Why I Give
Why I Give
Photo by Eric Levin
When Gerald Powers (’56) retired from COM in the late 1990s, PR Week published a profile of the formidable—and well-connected—professor emeritus. In it, Powers reminisced about the legions of his former students sitting atop the communications world. “These people climb up the ladder,” he said, “then I call them up and say, ‘Can you take an intern? I remember 20 years ago I placed you as an intern.’ They can’t say no.”
For Kathleen McGovern Kearns (’87), Powers did one better: He worked his Rolodex to help her land her first job—physician relations coordinator at a hospital in New York City. Kearns is still in health care PR, but much higher up the ladder. Today, she’s senior vice president of development and external affairs for Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals, members of the Mount Sinai Health System.
With Powers retired, Kearns isn’t going to get one of his infamous intern calls, but that hasn’t stopped her from giving back. Kearns is a frequent donor to COM, and her latest gift was to a fund named for her former professor. “I attribute so many of my professional accomplishments and achievements to what I learned at BU,” she says. “I benefited from a partial academic scholarship and it was a great opportunity for me to go to a world-class institution. I want the next generation to have the same opportunities.”—Andrew Thurston