Category: Campaign Newsletter, Issue 3
Dear friend of Boston University,
This issue of our campaign newsletter brings extremely good news, which I am happy to share with you.
In our last issue, I reported that at the time of our public launch in September of 2012, the campaign had raised more than $420 million in gifts and pledges. Since then, we have received an additional $110 million in gifts and pledges, which means that we are more than halfway toward our goal. Since we are less than a year into the five year public phase of the campaign, this is very good news indeed.
Some campaigns hit a bump in the road following their public launch. So far, that hasn’t happened to us. In fact, we are gaining momentum, as the reports in this issue amply illustrate. The Century Challenge, which seeks to raise scholarship funds, is having a big impact. Our regional kickoffs in Southern California (February), Dubai (March), and Chicago (June) were highly successful. Although the groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for April 19 at the School of Law was cancelled due to the tragic and tumultuous events in Boston that week, Sumner M. Redstone’s amazingly generous gift to that school continues to lend new energy both to the School of Law fundraising effort and to our larger campaign.
In campaigning, momentum tends to build more momentum. When people start to see great progress being made, they want to be a part of that progress. If you are already part of that progress, thank you. If not, please join us!
Kenneth J. Feld (SMG’70)
Chairman and CEO, FELD Entertainment, Inc.
Trustee, Boston University
The campaign at work
Room 606 in the College of Arts & Sciences Astronomy Department is the home of computers devoted to instruction in a number of astronomy classes. They play a critical role: enabling real-time data analysis by the undergraduates and graduate students who operate the telescopes on the roof of the CAS building during nighttime observational astronomy labs.
But by the beginning of the 2012–2013 academic year, those 10-year-old computers were nearing the end of their useful lives. Students dealt daily with the frustrations of looking at indistinct images on the monitors and enduring agonizingly slow data downloads. The machines were wearing out, and replacement parts were no longer available. There was no simple solution in sight.
Enter David S. Katz (CAS’80, LAW’85). Learning of the urgent need for new astronomy computers, he made a generous gift that—when matched by funds from CAS—covered the cost of nine brand-new computers, monitors, and universal power supplies for the lab. Students can now access data far more easily, download large files in a flash, view detailed images, and share data across programs and users.
“Think of the new computers as moving our students out of the dial-up realm and into the high-speed realm,” says Astronomy Professor John Clarke, director of the astronomy lab. “They make a huge difference.”
BU’s astronomy department is one of the largest in the country, with 40 undergraduate and 35 to 40 graduate students pursuing astronomy degrees each year. The department consistently ranks in the country’s top 10 programs, along with the University of Colorado, the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, and others.
Trustee SungEun Han-Andersen
Member: Campaign Executive Committee, and International Advisory Board
Co-chair: Campaign Kickoff
Campaign volunteer SungEun Han-Andersen (CFA’85) has lived in many worlds, both geographically and professionally.
She grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where—as a child piano prodigy—she attended music schools. She moved with her family to the New York area in 1979, when she was a junior in high school, to attend the Julliard School’s pre-college program. After spending a summer at BU’s Tanglewood Institute, she decided to enroll at BU’s College of Fine Arts. “I loved the Boston area,” she recalls. “When I was young, I saw the movie Love Story. I had pretty romantic ideas about Boston!”
Originally a composition major, Han-Andersen surprised everyone—including herself—by winning a piano competition as a freshman. She became a performance major, spending many hours in CFA’s basement practice rooms. “Half my waking hours,” she recalls. “I was very disciplined, but those practice rooms were terrible.”
A balanced life
After graduating from BU, Han-Andersen enrolled in a doctoral program at the Manhattan School of Music. Gradually, though, she began worrying that her life was too narrow. First taking a research job with Price Waterhouse in London—and not telling her parents for two years that she had stepped off the performance track—she discovered the world of management consulting. “It was a freeing experience,” she says of that momentous change. “I got to have a more balanced life.”
