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SMG Alum Gives $4 Million to Endow Deanship

Louis Lataif is first Allen Questrom Professor and Dean

Louis Lataif (SMG’61, Hon.’90), dean of the School of Management, is the first Allen Questrom Professor and Dean.

Allen Questrom (SMG’64) has given a $4 million gift to the School of Management for an endowed deanship and professorship. Current SMG Dean Louis Lataif (SMG’61, Hon.’90) becomes the first Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of Management and holder of the only endowed deanship at BU. Questrom, a member of the BU Board of Trustees, is the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of J. C. Penney Company, Neiman Marcus, and Federated Department Stores.

“We are delighted that with this chair Dean Louis Lataif will become Boston University’s first endowed dean,” says Provost David Campbell. “The most generous donation from Mr. Questrom will help support both the chair and the Dean’s Discretionary Fund to further the essential work of the School of Management.”

Questrom spent most of his 39-year career in retailing with Federated Department Stores, rising from management trainee to the company’s youngest chairman and chief executive officer in 1990. He brought Federated out of bankruptcy in 1993, and in 1995 engineered the acquisition of rivals Broadway Department Stores and the R. H. Macy Company, Inc. He retired in 1997, but returned to retailing a year later as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Barneys New York, Inc., bringing the corporation out of bankruptcy in 1999 and creating a new division of Barneys Coop Stores. In September 2000, he became chairman and chief executive officer of J. C. Penney Company, a position he held until his retirement in December 2004.

“Allen Questrom is among the School of Management’s most distinguished alumni because of his impeccable personal reputation and his exceptional professional success,” says Lataif. “We’re pleased that Allen’s name will forever be associated with our school in this way.”

Lataif has been dean of SMG for 15 years, making him one of the longest-serving deans among the country’s top 50 business schools. Before becoming dean in 1991, Lataif spent 27 years with the Ford Motor Company, where he was president of Ford of Europe.

“I have enormous respect for the remarkable work the school is doing in preparing the next generation of builders and leaders,” says Questrom. “The gains are extremely impressive to all of us who have seen the school reach international stature on the watch of Dean Lataif.”

Catherine Santore can be reached at csantore@bu.edu.