May 23rd, 2016

A million…a billion…and counting!

Campaign passes two major milestones

The Campaign for Boston University passed its original goal of $1 billion in April, more than a year ahead of schedule, while students wrapped up the million hours of community service they pledged when the campaign launched in September 2012. At a trustees dinner on April 14 at the Museum of Fine Arts, President Robert A. Brown already had his eye on the expanded fundraising goal of $1.5 billion that the board of trustees approved last fall.

“We have the momentum,” said Brown. “The ship is leaving, the bus is leaving, the train, whatever piece of transportation you like. What the campaign extension does is give the rest of our alumni and friends the chance to get on the vehicle. And I think it’s going to be a wonderful ride over the next couple of years.”

The campaign’s accomplishments so far include the founding of the Pardee School of Global Studies and Kilachand Honors College and the endowment of the Questrom School of Business. The campaign has funded 66 new professorships and 241 new scholarship and fellowship funds, and has changed the campus landscape with the construction of the Yawkey Center for Student Services, the Sumner M. Redstone Building at the School of Law, the Engineering Product Innovation Center, and on the Medical Campus, the Medical Student Residence.

Brown emphasized the broad-based nature of the campaign. “The most impressive statistic about the campaign to me personally is that already in the campaign we have 117,000 donors,” Brown told the trustees, joking that such a large number would have seemed like a hallucination when the campaign began.

Twelve percent of the money raised has come from 105 other countries, while close to home, BU faculty and employees have contributed more than $28 million. Together, the University trustees—who responded to Brown’s announcement with a standing ovation—have contributed over $210 million. “It’s a campaign of all of us,” Brown said. “This is eloquent testimony to the generosity and commitment of the Boston University family, both here and around the world.”

“It’s a campaign of all of us. This is eloquent testimony to the generosity and commitment of the Boston University family, both here and around the world.” —President Robert A. Brown

“We’ve seen that our strength lies in our diversity—donors making gifts of all sizes, representing dozens of countries, and supporting countless different causes on campus,” said Campaign Chair Kenneth J. Feld (Questrom’70).

“This effort is bringing out the best in people, and really reinforcing the principles that make BU extraordinary in the first place.”

Students celebrated their 1,017,861 hours of service the next afternoon with a giant cake at the George Sherman Union. The volunteering drive was conceived by the student government in 2012 as a way to contribute to the campaign.

“It is a remarkable contribution, and shows how the campaign has permeated our student body,” Brown said.

Students pushed past the million-hour goal with the annual Global Days of Service and Alternative Service Breaks programs, logging their hours at

“We’re committed to making BU and Boston a better place,” said Andrew Cho (CAS’16), Student Government president, “and we’ll continue to invest our time.”

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