptly assembled a three-man team of faculty members to assess the situation.” When they sat down together to talk things through, Spivack experienced firsthand one of the best qualities of Boston University School of Medicine. “The faculty members listened with genuine interest and empathy,” he recalls. “They assured me that in three weeks the problem would be solved—and so it was. It was not just an institution; it was a family.”
A deep impression
These meetings not only helped Kenneth (MED’81), but they made a deep impression on Spivack. “The sincere warmth and genuine understanding had a dramatic impact on me,” he recalls. “I had a strong impulse to make a gesture of appreciation.” When his company began to issue public stock, Spivack made a gift of several thousand shares to the School of Medicine.
“It turned out that this was a major gift, but something more important occurred,” Spivack says, “a change in personal identity. This gift provided me with a profound satisfaction I had never known. It turns out that the old adage ‘it is better to give than receive’ contains a profundity that must be experienced to understand its full implications.”
Supporting a passion
School leaders were as impressed by Spivack as he was by them. Accordingly, then BUSM Dean (and subsequently BU President) Aram Chobanian (Hon.’06) invited Spivack to become a founding member of the MED Board of Visitors—and spoke with him about additional ways of supporting the School. Together, they hit upon an area that most intrigued Spivack: neurology. “I’ve had the opportunity to observe children of friends and relatives, and I’m convinced that the early, formative years of a child’s life profoundly determine behavior in later years,” he explains. “I’ve always been intrigued by how this happens neurologically.”
Spivack’s enthusiasm for both neurology and the School of Medicine encouraged him to continue giving. Through his Boston University trust fund he has given $7 million to establish a center for the behavioral neurosciences, which BUSM has named in his honor.
“I am convinced that the center has great potential for coming up with answers to age-old questions,” Spivack says. “The people involved are enthusiastic, dedicated, talented, and quite professional; there is so much promise of progress here.”
Spivack was a founder of the Vie de France Corporation and worked for both the U.S. State Department and the Litton Corporation. He continues to support the School of Medicine each year.
“After I bestowed my first gift, I came to realize the sublime satisfaction and profound rewards of philanthropy,” recalls Spivack. “It’s a special feeling that stays with you the rest of your life.”
Industrialist Rajen Kilachand (GSM’74) has made a second record-breaking gift to BU, for $10 million. The gift was announced during the launch of the Campaign for Boston University.
Kilachand’s first gift, for $25 million, was made in 2011 to support the University’s Honors College, renamed the Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College in honor of Kilachand’s parents. It was the largest single private gift in BU’s history.
The University will rename Shelton Hall—the location of the Honors College—in Kilachand’s honor.
A history of involvement
Kilachand is a member of the BU Board of Trustees. He is chair and president of the Dodsal Group, a multibillion dollar diversified company with 25,000 employees in countries around the globe.
He supports health care and education initiatives in India, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He is also a committed philanthropist whose social initiatives span a spectrum of giving—from sponsoring music and art festivals to funding community theaters and AIDS awareness programs in Africa and Papua New Guinea. He supports annual kite festivals in Gujarat, India, and is the only international sponsor of the New Orleans Jazz Festival.