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Harvard is renaming its College deanship after a donation from alumni Ami K. Danoff ’84 and William A. Danoff ’82—marking the second time this year that the University has sold the naming rights to a major dean position.
The gift and the deanship’s renaming comes almost two years into the public phase of Harvard’s $6.5 billion capital campaign. Patrick S. McKiernan, a spokesperson for Harvard’s Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, declined to specify the size of the Danoffs’ gift.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, is seeking $2.5 billion in its portion of the record-seeking fundraising drive. Last fall, the FAS deanship, currently held by Michael D. Smith, was renamed following a donation from Paul B. Edgerley and Sandra M. Edgerley ’84.
Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, who will now hold the official title of Danoff dean of the College, welcomed the donation in a statement and said the funds will support initiatives at the College, including its more than $1 billion House renewal project and goals at the discretion of Smith and Khurana. University planners recently named Lowell House its fifth renovation project.
Although many faculty positions reflect the names of donors, the University has not typically sold naming rights to school dean positions. But Harvard, seeking a record for higher education fundraising, has recently grown more willing to trade major naming opportunities, often irreversibly, for pledges.
The Danoffs’ most recent donation grants them permanent naming rights, meaning that the dean of Harvard’s flagship school will forever bear their name, McKiernan confirmed in an email. William Danoff, who is vice president of Fidelity Investment, cited the leadership of University President Drew G. Faust in a statement as a motivating factor for the donation.
Last fall, in exchange for a $350 million pledge from a foundation run by Gerald L. Chan, the University renamed the School of Public Health in honor of Chan’s late father. McKiernan confirmed that the FAS deanship and School of Public Health’s name changes are also permanent.
As of February, the University-wide capital campaign had cleared the $5 billion mark.
—Staff writer Noah J. Delwiche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ndelwiche.
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