That trend continued after she married investment banker G. Chris Andersen, who encouraged her to give up her five-day-a-week consultant’s travel schedule to manage a new family foundation. Two of the foundation’s major gifts harked back to an earlier phase of Han-Andersen’s life: grants to both the College of Fine Arts and the Manhattan School of Music to build state-of-the-art practice rooms for their students.
“So many BU alumni are grateful for the education they received there, and so many want to be reconnected with the University.” —SungEun Han-Andersen
Han-Andersen has also given freely of her time to Boston University. Elected a trustee of the University in 2007, she sits on BU’s International Advisory Board (IAB) and has helped launch The Campaign for Boston University both in Boston and at the recent Dubai international kickoff. “Dubai was an amazing experience,” she says, “especially the IAB sessions. How often do you get to meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, get driven around in a sensor-driven car without a driver, and then have dinner out in the desert under the stars?”
Han-Andersen officially retired from the concert circuit last year, giving her more time to devote to new artistic pursuits and to the family’s 250-acre farm dedicated to training and boarding horses. “That also closes a circle for me,” she explains. “My BU piano teacher, Maria Clodes Jaguaribe, had a horse at her home. She would take me home before recitals and let me groom the horse, which I found very relaxing. I started to ride in London, and I’ve been working with horses ever since. I love them.”
Person by person
Is she surprised at the success of BU’s campaign to date? “No,” she says. “Not at all. So many BU alumni are grateful for the education they received there, and so many want to be reconnected with the University. That’s how we will succeed: person by person.”
That’s what BU students are contributing to The Campaign for Boston University
BU students are finding ways to make generous contributions to the University’s billion-dollar campaign—and not just by opening their wallets. They’re working to fulfill a campus-wide student pledge to complete one million hours of community service before the end of the campaign in 2017.
It’s a big challenge, says Million Hours Project co-chair (and former student body president) Dexter McCoy (COM’14). To put the pledge in perspective, the million-hour goal is equivalent to one person volunteering nonstop for 114 years. But when student leaders sat down to think about how the student community could contribute to the campaign, they zeroed in on a time-honored BU trait. “We saw that, following a long tradition, BU students are altruistic,” says McCoy. “We like to serve.”
“It’s great to see volunteerism intersect with philanthropy.” —Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore
The idea was inspired by a commitment that students made at the start of BU President Robert Brown’s tenure in 2005. Jonathan Marker (CAS’07), then Student Union president, pledged one hour of community service for each undergraduate student—17,000 hours in total—as an inaugural gift to Brown. “Within just a few months,” McCoy notes, “we had exceeded 41,000 hours.”
Today’s BU students participate in a myriad of volunteer programs, addressing critical problems in Boston and beyond. Last year, more than 4,600 students volunteered for service projects spearheaded by the University’s student-run Community Service Center (CSC). There are many volunteer opportunities on campus to choose from, including the CSC’s popular First-Year Student Outreach Project and Alternative Spring Breaks programs, the University’s annual student-and-alumni Global Days of Service, and service performed in conjunction with any of the University’s fraternities and sororities, religious groups, and clubs. “There are tons of service opportunities out there that connect BU students with the community,” says the center’s events manager (and Million Hours Project co-chair) Alison Weltman (COM’13). She adds that it’s “great to see so many students who want to be involved, to reach out to Boston, even when they have only limited available time.”
“Volunteering encourages students to make a difference in the city, broadens the scope of a BU education, and serves as an avenue for personal growth,” says Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore (SED’87). “It’s great to see volunteerism intersect with philanthropy.”
