When the Campaign for Boston University: Choose to Be Great formally launched in 2012, no one knew for sure how it would go, or where it would end. To be sure, the pre-launch commitments of more than $240 million augured well, as did the 100 percent participation of the Board of Trustees. Still: was it brilliantly audacious, or dangerously foolhardy, to declare a goal of $1 billion for the first comprehensive campaign in the University’s history? And then, when early contributions came pouring in faster than expected, was it overreaching to extend the Campaign—and raise that already ambitious goal to $1.5 billion?

Well, now we know the answers to those questions. The Campaign surpassed its goal, raising a grand total of $1.85 billion. It brought in gifts from more than 175,000 donors, including more than 1,800 commitments of $100,000 or more; 250 of those commitments exceeded $1 million. Thanks to the Campaign, the University has raised cash at a record-breaking rate for nine years in a row. In 2012, Giving Day did not exist; in 2019, it brought in more than $3.25 million in just 24 hours. BU has two new schools and a newly named third, new buildings from CFA to LAW to MED, 57 new endowed chairs, and more than 250 new endowed scholarships.

Let’s take a quick look around campus to see some of the changes the Campaign has made possible. This is just a sampling—at every school and college, in every corner of all three campuses, the Choose to Be Great Campaign has brought great choices, and great changes.


CAS Think Tank
Gitner Family CAS Lecture Series
New Sociology Lounge


Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre
CFA Production Center
New practice rooms and student lounge
New studio for graphic design
Renovated façade and more welcoming entrance


Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning (CITL)
Support for career development and faculty travel
Renovated faculty suites


Zimmerman Family Social Activation Center
New professorships and scholarships


Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC)
Binoy K. Singh Imagineering Laboratory (the Tinker Lab)


New Sumner M. Redstone Building
Renovated Law Tower
Support for public interest internships


Shamim & Ashraf Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center
Shipley Prostate Cancer Research Center
New MED student residence
Spivack Center for Clinical & Translational Neuroscience


New endowment for prison education
Support for a new building
Funds for faculty travel


A whole new school, a home for all global studies at BU
New funds for student travel
New funds for research


A record-setting gift—and a new name for the school
Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy
Ascend, for first-generation and underrepresented students


Increased support for the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
New professorships
New scholarships for International Service Learning


Expanded and renovated building
State-of-the-art Patient Treatment Center and equipment
Brand-new, more welcoming patient entrance


Renovated spaces for international collaboration
New funds for student travel and professional development
New scholarships


New funds for research
New support for lifelong learning
New scholarships


New connections and innovation at the Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health
New professorship and scholarships
New fieldwork stipends


New funds for service trips
New funds for housing stipends
New professorships and scholarships


New funds for research
New professorships and scholarships

Your giving matters

Every gift, of every size, made a real difference during the Campaign. And that won’t change now that the Campaign has reached its amazing conclusion. You can make an impact at BU—and you can choose exactly where to do it.

Current-use funds, which can be given in any amount, can be deployed at a moment’s notice to pursue a research opportunity, provide financial aid and emergency student assistance, fund travel to academic conferences, and much more.

Not yet a donor? Give now and receive email updates on the impact donors have throughout the year. Visit Why we give to read more about the many committed donors to Boston University.