Category: Campaign Newsletter, Issue 6
Campaign Gala at Gotham Hall
Manhattan’s majestic Gotham Hall was a fitting spot for a celebration of Boston University, and some 350 BU alumni donors, trustees, overseers, deans, and administrators turned out for a glittering gala there on April 16, 2015. The University’s “march to excellence,” BU President Robert A. Brown told the gathering, continues unabated, as evidenced by high national rankings, new scholarship and research funds, new professorships, and especially by the BU campaign total that now stands at $845 million. The evening also featured the inauguration of the members of the new William Fairfield Warren Society, and performances by musical groups Sons of Serendip, Palaver Strings, and the James Montgomery Band, all featuring BU alumni.
(Click photos to expand.)
Therese Melden (SAR’81)
Therese A. Melden—alumna, proud parent of a daughter graduating from the College of Communication in 2016, long-term member of the Sargent College Dean’s Advisory Board, and chair of the Sargent College campaign—recently sat with us for an interview.
Q: Do you recall highlights from your time at BU?
TM: I was in a work-study program, and I arranged a lot of my own placements. I did an internship at a group home in Brookline—in Coolidge Corner—where we worked closely with the Department of Mental Health to help the residents develop living skills. After I graduated, they offered me a job. That was great.
Q. You were out of touch with BU for a number of years after your graduation. Why was that?
TM: I was here during the ’70s, which was a time of questioning, of protests on campus, and so on. Many people who graduated from college at that time haven’t tended to be very supportive of their schools. I also got married, went to graduate school, and started a family. My focus was elsewhere.
Q. You came back into the Sargent fold when you joined the Dean’s Advisory Board in 2007. How did that come about?
TM: When you’re young, you really don’t have an understanding of why a university needs support. But over time, you tend to get it. In the time period we’re talking about, my children were in independent middle and high schools. I was on the boards of those schools, and I learned how important annual giving was. So when the BU solicitation came around, I finally gave, which put me on [former SAR Dean] Gloria Waters’s radar.
She contacted me, we sat down and had breakfast, and she started telling me about everything that had changed at Sargent since I had left. And honestly, it was thrilling to hear about all the new programs, and the research, and the wide variety of community outreach programs that were going on. My daughter Emily was in high school at the time and was talking about going into medicine. When I mentioned that to Gloria, she told me that a Sargent education was a perfect path into medical school. She said it was a small school, with an intimate environment and lots of individual attention. And interestingly enough, that’s exactly how I remembered Sargent.
Even though the College has grown and flourished, the intimacy of the place apparently hadn’t diminished. That combination piqued my interest. So when Gloria asked me to join her leadership board, I was happy to do it.
Q: What are Sargent’s strengths?
TM: I’m impressed with the research in neuroscience, Parkinson’s, the Aphasia Resource Center, the Psych Rehab Center, and the community outreach programs. I’m a huge believer in building community, so I’m thrilled that Sargent has these outreach programs that are so effective. That’s a huge strength of the College.
Q: You have volunteered to chair the Sargent campaign. What are the College’s most pressing needs?
TM: They need more faculty support, including money for junior and senior faculty to do research. They need additional faculty members to balance the workload in each department. International internship programs need funding. And of course, more financial aid is needed. I was on financial aid while I was at BU, and without it, I would not have been able to attend Sargent College.
Q: You’re known as an effective ambassador for BU. What works?
TM: Well, what’s interesting is how often a conversational topic at a social gathering overlaps with something that BU is involved in. I often have the opportunity to say, “Hey, did you know that BU is doing research on that?” So I get the chance to talk about what we’re doing within the College, and then also across the schools and colleges—with the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, for example.
Believe me: I can talk about that with enthusiasm!
Gifts of all sizes are appreciated at BU. Here we honor those who have made commitments of $100,000 or more to the campaign between our last newsletter and May 7, 2015.
Francine Achbar (COM’67)
Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Anthony J. Allott (Questrom’86)
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
America’s Promise Alliance
American Cancer Society
American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Nancy A. Armstrong (COM’98)
Jeffrey D. Arsenault (MET’85)
Atlantic Philanthropies Inc.
