Iowa State, Boston Foundation Receive Eight-Figure Gifts

The Iowa State University Foundation has announced a gift of equity valued at $120 million, a portion of which, some $28 million, will be shared with the Boston Foundation.

Majority ownership of Curriculum Associates, an educational technology firm based in Billerica, Massachusetts, recently was transferred to the Iowa State University Foundation by an alumni couple who wish to remain anonymous under a structure similar to non-voting shares of stock. It is expected that within five years, the equity interest will be sold through a management-led sale of the company directed by CA's second-largest equity holder, CEO Rob Waldron. Proceeds from the sale will be used to create an endowment that will benefit the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with initial investments supporting the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, the arts and humanities (including the ISU theater program), and programs focused on data science and computing.

"A gift of this magnitude will transform the college — and the university — for generations to come," said ISU president Steven Leath. "This gift will impact hundreds of thousands of future Iowa State students."

According to Boston Foundation president and CEO Paul S. Grogan, a portion of TBF's $28 million share of the proceeds — the second-largest donation in the community foundation's 101-year history — will be added to its $300 million Permanent Fund for Boston. In addition, a donor-advised fund will be created and additional resources will be invested in strategic grantmaking, especially in the area of education. Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates makes K-8 digital and print instructional materials and is one of the state's fastest-growing companies.

"We are delighted to support the great work of the Boston Foundation with this gift," said  Waldron. "I have long admired this remarkable organization, and in my years as CEO of Jumpstart was fortunate to be the recipient of their support. We at Curriculum Associates are committed to giving back to our greater Boston community, and this gift will directly impact many local organizations that support the students we serve."

"Curriculum Associates' gift makes a major statement about the importance of the nonprofit sector," said Grogan. "The fact that it contributes resources to the Permanent Fund for Boston is a tremendous validation of the need for flexible community resources that can seed innovation and respond deftly to the needs of our times. This gift has great value today, but it will be felt for many years to come."