Celebrating Three Scholarships
Providing financial aid to BU students remains a priority
In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020, even amid the economic upsets and other uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston University’s alumni, undergraduates, corporate and foundation supporters, and other friends provided a record-breaking level of support to the University. That support totaled just over $179 million, and included gifts from more than 26,000 alumni.
Providing generous financial aid to BU undergraduates remains a continuing priority—and three recent gifts have advanced that cause.
The Gary M. Garfinkel Memorial Scholarship Fund honors a graduate who, as an executive at Showtime, identified and promoted new talent. Garfinkel (Questrom’84) was particularly helpful to emerging stand-up comedians, who often struggle to gain traction in a highly competitive industry. Following a stint at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Garfinkel worked for Showtime—eventually becoming cohead of content acquisition—from 1993 until his death from cancer in 2018. The scholarship will be awarded to College of Communication undergraduates, with a preference for students in film, television, and new media.
A second new financial aid fund is the Carlson Family Scholarship, a Questrom School of Business undergraduate scholarship established through a bequest from the estate of Paul M. Olson. Olson was the retired founder, director, president, and CEO of Cable Design Technologies Corp., a New York Stock Exchange company, whose connection to BU was through his father-in-law, Harold “Spike” Carlson (Questrom’26). Carlson was captain of the football, baseball, and boxing teams, and was one of the first members inducted into the BU Athletic Hall of Fame.
The University received a generous bequest from Julia C. Pratt (CAS’48, Hon.’78), who was executive secretary for five BU presidents, up to and including John Silber (Hon.’95). Pratt was born in Phillips, Maine, on January 23, 1917; her Pilgrim ancestors arrived in America in 1623 on the English ship Anne. After graduating from Westbrook Junior College, Pratt enlisted in the US military WAVES. Stationed in Washington, D.C., during World War II, she worked with a group of women code-breakers. She subsequently earned her BA at the College of Arts & Sciences, and then began her many decades of service in BU’s administrative ranks. In 1978, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws, and retired in 1981. At the direction of President Robert A. Brown, income from the gift will be used to provide need-based financial aid for CAS students.