BU Renames School After $50 Million Gift

“Allen Questrom is a retailing industry icon, having transformed many companies during his career while demonstrating the highest integrity, exceptional leadership, and tireless service in support of others,” added Freeman in a statement.  “With the Questroms’ generous support, we will be able to accelerate our transformation and better prepare the next generation of bold leaders to make a positive difference in the world.”


The Questroms’ gift comes two and one-half years after BU announced its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign with a target of $1 billion. The university said that today’s $50 million pledge brings the campaign total to $823 million with the university on track to meet its overall goal well before its scheduled completion date in 2017.

Questrom spent most of his career in retailing with Federated, rising from trainee in 1964 to become corporate executive vice president in 1987. After leaving Federated in 1988 following its hostile takeover by a Canadian real estate mogul to steer the turnaround of Neiman Marcus, he returned to the bankrupt Federated in 1990 as chairman and CEO. He brought the company out of Chapter 11 in 1993, and in 1995 engineered the acquisition of rivals Broadway Department Stores and the R. H. Macy Company, Inc.

He retired from the restored Federated in 1997, and returned to retailing a year later as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Barneys New York, Inc., bringing the fashion emporium out of bankruptcy in 1999, and creating a new COOP division of Barneys.  From September 2000 to 2005 as the first ‘outsider’ to lead the company in its nearly 100-year history, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of the JCPenney Co., leading a successful turnaround of the corporation’s department store, catalog, and internet businesses.

Questrom has served since 2006 as a Senior Advisor of Lee Equity Partners. He is a Director of the Glazer Family of Companies and is on the Board of the Men’s Wearhouse, Inc., the At Home retail chain, and the Board of Advisors of The Robin Report, which provides insight into consumer product industries. He is a former Director of Foot Locker, Inc., Sotheby’s Holdings, Inc., and of Walmart. Questrom is a Trustee of Boston Univesrity, his alma mater, where the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation endowed in 2007 the chairs of the Dean of the Boston University School of Management and two professorships, and a former Trustee of the Aspen Music Festival & School, where the Questroms underwrite student scholarships.

Boston University's School of Management is ranked 37th among the top 100 U.S. business schools by Poets&Quants.

Boston University’s School of Management

Retiring from her fashion promotion career in 1986 to civic life following a bleearly diagnosis of breast cancer, Kelli Questrom became an advocate for preventative medicine, speaking by invitation on Capitol Hill. In the mid-80’s, she co-founded the Greater Los Angeles Partnership for the Homeless, resulting in the establishment of L.A.’s Downtown Women’s Center, and served in the ’90’s on the first national Board of Directors of Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA).

Currently Kelli has served as a Trustee for seven years of the Aspen Art Museum, and for 12 years of the Dallas Museum of Art where the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation has endowed the two Museums’ educational programming, as well as the free docented tours program for public and charter school students at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, of which Questrom in the ’90’s was a Trustee, and the Questroms currently are members of the National Council. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, a nationally recognized dance company that performs, produces, and teaches classical ballet, Folkloric and African dance forms.

Largest Gifts To Business Schools

School Amount Donor Year
Chicago’s Booth School of Business $300 million David Booth 1997
Michigan’s Ross School of Business $200 million Stephen Ross 2004, 2013
Stanford Graduate School of Business $150 million Robert & Dorothy King 2011
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business $122 million David Tepper 2004, 2013
Stanford Graduate School of Business $105 million Philip Knight 2006
Columbia Business School $100 million Ronald Perelman 2013
Columbia Business School $100 million Henry Kravis 2010
Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School $80 million David Atkinson 2010
Florida’s Warrington College of Business $75 million Al & Judy Warrington 2014
Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business $69 million Jay Shidler 2014
Virginia’s Darden School of Business $62 million Frank Batten 1999
Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School $60 million Richard D’Amore & Alan McKim 2012
Thunderbird School of Management $60 million Sam & Rita Garvin 2004
Boston University’s Questrom School $50 million Allen & Kelli Questrom 2015
Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business $50 million Jim Haslam & family 2014
Georgia Tech’s Scheller College $50 million Ernest Scheller 2012
Harvard Business School $50 million Tata Group 2010
Yale School of Management $50 million Ned Evans 2010
Arizona State’s Carey School of Business $50 million William Carey 2003
Texas’ McCombs School of Business $50 million Red McCombs 2000
Arkansas’ Walton College of Business $50 million The Walton Family 1998

Source: AACSB list

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