Alumni Association President William J. Cunningham, '57, and Executive Director Grace Cotter Regan, '82, announced the gift at the Laetare Sunday Communion Breakfast on March 25.
The pledge is made possible by BC graduates' use of Visa credit cards provided through the Alumni Association's affiliation with MBNA Corp., the parent company of MBNA America Bank and the world's largest independent credit card issuer.
Under this arrangement, which began in 1992, the Alumni Association has offered credit cards to alumni, students, employees and friends of the University. Proceeds from the MBNA affinity program have been used to fund University scholarships for alumni children and to support special outreach programs for alumni groups around the nation.
Cunningham said the idea for a major donation to the University's campaign developed after MBNA officials proposed a new five-year affinity partnership with the Alumni Association in January. In addition to making the campaign pledge, Cunningham said, the association will expand the scholarships and outreach programs through the new MBNA agreement.
"The gift was unanimously approved at the association's executive committee," he said, "and then was unanimously approved by the entire alumni board. The enthusiasm for it was just overwhelming. It was a great response."
Cunningham said the MBNA agreement will generate $500,000 to the campaign this year and $125,000 in each of the next four years.
He also said that association vice-president and president-elect Christopher P. Flynn '80 will head up a group that will propose "two or three options to the board that we can then present to the University on how we can best use this gift.
"This money will be for Boston College and Boston College programs," Cunningham said. "This is a wonderful and a painless way for alumni to give something back to BC."
Regan sees the gift as the Alumni Association's "commitment to partner with the University" in reaching Boston College's goals.
"This is truly investing in the future of BC," she said. "Alumni want to have a role in the campaign and it is our responsibility to participate. This pledge allows us to represent all alumni in doing so."
Applications and addition information on MBNA's Alumni Association credit cards may be obtained by contacting the Alumni Association at ext.2-4700 or at www.bc.edu/friends/alumni/resources/alumni-benefits.html#visa.
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