Privacy Policy

Updated May 25, 2018

Boston University understands that collecting and processing personal information is an important topic, and it is committed to safeguarding privacy. This page addresses concerns about personal data collection in connection with the University’s alumni community and development efforts and explains what information is collected and how it is used. Please contact with any questions or concerns regarding this notice.

Why Is Personal Information Collected?

Students of Boston University automatically become members of the University’s alumni community upon graduation. BU believes the development of a vibrant alumni community is an integral part of the University’s long-term commitment to its students and broader University community. It is essential and necessary for Boston University to collect, process, use, and/or maintain the personal data of University alumni, students, donors, and others to achieve its mission and to promote engagement with and giving to Boston University.

Whose Information Is Collected?

Boston University collects information about:

  • Alumni
  • Students (both current and past)
  • Parents of Students (both current and past)
  • Faculty and Staff (both current and past)
  • Friends (spouses, other donors, and supporters of Boston University)

What Information Is Collected?

Boston University collects:

  • Contact information – home and business addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media contact information
  • Demographic information – names, titles, gender, birth and death dates, religious affiliations, and ethnicity
  • Student information obtained from campus records – degrees, majors, organization involvement, activities, awards, and sports involvement
  • Employment information – company names, job titles, and industry information
  • Family information – spouse’s name, children’s names and birth dates, and familial relationships
  • Alumni information & Interests – networking interests and participation, event attendance, volunteer interests, organization affiliations, committee participation, awards and honors, attitudes and preferences
  • Donor information – giving information regarding any donation which is made to support Trustees of Boston University and its affiliates, including wealth assessment information and indicators of your interest in giving
  • Analytical information – aggregated transactional information related to both offline engagement, including events, volunteerism, and donations, and online interactions including web visitor activity, email marketing actions, and social media engagement

Personal data, including information about race or ethnicity, religious beliefs or other beliefs, or health would only be maintained and used if: 1) you have directly provided it to BU; or 2) it has been sourced from information we believe you have clearly made public

How Is Information Collected?

Information is collected through a variety of sources, including:

  • Self-provided information online, in person, or via phone
  • Event or activity registrations
  • University student records
  • U.S. Postal records
  • Surveys and focus groups
  • Other information service bureaus

In addition, BU may obtain information from third-party sources such as organizations that assist the University with its alumni or development activities, media articles, charity filings, social networking posts or other public sources.

How We Use Your Personal Information?

Collected information is used only for Boston University purposes, including:

  • Fundraising
  • Promoting alumni events, products, and services
  • Inviting you to participate in networking, mentoring, and personal growth opportunities like continuing graduate education at Boston University
  • Conducting research and analysis to better understand alumni attitudes, preferences, and interests


We will from time to time communicate with you by email, mail and telephone to pursue the purposes mentioned above. In particular we regularly communicate for the following purposes:

  • share news about the University (including its research and services) and our alumni (including promotion of discounts and services for alumni)
  • invite you to events and reunions
  • invite you to support our fundraising activity
  • invite you to network with and/or mentor other alumni or current BU students
  • invite you to engage with third parties with whom BU has contracted for alumni benefits, like discounted insurance rates or gym memberships
  • invite you to volunteer for the University. This includes providing advice and guidance to students and University representatives and giving support to students during their time at University and in their career.

If you prefer not to have your personal data used for any or all of the above purposes, please email or call 617-353-5261.

To manage your communication preferences online visit our email preferences


To ensure that we do not make inappropriate requests in our fundraising and volunteering communications, we may research your likely ability and willingness to make gifts to or volunteer for the University. This research may include collecting and storing data relating to you that is in the public domain (such as career history, directorships, shareholdings and remuneration) as well as data that has been provided by you, including your interests, and University activity you have previously been involved with (such as donations, volunteering or event attendance). This research is sometimes known as prospect research.

If you prefer that we not conduct this activity please email or call 617-353-5261.

Profiling and planning

We use your data (such as your zip code, subject of study, age, gender and level of engagement with the University) to help us plan our activities, and determine whether to contact you with certain communications or information about particular activities. It helps us identify how our alumni are involved with the University, and which alumni activities are most popular. This research helps ensure our communications (including fundraising or volunteering requests) are relevant and of interest to you.

If you prefer that we not to conduct this activity please email or call 617-353-5261.

Automated decision making

The Development and Alumni Relations team uses various modeling tools that will automatically process your data to assess the likelihood of you being interested and able to become involved in alumni activities or to make a donation to the University. However, we do not believe this produces a legal effect concerning you or significantly affects you.

If you prefer that we not conduct this activity please email or call 617-353-5261.

Who Has Access to Collected Information?

University Agents

Employees of the University, third parties with whom BU has contracted for services, volunteers, and students working with Boston University’s Development and Alumni Relations are considered an extension of staff members, and are held to the same level of confidentiality regarding alumni contact information.

Business Partners

Boston University engages with various high quality companies and organizations to offer substantial products and services to benefit alumni. In each of these cases, access to alumni data is strictly controlled by Boston University. Some examples of the companies and organizations include:

  • Blackbaud, Inc.
    Charleston, South Carolina
  • iModules Software, Inc.
    Kansas City, Missouri
  • Liberty Mutual Group, Inc.
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Symplicity Corporation
    Arlington, Virginia

Keeping Your Data Up To Date

We will update the data we hold on you from time to time. For example, if you provide us with new contact details or change your details on websites managed by the University or social media sites such as LinkedIn. We will respond to your request for your data to be updated.

If you would like your data to be updated you may do so here, email, or call 617-353-5261.

We may update your contact details by using third party sources/services such as the US Postal Service. We also use these services to check if there are people we should no longer contact (for example, if someone has died we verify with the National Obituaries Registry). Where third parties provide these services to us they are only allowed to use your data in accordance with the strict instructions of the University. The third party is required to hold the data confidentially and securely and will not use your data in any other way. Your data will only be kept by the third party for as long as necessary and will then be destroyed.

Opting-Out of Third-Party Information Sharing

You may limit the sharing of information and direct marketing by sending an email to or calling 617-353-5261.


We see being a member of the University and part of the alumni community as a lifelong relationship. Generally the University will look to retain University alumni personal data until the individual asks us to remove it from our records.

If you decide that you no longer wish to receive communications from the University please be aware that we still need to retain a minimal amount of personal data so that we can keep a record that you have asked us not to contact you and to comply with the University’s legal obligations.

How is Information Stored and Secured?

Boston University uses administrative, technical and physical security measures to protect personal information, including destroying information when it is no longer needed. Employees and volunteers who have access to personal information are informed of the appropriate handling of personal information.

The primary system of record for all alumni contact information, demographic data, and donor information is kept in a secure enterprise-grade database. Online alumni information is kept in an isolated, secured database by iModules Software, Inc., in Kansas City, Missouri. All sensitive information transmitted online is secured by industry-standard SSL/TLS 128-bit encryption. iModules maintains compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and is certified compliant as a Level One Service Provider by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) authorized by the PCI Security Standards Council.

Updates to this Policy

We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information, we will post the updates on the University’s website.