$8 Million gift from Richard Shipley will expand technology’s role in residential education

Among the unexpected revelations of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rapid adoption of an array of digital tools by faculty at BU and across the nation to transform their teaching to meet the needs of students during the pandemic. Now, an $8 million gift from Richard Shipley (Questrom’68,’72), a BU trustee emeritus, will help the University’s plan to expand digital learning, outlined in its 2030 Strategic Plan, become a reality.

Richard C. Shipley (Questrom’68,’72), a BU trustee emeritus, will help fund creation of the Shipley Center for Digital Learning & Innovation. Photo by Janice Checchio
Shipley’s gift will help to fund the Shipley Center for Digital Learning & Innovation, an all-University resource, which will be associated with the BU Center for Teaching & Learning and will report to the associate provost for digital learning and innovation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us—faculty and students alike—to understand the potential for both synchronous and asynchronous remote education to transform higher education and to expand our program offerings to new cohorts online,” says Robert A. Brown, BU president. “Further, we can augment the quality of our residential programs by enhancing our use of rapidly evolving digital capabilities in our in-person classes. We are greatly indebted to Dick Shipley for his support of this transformation.”

Shipley, a longtime BU trustee and the founder and former leader of a private equity firm investing in early expansion-state technology companies, points to the profound changes that digital innovation has wrought in the business world. “Why should academia be different?” he asks.

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