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Feld Family Foundation Pledges $10 Million to BU

Three endowed professorships included in major new gift

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The Feld family: Kenneth (SMG’70), with (from left), Nicole, Bonnie (CAS’73), Alana (COM’02), and Juliette.

The Feld Family Foundation has pledged $10 million to enhance faculty development and other University projects, Boston University President Robert A. Brown announced today.

The Feld Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization administered by the Feld family, Kenneth Feld (SMG’70), Bonnie Feld (CAS’73), and their daughters Nicole, Alana (COM’02), and Juliette. The foundation is dedicated to supporting higher education, the performing arts, and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant.

Prior foundation support established the Feld Family Career Center at the School of Management and the Feld Family Skating Center at Agganis Arena. This new pledge is a key facet of BU’s multiyear development plan led by Brown and the Board of Trustees.

“The Feld family’s generous gift points directly to the heart of the University’s strategic plan to strengthen the quality of the faculty,” says Brown. “Furthermore, the family’s philanthropic initiative provides a shining example for alumni and friends of the University to emulate. We truly appreciate their benevolence and leadership.”

Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, a BU trustee, and chair of the Trustees’ Development & Alumni Committee, designated $7.5 million through the foundation to establish three endowed professorships, one in each school attended by a Feld family member: the Feld Family Professorship of Marketing in the School of Management; the Feld Family Professorship of Teaching Excellence in the College of Arts & Sciences; and the Feld Family Professorship of New Media in the College of Communication.

The balance of the donation, $2.5 million, will be allocated by mutual agreement.

“Our goal at the Feld Family Foundation is to support higher education, particularly as it relates to those educators setting the pace and challenging the minds of tomorrow’s leaders,” says Kenneth Feld. “We are an alumni family, and we have all benefited from our experiences with BU and are very pleased with the direction Dr. Brown is taking the University. Through the Feld Family Foundation, we are in a position to give back to BU so others can experience the same opportunities.”

Feld Entertainment is the world’s leading producer and presenter of live family entertainment. A privately owned and operated family company, it is the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice, and Disney Live! With more than 5,000 performances annually and tours in more than 65 countries on 6 continents, the company’s shows are seen by more than 30 million people each year.

“The magnanimous pledge by Kenneth and the Feld Family Foundation is truly commendable for its focus on fortifying our teaching resource,” says Robert A. Knox (CAS’74, GSM’75), chair of the Board of Trustees. “Their support ensures that our commitment to excellence will be achieved.”

Alan M. Leventhal (Hon.’09), a trustee and former trustee chair, who oversaw creation of the current 10-year, $1.8 billion strategic plan, adds, “The Feld Family Foundation’s gift is magnificent and particularly important to Boston University. Not only has Ken’s leadership role as a trustee been critical, but as an alumni family, he and Bonnie have set a new standard of generosity. They and their daughters have made family philanthropy a top priority. Their example will continue to inspire alumni giving for years to come.”

7 Comments

7 Comments on Feld Family Foundation Pledges $10 Million to BU

  • Susan Ormont on 09.23.2009 at 10:32 am

    Feld Donation

    What incredible generosity towards education, chosen wisely and exhibiting serious consideration. In these times when especially the
    arts suffer by cutbacks, it is wonderful to see recognition of the importance of good teaching.
    Susan Ormont
    Part-time Faculty, CAS
    Voice Department
    Boston University

  • John Boyle on 09.23.2009 at 10:38 am

    Three endowed chairs? Way to go Feld family! I hope that others will follow your lead…

  • Scott Linker on 09.23.2009 at 11:15 am

    The Feld Family

    Having worked for these wonderful folks for ten years it’s reassuring to have those feelings reinforced by their generosity. Now almost twenty years later I continue to be proud of my past association with them. “That which you give you keep forever.” Scott Linker

  • Anonymous on 09.23.2009 at 5:35 pm

    Does this mean BU has enough money to increase our print quota yet?

  • Dr Bill Rohde on 09.23.2009 at 11:23 pm

    The Eternal Flame just got brighter!

    Gift giving is usually quite fashionable during flush economic times. Even a large bequest is usually a tax shelter. That is why the Feld Family has distinguished themselves far beyond institutional philanthrophy. Value that comes when times are tough and investment returns are meagre will be leveraged a thousand times in years to come. At a time when news of other institutions’ shrinking endowments and dire plans to curb student assistance are daily news, this family has steped forward with such brilliant smiles and confidence that we can all be just a bit prouder to be associate with this fine university.

  • Anonymous on 10.26.2009 at 3:56 am

    Very generous of the Feld family.

    How about some of that $10 mil going to BU alum who are getting beaten in this economy?

  • Bob Dyer on 09.05.2014 at 10:27 am

    Seems like only yesterday that I was the the RA checking you into Buswell dorm. When I asked where you had been all weekend, you said that you and your dad had gone to Rome to buy the circus. I have told that story many times over the years.Your genorosity is amazing. A huge thank you.

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