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It’s Party Time

Campaign for BU kicks off with bash at Agganis

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It will be an evening to remember.

BU will kick off its first-ever major fundraising effort, the Campaign for Boston University, with a dazzling, entertainment-packed Celebration of BU tomorrow, Saturday September 22, at 8 p.m. at Agganis Arena.

Inside a transformed arena, alumni, students and guests will see world-champion ice sculptors wielding chainsaws and 3-D light projections unfurling a vision of BU’s growth—both geographically and intellectually—across the ice. The world-renowned Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, led by conductor Keith Lockhart (Hon.’04), will play, and there will be appearances by alumni luminaries, student performers, and local heroes. Among the hosts will be Andy Cohen (COM’90), of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, and hockey legend Mike Eruzione (SED’77), captain of the unforgettable “Miracle on Ice” U.S. hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics and went on to capture gold.

Celebration of BU, Agganis Arena fundraising event

Bravo’s Andy Cohen (COM’90) will be among the celebrity alums hosting a gala Campaign for Boston University kickoff bash at Agganis Arena Saturday evening. Photo courtesy of Andy Cohen

The Celebration of BU will be more than a memorable display. It will be a community gathering to mark the formal announcement of an unprecedented, comprehensive fundraising effort. With a goal of raising $1 billion for financial aid, faculty support, research, and facility improvements, the campaign places the University on a list of just 53 universities that have attempted a 10-figure fundraising initiative. Its success will elevate the University’s academic standing, extend its global impact, and make BU more accessible to more students.

Campaign kickoff cochairs SungEun Han-Andersen (CFA’85) and Richard C. Shipley (SMG’68, GSM’72), both BU trustees, hope the celebration will show alumni and students what their University is capable of—and what it takes to get there. “We want people to feel comfortable that we are on a successful launch pad,” says Han-Andersen. “BU has really done a tremendous job of managing itself. Because the endowment is relatively small, we’ve run an incredibly lean operation. But that goes only as far as the resources that support the institution. At this event, we want alumni to be inspired by the generosity of the donors who have already committed.”

“In a lot of ways, BU is like the buildings we renovate on This Old House,” says Kevin O’Connor (GSM’99), host of the long-running PBS show, and another of the celebration hosts. “It has strong bones and a rich history, and it’s one of a kind. And even with lots of work and continuous improvements, the University always stays true to its character. This event is going to be a great celebration of that process.”

O’Connor will share the stage with Cohen, Eruzione, Kenneth Elmore (SED’87), BU dean of students, and CBS News special correspondent Erica Hill (COM’98), as well as surprise guests.

For Eruzione, director of development for athletics at Development & Alumni Relations, the celebration will be a proud homecoming.

“When we took the Olympic gold in 1980, I looked across the ice at Jim Craig (SED’79), Dave Silk (CAS’80, GSM’93), and Jack O’Callahan (CAS’79), and I realized we were representing BU hockey, as well as our country, to the world,” he says. “More than 30 years later, I’ll get to play a part in representing BU once again, this time to a group of people who mean a great deal to me personally—BU’s alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff.”

“We’re rising to a new level of excellence, excitement, and potential,” says Elmore. “This is a big moment for the University. Let’s come together and celebrate!”

The Celebration of BU is Saturday, September 22, from 8 to 10 p.m. at Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave. Tickets are $25 for the lower level, $40 for the upper level, and $10 for students with a valid BU ID. Faculty and staff can buy one ticket and get one free. Reserve your tickets online, by calling 617-353-GOBU, or at the Agganis Arena ticket office. A limited number of free tickets for members of the Class of 2013, available through the Dean of Students Office, can be picked up at the George Sherman Union activities information desk, second floor.

Kelly Marksbury can be reached at kmarks@bu.edu.

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