American University Business School Gets $15 Million Gift

The Kogod School of Business at American University received $15 million from its namesake — Robert Kogod and his wife, Arlene — to set up three endowed chairs.
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Published on September 27, 2023
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  • The American University Kogod School of Business received a $15 million donation from its namesake.
  • That donation will go toward setting up new chairs in sustainability, marketing, and finance.
  • The donation is the largest single gift in the Kogod School of Business' history.
  • The gift is part of American University's larger Change Can't Wait campaign, which has so far raised more than $400 million.

The American University Kogod School of Business will soon have three new endowed chairs for marketing, finance, and sustainability thanks to a donation from its namesake.

Robert Kogod and his wife, Arlene, donated $15 million to the school to endow three departmental chairs.

The new Kogod Eminent Scholar chairs in marketing and finance will be hosted within the business school, according to a press release, while the chair of sustainability will be hosted jointly with the Kogod School of Business and the American University School of Public Affairs.

Valentina Bruno, a professor of finance and research fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research, will be the chair in finance. Sonya Grier, a professor of marketing and co-founder of the Race in the Marketplace Research Network, will serve as the chair in marketing. The chair in sustainability will be named at a later date.

All three of those fields — marketing, finance, and sustainability — are key areas of interest for business school students and employers alike. Those fields are also set to be affected by rapidly emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence.

Digital marketing was one of the top areas of interest for prospective business students in a survey conducted by the United Kingdom-based consulting firm CarringtonCrisp earlier this year, alongside business ethics, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and data analytics.

Finance and marketing alike are undergoing a data-heavy transformation as businesses grapple with an ever-expanding trove of consumer information and the proliferation of artificial intelligence.

Sustainability and climate change were among the top 10 interests of potential master's of business administration (MBA) students in another survey conducted by CarringtonCrisp earlier this year. Employers are increasingly adopting climate-related positions like chief sustainability officers to respond to sustainability-related issues, regulations, and needs.

The Kogods' gift is part of American University's “Change Can't Wait” and is the largest single contribution in the business school's history, according to the release. That campaign, which aims to bolster both research and opportunities for students, has so far raised $433 million toward a $500 million goal.

Few things are more important than education, Robert Kogod said in the release. It provides a solid basis for life — an impetus for continual personal growth and exploring what is possible. Arlene and I are truly inspired by American University's vision to invest in the next generation of thinkers and educators to equip students to pursue success with integrity and to ultimately create a better world.