Department-store turnaround king Allen Questrom and his wife, Kelli, have given $40-million to Boston University’s management school, which will be renamed the Questrom School of Business, the university announced today.
The gift, through the Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation, will endow 10 new professorships and provide 60,000 square feet of new classroom space, according to the university.
The couple gave the business school $10 million in 2012 and $4-million in 2007. Mr. Questrom is a trustee of the university and a 1964 alumnus.
The philanthropist cited his time at the university, and in particular the influence of one of his professors, the late Alan Beckwith, as the reason for his success in business.
Mr. Questrom had his sights set on a career as a ski instructor when Mr. Beckwith steered him toward an executive-training program at a division of what was then called Federated Department Stores.
He eventually became executive vice president of Federated and helped bring it out of bankruptcy. He also has been credited with steering the turnaround of Neiman Marcus Group and restoring Barneys New York to profitability after the fashion group’s 1999 bankruptcy.