April 29th, 2013

New $7 million gift from Frederick Pardee

Frederick PardeeAmid the horrors and destruction of World War II, Frederick Pardee (SMG’54, GSM’54, Hon.’06) began dreaming of peace among nations.

After graduating from the BU School of Management in 1954—where, he recalls, that vision of a peaceful world was nurtured—and a stint in the Air Force, Pardee took a $7,500-a-year economist’s job at the nonprofit Rand Corporation. There, as an analyst of social, political, and economic problems, the number-crunching skills he learned at BU served him well. Meanwhile, his zeal for exploring future trends took him ever further into systems analysis and economic forecasting.

Gift brings alum’s Campaign donations to BU to $10M

“Global human progress is what I’m interested in,” says Pardee, who eventually segued into a successful career in property management in Los Angeles. Pardee’s continuing fascination with the future and its potential partly explains why he gave BU the funds needed to establish the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in 2000. Now, as part of the University’s first major comprehensive fundraising campaign, Pardee has given BU another $7 million to support the center’s work—and global education at BU— boosting his total donations to The Campaign for Boston University to $10 million.

The Pardee Center convenes symposia and conducts interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research that contributes to long-term improvements in the human condition. The center’s focus is not confined to any one set of issues, but rather seeks to identify, anticipate, and enhance the long-term potential for human progress—in all of its many dimensions. It does this through research, education, and outreach to establish links between scholarship and practice, towards the development of practical programs of action.

Expanding support for global studies

“The funds will help support the activities of the center, which is one of our most important interdisciplinary academic efforts,” says Jean Morrison, provost and chief academic officer. “Fred Pardee’s generous gift expands the capacity of the center to support important research and scholarship in global studies.”

The Pardee Center recently named a new director, Anthony Janetos, a Princeton-trained ecologist with nearly three decades of research and policy analysis on the impact of global climate change.

This most recent gift brings Pardee’s lifetime contributions to Boston University to almost $20 million—a tradition of generosity that has made the Pardee name ubiquitous on campus. Beyond his namesake center (headquartered in the Pardee House, 67 Bay State Road) and its named professorship, the School of Management library is named for him, as is a research fund. He also contributed to a fund that underwrote a global health conference.

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