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Choose to Be Great – The Boston University Campaign

Brent D. Maher, Judith McLaughlin, Joseph Zolner

  • Format: PDF
  • Case Code: HE204BUCAM
  • 17 pages


  • Format: Permission to reprint
  • Case Code: HE204BUCAM



After a series of crises in leadership, governance, and public opinion, Boston University’s new President Robert Brown initiates a comprehensive strategic planning process designed to strengthen the institution’s public image and internal confidence. During this process, Brown realizes that the institution lacks the experience and philanthropic support needed to develop and achieve a successful strategic vision. Over the ensuing four years, Brown and Scott Nichols, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, build a sophisticated institutional advancement operation that enables the university to undertake a first-ever capital campaign that elevates BU’s status as a premier urban research university. What are BU’s strategic priorities and how do these inform the subsequent planning and execution of the “Choose to Be Great” campaign? What key decisions must Brown and Nichols make to ensure they achieve their strategic goals and successfully mount BU’s first comprehensive capital campaign?

Subjects: Institutional Advancement, Development, Fund Raising, Alumni Relations, Leadership, Planning
Setting: Large Private

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