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Q&A: The naming of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Earlier this month, Northeastern announced that two alumni—Richard D’Amore, BA’76, and Alan McKim, MBA’88—gave a $60 million gift to the university. We asked Diane MacGillivray, senior vice president for University Advancement, to discuss the gift’s enormous impact, including the renaming of Northeastern’s College of Business Administration to the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.

How is Northeastern already seeing the impact of the D’Amore–McKim gift to name the school of business?
Within hours of announcing the gift, alumni, parents and friends from all over the world were contacting us with wonderful messages about the pride they feel in the school, and expressing their interest to get more involved, both as volunteers and donors. Students from our Northeastern Fund Call Center continue to receive terrific feedback from alumni on the phone. We’ve had several parents contact us about supporting the school, and there are new inquiries from alumni interested in setting up a planned gift and other philanthropic vehicles to build on Rich and Alan’s support.

Why do you think so many people are taking an interest in this gift?
This is a historic investment because it is the largest gift in our university’s history and establishes Northeastern’s first named school. It is a major pride point for all the stakeholders who care about our institution. People want to be a part of this historic moment and partner with us to build on the momentum.

What is the philanthropic significance of having a named school?
Rich and Alan have singlehandedly raised the bar on giving by making such a significant investment. Gifts like this have a powerful ripple effect, in that they inspire and empower others to step forward and invest in the university. The multiplier effect from this gift will secure the foundation of our business school over many years, and enable it to innovate and explore new pathways in entrepreneurship, global education and other areas. It is no accident most business schools are named. This will raise Northeastern’s visibility on an international scale.

How does this gift impact Northeastern’s future fundraising operation?
This gift is the cornerstone for our university’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, which will be publicly announced this spring. Rich and Alan are co-chairs of the campaign. Both of them have expressed to me that one of the reasons they made this gift was to inspire other alumni and friends to support Northeastern during our upcoming campaign.

By sharing their name with Northeastern in perpetuity, they have given a very public endorsement of President Aoun’s vision for Northeastern’s future.

Why are Rich D’Amore and Alan McKim the right people to name the business school in honor of?
Rich and Alan are not only successful business leaders but they are extraordinary people and long-time supporters of the university. What makes their gift even more meaningful is that both gentlemen are entrepreneurs who embody Northeastern’s values. In their own work they have been innovative, nimble, visionary, creative, selfless, kind and determined. It’s an honor to have our business school bear their name, and it continues to be an honor to work with each of them as we move toward the public phase of our fundraising initiative.