After receiving a $50M donation from a notable alumnus and trustee, Boston University has changed the name of its School of Management to the Questrom School of Business. The impressive gift stands as the largest such contribution in the university’s history and is thanks to retired retail executive Allen Questrom, who graduated from the business school in 1964, and his wife, Kelli. The funds, provided via the couple’s Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation, will enable the school to appoint ten new professors and will provide seed funding for plans to add 60,000 square feet of classroom space.
Boston University announced an ambitious fundraising target of $1B in 2012, and the Questrom donation is a step toward that goal, bringing the school’s total thus far to $823M. University President Robert A. Brown seemed understandably pleased: “This is a singular moment in the history of the school and the University,” he said at the MBA program’s naming ceremony. “The gift will both propel the school on the path of increased impact and quality and will forever associate it with the name of one of the most distinguished businessmen in America and one of Boston University’s most distinguished graduates.”
At the ceremony, Allen Questrom credited one of his business school professors, the late Alan Beckwith, for the kick-start in his retail career. Beckwith transformed the young Questrom’s plans to become a ski instructor by arranging retail industry interviews for him in Boston and New York. “I would hope that students, as they go through school and into a career, will periodically reflect on their life, to pay mental homage to the people who helped them along the way,” Questrom said at the ceremony, “and to recognize that as they ‘make good,’ they have a responsibility to ‘do good,’ to pay it forward by helping the next generation.”