The North­eastern Uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity cel­e­brated the his­toric launch of the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness on Friday after­noon in Blackman Auditorium.

The naming cer­e­mony hon­ored Richard D’Amore, BA’76, and Alan McKim, MBA’88, two proud North­eastern alumni who have joined forces to make the largest phil­an­thropic invest­ment in the university’s his­tory. As a result of their com­bined $60 mil­lion gift, Northeastern’s Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion was offi­cially renamed the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.

Some 1,000 people from all over the world who were unable to attend the cel­e­bra­tion watched a live video of the fes­tiv­i­ties on the university’s website.

Over the course of the hour-​​long event, North­eastern leaders rein­forced the impact of the gift, which was hailed as a defining invest­ment in the university’s history.

There are rare and pre­cious moments when some­thing mon­u­mental occurs and after­ward we are changed for­ever,” North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun told stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, alumni and friends. “Today we are cel­e­brating a moment that will change our insti­tu­tion forever.”

Aoun referred to D’Amore and McKim as the campus’ “new rock stars.” Their pro­found and visionary ges­ture, he explained, will shape Northeastern’s aca­d­emic des­tiny and “inspire us to take the uni­ver­sity to a level of excel­lence that we could never have imagined.”

  • President Joseph E. Aoun and Hugh Courtney, dean of the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, bestow keys to the school to Alan McKim, Richard D'Amore. Photos by Mary Knox Merrill and Brooks Canaday.

  • Confetti and balloons fall at the end of the ceremony.

  • Richard D'Amore (center) and Alan McKim greet Paws during the ceremony.

  • Aerialists from Cirque du Soleil perform.

  • Northeastern's pep band performs.

  • Steven W. Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, presents a plaque to Richard D'Amore and Alan McKim.

  • Balloons drop from the ceiling at the conclusion of the ceremony.

  • Members of the International Business Club (left to right) Lauren Folk, Megan Webb and Brandy Canaley speak with a visitor during the reception and student showcase.

  • Sy Sternberg (left), ME'68, former chairman and CEO of NewYork Life and chairman emeritus of the Northeastern University Board of Trustees, speaks during the Plenary Panel, "€œThe Future of Business Education."

  • President Aoun meets with Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club Director of Marketing Rohan Venkatesh (left) and club president Matt Bilotti (center) during a reception and student showcase.

D’Amore and McKim expressed their appre­ci­a­tion for the role North­eastern has played in their suc­cess. D’Amore is a co-​​founder and gen­eral partner at North Bridge Ven­ture Part­ners, a ven­ture cap­ital firm based in Waltham, Mass. McKim is the founder and CEO of Clean Har­bors, the nation’s leading provider of envi­ron­mental, energy and indus­trial services.

D’Amore char­ac­ter­ized his invest­ment as a vote of con­fi­dence in Northeastern’s stu­dents, fac­ulty and senior leaders, all of whom, he said, have remained true to the university’s long­standing “prac­tical, prag­matic and real-​​world orientation.”

This is a big day for me,” D’Amore said. “I truly believe in Northeastern’s mis­sion, and I am inspired to know that the uni­ver­sity has moved for­ward yet remained true to its character.”

He acknowl­edged Northeastern’s “world-​​class excel­lence” in expe­ri­en­tial learning and entre­pre­neur­ship, and praised the university’s stu­dents, calling them “more excep­tional and more global” than ever before. The num­bers back up his words: Northeastern’s unique model of expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion cur­rently includes co-​​op, study-​​abroad and Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­grams in 92 coun­tries around the world.

McKim called the cel­e­bra­tion a piv­otal point in his life. Studying at North­eastern, he added, has “helped shaped who I am as a pro­fes­sional but more impor­tantly as an individual.”

