Acts of 1869, Ch. 322

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, In the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine. AN ACT to Incorporate the Trustees of Boston University. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

Section 1

Isaac Rich, Lee Claflin, Jacob Sleeper, their associates and successors, are hereby constituted a body corporate by the name of the Trustees of Boston University, and they and their successors, and such as shall be duly elected members of said corporation, shall be and remain a body corporate by that name forever. And for the orderly conducting of the business of said corporation, the said trustees shall have power and authority, from time to time, as occasion may require, to elect a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, and such other officers of said corporation as may be found necessary, and to declare the duties and tenures of their respective offices; and also to remove any trustee from the said corporation, when in their judgment he shall be rendered incapable, by age or otherwise, of discharging the duties of his office, or shall neglect or refuse to perform the same, and also to elect new members of said corporation. The number of members shall never be less than ten, nor greater than thirty, and their qualifications and term of service shall be fixed at the first meeting of the corporation. *

Section 2

The said corporation shall have full power and authority to determine at what times and places their meetings shall be held, and the manner of notifying the trustees to convene at such meetings; and also to establish boards of instruction in all departments of science and the arts, to elect a president of said university, and such professors, tutors, instructors, and other university officers as they shall judge for the interest thereof, and to determine the duties, salaries, emoluments, responsibilities and tenures of their respective offices. And the said corporation is further empowered to purchase or erect, and keep in repair, such houses and other buildings as they shall judge necessary for the said university; and also to make and ordain, as occasion may require, reasonable rules, orders and by-laws, not repugnant to the constitution and laws of this Commonwealth, with reasonable penalties for the good government of the said university, and for the regulation of their own body; and also to determine and regulate the courses of instruction in said university, and to confer degrees; but no degree shall be conferred except upon the recommendation of the appropriate faculty. In addition to the powers granted to the corporation by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 180, the corporation shall have and may exercise the power specified in Section 9A of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 156B, or any successor provision of similar import, and any other powers which the corporation may now or hereafter lawfully have and exercise. **

Section 3

The said corporation may have a common seal, which they may alter or renew at their pleasure, and all deeds sealed with the seal of said corporation, and signed by their order, shall, when made in their corporate name, be considered in law as the deeds of said corporation; and said corporation may sue and be sued in all actions, real, personal and mixed, and may prosecute the same to final judgment and execution by the name of the Trustees of Boston University; and said corporation may take and hold in fee simple, or any less estate, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, any land, tenements, or other estate, real or personal; but the clear annual income of the same shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars. ***

Section 4

The clear rents and profits of all the estate, real and personal, of which said corporation shall be seized and possessed, shall be appropriated to the maintenance and endowment of said university, in such manner as shall most effectually promote virtue and piety, and learning in such of the languages and of the liberal and useful arts and sciences, as shall be recommended from time to time by the said corporation, they conforming to the will of any donor or donors in the application of any estate which may be given, devised or bequeathed for any particular object connected with the university.

Section 5

No instructor in said university shall ever be required by the trustees to profess any particular religious opinions as a test of office, and no student shall be refused admission to, or denied any of the privileges, honors or degrees of said university on account of the religious opinions which he may entertain; but this section shall not apply to the Theological Department of said university.

Section 6

The legislature of this Commonwealth may grant any further powers to, or alter, limit, annul or restrain any of the powers vested by this act in said corporation, as shall be found necessary to promote the best interests of said university, and more especially may appoint and establish overseers or visitors of the said university, with all necessary powers for the better aid, preservation and government of the same. To the fullest extent permitted by law, no trustee or officer shall be personally liable to the corporation or its members for monetary damages for or arising out of a breach of fiduciary duty as a trustee or officer. ****

Section 7

This act shall take effect upon its passage.

May 26, 1869.

Approved, William Claflin, Governor


* The last sentence of Section 1 was amended by Chapter 484 of the Acts of 1907, so as to read as follows: – “The number of members shall never be less than ten, nor greater than fifty, and their qualifications and term of service may be fixed by the corporation.” The last sentence of Section 1 was further amended by Articles of Amendment approved by the Board of Trustees of Boston University, effective October 16, 1987, so as to read as follows: -”The number of members and their qualifications and term of service may be fixed by the corporation.”

** The last sentence of Section 2 was added by Articles of Amendment approved by the Board of Trustees of Boston University, effective July 29, 1994.

*** Amended by Chapter 76 of the Acts of 1890, by striking out the words “but the clear annual income of the same shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars” and inserting in place thereof the following:-”provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to give the said corporation any claim to greater exemption from taxation than it now has under the constitution and laws of this Commonwealth.”

**** The last sentence of Section 6 was added by Articles of Amendment approved by the Board of Trustees of Boston University, effective July 29, 1994.