Progress to date: Exceeding expectations
Eight months into their five-year pledge, BU students have already logged more than 309,000 hours of service dedicated to the campaign. Among popular volunteer programs is Wizards, created to get children from kindergarten through 8th grade engaged in science through hands-on experiments. BU students commit to working with the younger students two to three hours a week for an entire semester. Another is Voices from the Middle, in which BU students work with public school children on projects that develop leadership, self-esteem, and confidence through the creative process—for example through writing, producing, and presenting plays. BU students take this program to schools, community centers, and social service organizations. Project Hope—which stems from a longtime interest in HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and care—sends students to work with various organizations in Boston that provide essential services to those at risk and those who are HIV-positive. (See the full list of CSC programs at bu.edu/csc).
Will BU student volunteers complete the full million hours of community service before the campaign has ended? Alison Weltman and Dexter McCoy have no doubt. “In fact,” adds McCoy, “we both think the goal will be exceeded.”
Donors respond to Century Challenge
Increasing the funds available for scholarships is one of the most important goals of The Campaign for Boston University. With that goal in mind, BU created an exciting new initiative: the Century Challenge.
Here’s how it works: For any new endowed undergraduate scholarship commitment of $100,000 or greater, BU will match, dollar-for-dollar, the income distributed for awards for a period of 100 years. In other words, for the next century, the impact of a qualifying Century Challenge gift will be doubled.
And donors are responding: As of March 2013, BU alumni and other friends had pledged more than $10 million to create 34 Century Challenge funds.
Hildreth provides FUEL for students and their families
One such donor is Robert Hildreth, father of Ben (GSM’10) and Rebecca (CGS’11, COM’13, CAS’13). Inspired by the Century Challenge, Hildreth and his wife Diane pledged $3 million to establish the Families United in Educational Leadership (FUEL) Scholarship.
“The cost of higher education is extremely high and is going up all the time,” says Hildreth, “so kids need help paying for college.” The BU match made good economic sense, and the opportunity to provide financial aid spoke to Hildreth’s personal interests.
“My cause is to help low-income Boston students get into college,” Hildreth says. He has advanced that cause for more than 20 years now, having joined with Boston University in the 1990s to build the Early Childhood Learning Center in Chelsea, Mass.—and, more recently, by founding FUEL.
FUEL’s mission, Hildreth explains, is to work with community partners to “provide knowledge, resources, connections, and financial incentives that empower parents to propel their children into higher education.”
“I was very excited when President Brown came up with this idea. I wanted to endorse it, and I wanted to encourage as many people as possible to join me.” —Robert Hildreth
Hildreth is clearly proud of the work FUEL does. “Family involvement is critical to future prospects for the child,” he says. “My theory is that if you get parents involved in the education of their children, especially the college access process—which is very complex, especially with first-generation college-goers—you will increase the chances a child could go someplace like BU.”
With his Century Challenge scholarship, any students who successfully complete a FUEL program and apply and are admitted to BU now have an extra incentive: a Century Challenge scholarship fund just for them.
Why BU? “BU is Boston’s University,” Hildreth says. “It’s a school that has had a very long commitment to Boston and to the low-income families of Boston. And it is a school that has gotten better and better academically.” Through the education his father received as a commuter with limited means, his son’s experiences at the Graduate School of Management, and his daughter’s years here as an undergraduate, Hildreth has tracked BU’s continual growth and success.
Lately, he has experienced BU from a new perspective: that of a trustee of the University. “The chance to contribute to such a major institution is fantastic and very interesting,” he says. It also meant that Hildreth was one of the first to learn about the Century Challenge. “I was very excited when President Brown came up with this idea,” he says. “I wanted to endorse it, and I wanted to encourage as many people as possible to join me.”
The campaign launches in Los Angeles and Dubai
After a successful launch in Boston in September, The Campaign for Boston University went on the road to spread University news, campaign updates, and lots of excitement to alumni leaders and donors in Southern California and the Middle East. The two events, attended by more than 230 people, were the first in a series of regional kickoffs that will continue over the course of the campaign. Next stops: Chicago and London!
