Strengthening connections with our alumni is one of the most important steps CAS can take to ensure strong donor and knowledge bases in the future. Engaged alumni are fundamental to the College’s success, supporting the College leadership with funding, insight, vision, and feedback, and offering an invaluable career network for young alumni.

In order to stay connected, the BU Alumni Association (BUAA) offers a wide variety of events throughout the year. In 2014–15, more than 5,000 CAS alumni registered for events hosted by the BUAA, accounting for 25% of all BU alumni event engagement. CAS faculty members also continue to be a great resource for BUAA’s Live to Learn educational programs. Last year, the BUAA sponsored educational programs that featured 21 CAS faculty members at events engaging more than 600 alumni.

Alumni Weekend attracted hundreds of alumni in September 2014, and CAS participated by offering many lectures, workshops, and occasions for socializing, including the annual get-together for alumni of the Core Curriculum and the biology department.

Overall, Alumni Relations has increased promotion of CAS programs open to alumni, including events hosted by the economics, history, and sociology departments, as well as the creative writing and the women’s, gender, & sexuality studies programs. In 2014, Alumni Relations partnered with CAS Astronomy to offer a new Live to Learn opportunity for BU alumni. “Experience: Space Beyond Earth” immersed 13 alumni in astronomy with BU professors Dan Clemens and Andrew West teaching in Flagstaff, AZ. The three-day experience included exclusive access to the Lowell Observatory and the Discovery Channel Telescope.

The anchor for on-campus alumni events continues to be the Discoveries Lecture Series, which each year showcases some of the most fascinating and breakthrough research and discoveries taking place among our faculty. In 2014–15, topics included sessions on negotiating in politics, women in the Civil Rights Act, fiction of the 1960s, decoding Jewish parables, and how environmental change has impacted rice farmers in West Africa. Donna Pincus, assistant professor of psychological & brain sciences, presented on her book Growing Up Brave to a crowd of over 100 alumni and guests, offering advice and lessons for how to help children overcome their fears and cope with anxiety.

Office After Hours, a series featuring small-group discussions for alumni with faculty members in fun off-campus social settings, continued this year with six events on a wide range of topics, including jazz, theater, cooking, and women in World War I. Clifford Backman, associate professor of history, presented a special Winterfest edition of the series with a talk on the History of Piracy to a packed room at a tavern in Harvard Square.

We took other opportunities to engage with alumni around the region. Simon Gilchrist, professor of economics, explained Unconventional Monetary Policy during a breakfast briefing at One Financial Center. Joe Wippl, a former member of the CIA and current Professor of the Practice of international relations, anchored a panel discussion on the Torture Report. And no fewer than nine CAS faculty, including Dean Sapiro and Dean Najam of the Pardee School, participated in the first annual Gitner Family CAS Lecture, which addressed the topic of how to advance the human condition.

Through all of these activities, CAS faculty members have established new and exciting connections with alumni, and alumni have rekindled or established new connections with each other based on common interests. We look forward to continuing and enhancing our alumni events and learning programs this coming year.

Annual Report 2014/2015

  • From the Dean From the Dean
    From recruiting ever-better faculty and students to surging ahead in our capital campaign, academic year 2014/2015 was a year of great accomplishments.
  • A New Era Begins at CAS A New Era Begins at CAS
    On August 1, 2015, CAS welcomed its new dean, Ann Cudd. Dean Cudd brings her own unique energy and vision to CAS and GRS and is deeply committed to enhancing—and affirming—the value of a liberal arts education.
  • Improving Undergraduate Education Improving Undergraduate Education
    CAS once again attracted our most talented class of undergraduates ever. And we laid the groundwork to serve them even better, offering expanded academic opportunities and a comprehensive First-Year Experience program with over 800 first-year participants.
  • Strengthening Graduate Education Strengthening Graduate Education
    BU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences continues to see a dramatic increase in applicant quality and enrollment due to our new five-year PhD funding model that has heightened the attractiveness of our doctoral programs. New program initiatives have also resulted in more applicants to our master’s programs.
  • Enhancing a World-Class Faculty Enhancing a World-Class Faculty
    The quality of a university depends on the quality of its faculty, and hiring the best and giving them a strong start is crucial. In 2014/15, CAS hired 26 new professors across the humanities and social, natural, and computational sciences.
  • Conducting Pathbreaking Research Conducting Pathbreaking Research
    Discoveries and innovations at CAS help make BU one of the top 40 research universities in the world. Many fields of study at CAS are also highly ranked, including social sciences, physics, molecular biology and genetics, and psychology.
  • Deepening Our Global Mission Deepening Our Global Mission
    CAS is a major contributor to the international character of Boston University. The 2014–15 academic year was particularly eventful in this respect, being the inaugural year for the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.
  • Creating Our Future: The CAS Strategic Plan at Halftime Creating Our Future: The CAS Strategic Plan at Halftime
    In 2010, the College of Arts & Sciences crafted a bold 10-year plan to enhance all aspects of what we do: advancing undergraduate and graduate education, research, global partnerships, and the College’s relationships with its alumni. Over the past five years, we have made great strides toward these goals.
  • Nurturing Connections with Alumni and Friends Nurturing Connections with Alumni and Friends
    The College continues to develop new opportunities to engage and connect with CAS alumni and friends. In 2014–15, more than 5,000 CAS alumni registered for events hosted by the BU Alumni Association, accounting for 25% of all BU alumni event engagement.
  • Growing Our Capacity and Stewarding Our Resources Growing Our Capacity and Stewarding Our Resources
    BU is in the midst of our first-ever capital campaign. As of June 30th, 2015, CAS has received more than $93,595,000 in gifts from its alumni, parents and friends. Collectively these supporters have made more than 20,000 gifts to the CAS campaign.
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