Avon Foundation for Women
Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation
Lawrence Barki (Questrom’93)
Steven M. Bauer (LAW’83)
Stephen R. Becker (LAW’76)
Lisa G. Beckerman (LAW’89)
BELLUS Health Inc.
Jose A. Blanco
Bright Focus Foundation
Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
Catholic Relief Services
Ann Christine Cea (MED’67)
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc.
Marie H. Chiarenza
Frederick H. Chicos
Amy H. Chiu (GRS’97)
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Gerard H. Cohen (LAW’62)
Crown Family Foundation
Cure Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Nizar M. Dalloul (ENG’83, GRS’87)
Dairy Management Inc.
Professor Charles DeLisi
Hup Fong (Questrom’67)
Edwin D. Fuller (Questrom’68)
Marc S. Goldberg (Questrom’64)
The Hartwell Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation Inc.
David E. Hollowell (ENG’69, ’72, Questrom’74)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
John Templeton Foundation
Julia & Seymour Gross Foundation Inc.
Stephen R. Karp (CAS’63)
Klarman Family Foundation
William H. Kleh (LAW’71)
Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
Landreth Family Foundation
Charles R. Lax (Questrom’82)
Henry T. Lew (MED’62)
Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium
Mass Lions Eye Research Fund
David M. McPherson (LAW’93)
Melanoma Research Alliance
Melanoma Research Foundation
Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation
Joseph B. Mizgerd M.D.
Mark Mobius (CFA’58, COM’59)
Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore
Ruth A. Moorman (CAS’88, SED’89, ’09)
Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation
Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Parkinson Foundation
Girish M. Navani (ENG’91)
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
Allen (Questrom’64) & Kelli Questrom
Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Matthew S. Robinson (SED’10)
Dr. Steven P. Rudis (CAS’84)
Santander Bank, N.A.
Searle Scholars Program
St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Sidney R. Baer Jr. Foundation
Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation
Sunshine Lady Foundation
Daniel M. Schwartz (LAW’81)
Honorable Richard Seeborg
St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc.
Thrasher Research Fund
Nancy L. Trentini
Two Sigma Investments, LLC.
United Methodist Church
Verisk Health Inc.
Donald O. Ward
Herbert S. Washer (LAW’91)
W. Bradford Ingalls Charitable Foundation Trust
W. M. Keck Foundation
Robert E. Yellin (CAS’61)
Boston University is making headlines
Boston University has been named 37th of the 500 Best Global Universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking that compares the academic and research reputations of institutions around the world.
Of the five graduate and professional schools that were ranked by U.S. News & World Report in March, all five improved their ranking year over year. The School of Public Health climbed into the top ten, nationwide; and our biomedical engineering department was ranked 9th best. The schools of law, business, and medicine also improved their rankings.
The BU School of Law ranks second in the “best professors” category in the 2015 Princeton Review rankings and seventh in “best classroom” experience among 169 law schools surveyed by the rating-and-test-preparation firm. The Review surveyed some 19,500 law students nationally and collected information from school administrators.
The most recent (October 2014) Financial Times ranking of executive MBA programs around the world puts the Boston University School of Management (now the Questrom School of Business) first in New England, and 27th among all U.S.-based EMBA programs. Globally, BU’s Executive MBA program was ranked 69th, up 12 places from its 2013 ranking.
BU is both more popular and more selective than ever. By January of this year (2015), a record-breaking 54,769 students had applied for admission to BU—up from last year’s 54,161 freshman applications (and of those, only 34 percent were admitted to the Class of 2018). And just for argument’s sake, compare these numbers with the 38,275 who applied for admission in the 2010–11 school year.
BU will now include new bequests—those with clear documentation from donors 65 and older—in its Campaign total. This is a new move for BU and marks the importance to the University of estate gifts. It’s also another opportunity for donors to build a legacy at BU through planned giving. For details, contact the BU Planned Giving office.
Finally, some food for thought: We’ve now surpassed the 100,000th donor mark! Our donors are a great cross section of our alumni/student population: undergraduate and graduate, international and domestic, with heavy doses of entrepreneurship and civic-mindedness. They come from all 16 schools on campus and give gifts that range from $5 to $50 million. Every gift counts, and every gift gets us closer to the billion-dollar goal.