BU gets a Moody’s upgrade
Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded its assessment of BU’s credit-worthiness—a thumbs-up that contrasts sharply with the generally pessimistic review that the firm gave higher education earlier this year. BU’s bond rating was raised to A1 from A2. (Moody’s rating system ranges from Aaa to C, and measures an institution’s ability to pay back borrowed funds on time and in full.) The upgrade has significant financial implications, since it will allow the University to borrow money at lower rates in the future. This is BU’s second such upgrade in five years, and reflects recent improvements in student recruitment and in academic and research reputation, as well as increases in philanthropic support which bring that charitable giving “more in line with its size and prominence.”
BU is among the world’s 50 top universities
Times Higher Education—formerly part of the venerable Times of London newspaper—has listed Boston University as America’s 32nd-highest-ranked school. In clinical medical education, BU ranked 29th among the world’s top 50 such schools. The Times’ university rankings rely heavily on international research citations and the opinions of global scholars. President Brown says the ratings underscore the high esteem in which BU is held by observers at home and abroad.
A record-setting year for BU admissions
A record-breaking 52,693 students applied to BU for the Class of 2017’s 3,800 freshmen spots, a nearly 20 percent spike over last year’s record of 44,006 applicants for 3,900 places. Only 36 percent of the applicants for the Class of 2017 were offered admission, compared to 46 percent last year. University officials were both thrilled by the surge in applications and surprised by the intensity of applicant interest in BU. Explanations for that heightened interest include BU’s academic and administrative leadership, its vigorous outreach to high schools, its use of social media to target prospective students, the caliber of the University faculty, and BU’s recent admission to membership in the Association of American Universities.
BU joins the Patriot League
Acting on its commitment to both academic and athletic excellence, the University has joined the Patriot League athletic conference, starting with the 2013–2014 academic year, becoming the ninth full member of the league. It will depart the America East conference, of which it was a founding member in 1979. President Robert Brown said he was “impressed by the academic quality of the institutions in the Patriot League, and by the league’s commitment to student athletics while effectively competing at the NCAA Division I level.” All but four of the University’s intercollegiate teams will join the Patriot League, which played its first season in 1986; men’s and women’s ice hockey teams will remain in Hockey East. The Patriot League presently consists of eight core members: American University, the U.S. Military Academy (Army), Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy). There are also three associate members: Fordham, Georgetown, and MIT; and Loyola University Maryland will also join in the 2013–2014 academic year.
Thanks to a $4 million gift from BU Trustee Richard Shipley (SMG’68, GSM’72), a new professorship has been named in recognition of public health advocate Beverly A. Brown.
The Beverly A. Brown Professorship honors Brown, wife of BU President Robert A. Brown, for her commitment to BU’s Center for Global Health & Development as an unpaid director of development since 2010. Acknowledging that the gift announcement at the March trustees’ meeting left her “blown away,” Brown said she was excited about the prospect of the University hiring a faculty member whose research will be directed at eliminating public health disparities in urban areas, where 50 percent of the world’s populations reside.
In announcing the gift, Shipley—founder and managing director of Shiprock Capital—said that Brown had been “underacknowledged and probably underappreciated” for her work with the center.
Improving global urban health
Improving urban health has become a major goal of researchers at the Center for Global Health & Development, which launched a global urban health initiative in the fall of 2011 to meet the overwhelming challenges and needs of the rapidly expanding ranks of the world’s urban poor.
In her role as chief fundraiser for the center and a member of its advisory council, Brown has been immersed in numerous collaborations with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. With a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, Brown honed her organizational skills by working for such corporations as DuPont, Baxter International, PerkinElmer, and Linden Bioscience.
While the professorship could conceivably move among a number of related colleges and departments, the umbrella of global urban health was Brown’s choice.
A search is under way for an individual to fill the endowed chair.
The Beverly A. Brown Professorship is the second major endowed multidisciplinary chair devoted to improving global health research and treatment in the past year. In July 2012, the Robert and Jeanne Knox Foundation gave $2.5 million to create a professorship named for Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Knox (CAS’74, GSM’75), a post now held by Jonathon Simon, CGHD director and a School of Public Health professor.
