Pursuing Human Progress, SMG Alumnus Frederick Pardee (’54) Gives $7 Million
Gift brings alum’s Campaign donations to BU to $10 million
Excerpts from BU Today:
Growing up during the turmoil of World War II, Frederick Pardee began dreaming of peace among nations and a better human condition. The School of Management nurtured his vision; he studied Lewis Mumford, the famous historian of technology and cities, who Pardee says inspired him as “a dreamer of the future.” After graduating in 1954 and a stint in the Air Force, he took a $7,500-a-year economist’s job at the nonprofit RAND Corporation, where the number crunching he learned at BU served him well as he analyzed social, political, and economic problems.
He segued into a lucrative career running an apartment building management firm in Los Angeles. But Pardee (SMG’54, GSM’54, Hon.’06) never forgot the past, and he was captivated by the possibilities of the future, which explains in part why he gave money to establish the University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in 2000. Now, as part of the Campaign for Boston University, the University’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, he has given another $7 million to support the center’s work and global education at BU, boosting his total donations to the Campaign to $10 million.
“I was very appreciative of the fact that BU provided me with a scholarship,” Pardee says. “My time at BU would have been much more difficult had I had to work between classes.” The Pardee Center fulfills his aspirations for his legacy, he adds, because “global human progress is what I’m interested in.”
The most recent gift brings Pardee’s lifetime contributions to the University to almost $20 million, says Glenn Vivian, director of planned giving at Development and Alumni Relations. “That puts him on a list of some of our strongest supporters.”
Pardee, a native of Bolton, Mass., brought a rigorous work ethic with him to BU, where he studied summers and carried extra courses to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at the same time. He has been similarly generous to RAND, donating money for an analogue to the Pardee Center and for RAND’s graduate school in public policy—which was renamed the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School.