Gerald Gitner (CAS’66) and the night sky
Until October 2014, Gerald Gitner, an energetic, accomplished airline executive (he founded an airline and led two) and now a private investor, would probably not have called himself a stargazer.
But that month, he joined 12 other BU alumni who traveled to Flagstaff for three days to look at Arizona’s night sky through two BU-supported telescopes—the Perkins Telescope, run in part by BU at the Lowell Observatory, and the nearby Discovery Channel Telescope, financed in part by BU and operated by the Lowell Observatory. What Gitner came home with was a set of impressions—not just of a stupendous canopy of stars (untainted, in Flagstaff, by urban light), but of his fellow alums, and of BU’s provision of an unforgettable learning experience.
“I’d studied astronomy at BU years ago to fulfill a science requirement,” Gitner says about his decision to attend. “But I’d never been in an observatory. The trip sounded fascinating.”
BU astronomy professors Dan Clemens and Andrew West guided the amateur observers, and Gitner says they provided the alumni group with a good grounding in basic astronomy. The experience ended up being
powerful, celestially and otherwise. “Being out there at night, seeing the stars in the middle of nowhere, and having somebody with us who knew what to look for” was an illuminating experience, Gitner says. “I’d heard all my life about the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. Think I could have picked them out on my own? I’ve lived in urban environments my entire life—I’m lucky if I get to see the moon!”
The trip, Experience: Space Beyond Earth, was the first in a new series of intensive educational programs offered by the BU Alumni Association. The programs all aim to provide alumni with access to BU sites and professors and their work worldwide.
The trip included some sweet serendipity for Gitner.
“Many years ago,” he says, “my wife Deanne and I established an annual prize called the Gitner Prize for Distinguished Teaching. And lo and behold, Andrew West, a BU assistant professor on the Flagstaff trip, introduced himself to me and said, memorably, ‘Are you the Gitner?’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And he said, ‘Are you the Gitner…I won this teaching prize at BU…’ And I said ‘Wow! You’re the first awardee I’ve ever met!’ It was just amazing. All of a sudden, here was a new connection. Here was someone who got the benefit of our endowment, and he’s prospering and succeeding.”
“The most important part of the whole Flagstaff experience,” says Gitner, “was the people. They all cared, they all enjoyed it, they all learned.
“And now I’m looking forward to hearing about BU’s next exciting journey!”
To benefit students seeking nonprofit experience
It’s a first for BU, and a milestone for students interested in the nonprofit world. Thanks to a $10 million pledge from the Yawkey Foundations last fall, BU sophomores and juniors will soon be able to engage in nonpaying area internships during the academic year at any Boston area nonprofit—without worrying about a paycheck.
Summer internships outside of Boston would differ slightly in that they would need to fit within one of the Yawkey Foundations’ six key issue areas: health care, education, human services, youth and amateur athletics, arts and culture, or conservation and wildlife.
In the wake of the Yawkey gift, BU President Robert A. Brown announced that the University’s Center for Student Services at 100 Bay State Road would become the Yawkey Center, in honor of former Red Sox owners and Boston philanthropists Tom and Jean Yawkey.
The “Yawkey interns,” starting in 2016, will be paid through the Yawkey endowment, with the program administered by the University’s Center for Career Development (CCD) in the Yawkey Center. Students selected for the program will work closely with CCD staff during the course of their internship to set goals, discuss their progress, and write reflective essays.
“The program is intended to provide a living-allowance stipend to students who want to be able to do unpaid internships at nonprofits, which can be difficult financially if they aren’t in a position to work for no pay,” says Eleanor Cartelli, CCD associate director for marketing and communications. “This program bridges that gap.” Students accepted into the program will receive a stipend of $1,500 during the academic year and $3,000 for a summer internship.
A pilot version of the program will launch this summer, with up to 12 applicants receiving funding. The aim of the program is eventually to have 80 to 100 sophomores and juniors enrolled each year. The agreement between BU and the Yawkey Foundations cites BU’s “long and proud tradition of encouraging students to engage in service-based learning in the community.”
Dear friend of Boston University,
There’s only one way to begin this column: with a rousing three cheers for Allen and Kelli Questrom!
As our front-page story details, the Questroms have made an astoundingly generous gift to our former School of Management, now the Questrom School of Business. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Allen as a fellow member of the Board of Trustees in recent years, and I’ve come to know him as a wise counselor to the University—someone who is at once soft-spoken and deeply influential. And I won’t soon forget that Kelli Questrom, with her distinctive marketing flair, is the one who christened this campaign: Choose to be Great. The Questroms have once again chosen to be great—and we in the BU community are fortunate, indeed.
Counting the Questroms’ gift, our campaign total now exceeds $845 million. Once again, I have the
gratifying job of reporting that our momentum only continues to build. More and more people are stepping forward. In fact, we recorded the 100,000th donor to the campaign early this year—meaning that close to one in every three of our alumni has participated.
Also in this issue, you will read about the creation of a new donor recognition society: the William
Fairfield Warren Society. The Warren Society—which celebrates those individual living donors who have made gifts to BU totaling $1 million or more—was officially launched at a gala in New York City in mid-April.
Thanks to the continuing support and generosity of so many of you, we are ahead of schedule in our
pursuit of our billion-dollar goal. Every gift, large and small, counts. If you’re looking for the right moment to make your first gift to the campaign, now would be an excellent time—and of course,
the same logic applies to second, third, and fourth gifts to the campaign!
Kenneth J. Feld (Questrom’70)
Chairman and CEO, FELD Entertainment, Inc.
Trustee, Boston University
BU celebrates WFW founding members
As part of its celebratory gala in New York City’s Gotham Hall, a new and distinguished group of peers—the William Fairfield Warren Society—assembled for the first time.
The society, chaired by Trustee Richard C. Shipley (Questrom’68, ’72), honors the approximately 120 living individuals and families who have made gifts to Boston University totaling $1 million or more. “The number of donors at that level has more than doubled since The Campaign for Boston University formally kicked off in 2012,” says Shipley. “So we now have critical mass, and we can bring together a truly impressive group of philanthropists who are also great friends of BU.”
The society is named for William Fairfield Warren, BU’s first president.
“It makes perfect sense to lend President Warren’s name to this new society, which celebrates those donors who are laying the foundations for an even greater BU tomorrow.” —Trustee Richard C. Shipley (Questrom’68, ’72)
Warren helped shape a new kind of university: one that would combine undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies, be open to all qualified students (including women and minorities), and be explicitly international in its outlook. BU has honored his memory ever since. In 2008, for example, the William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professorship was established to recognize and celebrate great faculty leaders at BU.
“Given that tradition,” says Shipley, “it makes perfect sense to lend President Warren’s name to this new society, which celebrates those donors who are laying the foundations for an even greater BU tomorrow.”
Allen and Kelli Questrom give record gift
Boston University trustee Allen Questrom (Questrom’64), retired chief executive officer of several of the nation’s largest department and specialty stores, and his wife, Kelli, have given Boston University $50 million, the largest gift in University history, through The Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation. The gift, which includes $10 million given in 2012, renames the School of Management the Questrom School of Business. It will be used to endow 10 faculty chairs and enable planning to establish a new graduate program facility.
“We are enormously grateful for this magnificent gift,” says Kenneth Freeman, the school’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean. “Allen Questrom is a retailing industry icon, having restored to profitability many companies during his turnaround career, while demonstrating the highest integrity, exceptional leadership, and tireless service in support of others.” The endowed deanship and professorship were given by the Questroms in 2007.
7 alumnae make the annual Power 100 list
It’s about Hollywood, women, and power, a headline trifecta for most publications, and year after year it gets the attention it aims for. When the Hollywood Reporter’s latest annual listing of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment hit newsstands in December, seven BU alums were on it, three in the top six positions.
Topping the magazine’s Power 100 list was Bonnie Hammer (CGS’69, COM’71, SED’75), chair of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group. Nancy Dubuc (COM’91), president and CEO of A+E Networks, ranked third, and Nina Tassler (CFA’79), CBS Entertainment president and chair, took sixth place.
According to a behind-the-scenes story published in the New York Times, rankings were determined mainly by numbers, such as the number of employees overseen and box office results. Judges also factored in more subjective data, such as how much clout the women wield in the industry.
Read more on Bostonia.