Amid the horrors and destruction of World War II, Frederick Pardee (SMG’54, GSM’54, Hon.’06) began dreaming of peace among nations.
After graduating from the BU School of Management in 1954—where, he recalls, that vision of a peaceful world was nurtured—and a stint in the Air Force, Pardee took a $7,500-a-year economist’s job at the nonprofit Rand Corporation. There, as an analyst of social, political, and economic problems, the number-crunching skills he learned at BU served him well. Meanwhile, his zeal for exploring future trends took him ever further into systems analysis and economic forecasting.
Gift brings alum’s Campaign donations to BU to $10M
“Global human progress is what I’m interested in,” says Pardee, who eventually segued into a successful career in property management in Los Angeles. Pardee’s continuing fascination with the future and its potential partly explains why he gave BU the funds needed to establish the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in 2000. Now, as part of the University’s first major comprehensive fundraising campaign, Pardee has given BU another $7 million to support the center’s work—and global education at BU— boosting his total donations to The Campaign for Boston University to $10 million.
The Pardee Center convenes symposia and conducts interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research that contributes to long-term improvements in the human condition. The center’s focus is not confined to any one set of issues, but rather seeks to identify, anticipate, and enhance the long-term potential for human progress—in all of its many dimensions. It does this through research, education, and outreach to establish links between scholarship and practice, towards the development of practical programs of action.
Expanding support for global studies
“The funds will help support the activities of the center, which is one of our most important interdisciplinary academic efforts,” says Jean Morrison, provost and chief academic officer. “Fred Pardee’s generous gift expands the capacity of the center to support important research and scholarship in global studies.”
The Pardee Center recently named a new director, Anthony Janetos, a Princeton-trained ecologist with nearly three decades of research and policy analysis on the impact of global climate change.
This most recent gift brings Pardee’s lifetime contributions to Boston University to almost $20 million—a tradition of generosity that has made the Pardee name ubiquitous on campus. Beyond his namesake center (headquartered in the Pardee House, 67 Bay State Road) and its named professorship, the School of Management library is named for him, as is a research fund. He also contributed to a fund that underwrote a global health conference.
A memorial scholarship fund has been established at BU in the name of Lu Lingzi (GRS’13), the BU graduate student who was one of three people killed during the Boston Marathon bomb attacks on April 15.
“It’s a fitting tribute and the right thing to do,” says Kenneth Feld (SMG’70), a BU trustee who proposed the memorial scholarship at a meeting of the executive committee of The Campaign for Boston University, which he chairs. Before the meeting adjourned, the committee’s seven members had committed $560,000 to the fund, created in accordance with the preferences of the Lu family. Since that time, contributions from hundreds of individuals and groups around the world have increased the fund total to more than $800,000.
Lu Lingzi was a beloved member of the BU community. An optimist with a powerful work ethic, she had just passed the first part of the master’s comprehensive exam in statistics—an accomplishment that gave her great satisfaction. Along with her friends and family, the University community grieves at her passing.
Remembrance and recognition
Feld says the scholarship fund will also honor the memory of a tragedy that has hit home for the BU community and will become, like September 11, 2001, a day that will never be forgotten. “There isn’t an individual at BU who didn’t have some connection to people who were there,” he says. And by honoring Lu, the scholarship also recognizes BU’s profound connection to the people of China, which is sending a growing number of students—this year there are 2,065—to the University. BU has another strong connection, Feld says: among many other ties, the U.S. ambassador to China, Gary F. Locke (LAW’75), is an alumnus.
The scholarship fund will welcome all contributions. Says Feld, “Every one has real meaning.”
The Lu Lingzi Fund has reached $1 million in contributions! Read more at BU Today.
Contributions are still welcome for the Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund.