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(Boston) — Alan M. and Sherry M. Leventhal have pledged $10 million to Boston University, a contribution intended to motivate substantial parallel gifts for student financial aid and professorships, announced BU President Robert A. Brown.
Alan, a member of BU’s Board of Trustees since 1995 and chair from 2003-08, is the founder, chair and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners, L.L.C., a Boston-based real estate investment firm. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the university’s 2009 Commencement. Sherry Leventhal serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the BU School of Medicine.
“Alan’s and Sherry’s very generous pledge will serve as a compelling stimulator for other individuals to contribute to the university, and reflects their unwavering support of the institution’s dual missions of education and research excellence,” said Brown, who in collaboration with the Leventhals will determine how the contributions will be allocated. “Their timely gift — at a critical phase in the university’s history — will bolster our promise to raise the necessary funds to ensure the access of qualified students to the university and to enhance our world-class faculty in all schools and colleges.”
“The magnanimous donation by Alan and Sherry not only reflects their long-term support of BU, but also their strategic effort to leverage their contribution on behalf of the institution,” said BU Trustee Chair Robert A. Knox. “We are very confident that it will inspire others to support the university during an economically challenging time, and will ensure that our commitment to excellence is achieved.”
In 2004, the Leventhals donated $5 million to the university to serve as the seed money for the $15-million Fund for Leadership and Innovation, available for allocation to any BU school, college, program, or center, whether to support faculty hires or for scholarships, research, or capital improvements.
“The Leventhals’ pledge signals the genesis of a new and promising fund-raising era for Boston University,” declared BU Trustee Kenneth J. Feld, chair of the Trustees’ Development & Alumni Committee. “Their leadership gift will surely galvanize financial support among alumni and friends of the university.”
From 2003 to 2008, Alan chaired the BU Board of Trustees, guiding it toward greater openness and transparency and administering the development of a 10-year, $1.8 billion strategic plan. He oversaw changes in the board’s governance structure, a reduction in the number of trustee committees, the creation of a Board of Overseers, and hiring Robert A. Brown as BU’s 10th president.
“The university has been exceedingly fortunate to have had his outstanding leadership,” said Brown when Leventhal, who remains a board member, stepped down from the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees. “Alan’s vision, integrity, and sense of inclusiveness have been keys to the transformation in the governance of our institution.”
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized research university. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.