McKim also sin­gled out stu­dents in the audi­ence, chal­lenging the young researchers and entre­pre­neurs to make a dif­fer­ence all over the world through class, co-​​op and extra-​​curricular oppor­tu­ni­ties. “I know this gift will shape tomorrow’s busi­ness leaders and entre­pre­neurs who will create inno­va­tions that will improve our lives,” he said. “I hope stu­dents will take advan­tage of what this unique cul­ture has to offer.”

He thanked Daniel J. McCarthy, the Alan S. McKim and Richard D’Amore Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Global Man­age­ment and Inno­va­tion, for his long-​​lasting friend­ship and men­tor­ship. As McKim put it, “We cer­tainly wouldn’t be standing here without him.”

Hugh Courtney, the inau­gural dean of the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, bestowed a sym­bolic gift upon the two heroes of the day: a pair of over­sized silver keys to the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness. They also received medals hon­oring their stead­fast com­mit­ment to the uni­ver­sity and a cita­tion in recog­ni­tion of their gift’s “pro­found impact on every dimen­sion of expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion and research.”

Never before have alumni so clearly earned the respect and honor of our com­mu­nity,” Courtney said.

The keys, he added, sym­bol­ized an “open invi­ta­tion to visit our classes and meet with our stu­dents, our fac­ulty and our staff.”

The audi­to­rium was fes­tooned with black and red bal­loons and half a dozen flat-​​screen TVs fea­turing slideshows and videos high­lighting the suc­cess of the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, which was estab­lished in 1922. The school cur­rently com­prises 136 world-​​class fac­ulty mem­bers, 3,347 under­grad­uate stu­dents and a net­work of more than 45,000 alumni.

The university’s pep band belted out songs from the bal­cony of the audi­to­rium, including the crowd favorite “Takin’ Care of Busi­ness,” and a pair of acro­bats shim­mied up and down red rib­bons with great dex­terity in a mes­mer­izing rou­tine set to tribal music. After the unveiling of the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness’ new brown and yellow flag, can­nons blasted con­fetti high into the air.

Fol­lowing the naming cer­e­mony, sev­eral hun­dred mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity attended a recep­tion and stu­dent show­case in the indoor quad at the Curry Stu­dent Center. Over the course of the hour-​​long event, guests spoke with stu­dents about their global expe­ri­ences and sam­pled food from some of the coun­tries where they live, learn and work.

One stu­dent, Benedikt Carl, a senior accounting and finance major from Ger­many, praised D’Amore and McKim for bestowing such a gen­erous gift upon the university.

This con­firms the fact that I chose the right pro­gram,” Carl said. “Their gift will make my degree much more valuable.”

He under­scored his view­point by noting his inter­na­tional co-​​op expe­ri­ence as an auditor with KPMG, one of the world’s largest pro­fes­sional ser­vices com­pa­nies. As Carl put it, “Co-​​op is really impor­tant because it’s now a neces­sity to have that prac­tical learning experience.”

A ple­nary panel dis­cus­sion about the future of busi­ness edu­ca­tion took place later in the after­noon in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ball­room. Pan­elists com­prised Courtney; Sy Stern­berg, ME’68, former chairman and CEO of New York Life and chairman emer­itus of the Board of Trustees; and Fran Janis, MBA’82, senior partner at Pomona Capital.

The trio of experts focused on how the demand for dif­ferent types of busi­ness skills and training will shift over time, and how the world’s top busi­ness schools should adapt their pro­grams, research and out­reach activ­i­ties to best serve global busi­ness and society.

The ple­nary panel dis­cus­sion pre­ceded a series of simul­ta­neous pre­sen­ta­tions by fac­ulty and industry leaders on topics ranging from inno­va­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship to improving the quality and effi­ciency of health care. Ravi Rama­murti, for example, Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Inter­na­tional Busi­ness and Strategy, explained the phe­nom­enon of reverse inno­va­tion in emerging mar­kets. Dennis Shaugh­nessy, an exec­u­tive pro­fessor of entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion, reported on the future of cor­po­rate governance.

A closing recep­tion in the indoor quad fol­lowed the fac­ulty presentations.