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McCallums Donate $15 Million to Bentley College

October 31, 1999


WALTHAM, MA- As a high school graduate in 1961, Elkin McCallum took a job as a dock worker at Joan Fabrics Corporation in Lowell, Massachusetts, to earn tuition for his freshman year at Bentley College. Now Chairman and CEO of Joan Fabrics, one of the largest privately owned textile companies in North America, McCallum and his family are giving $15 million to his alma mater.

The McCallum Family Foundation's gift is the largest gift in Bentley College's history, and among the largest contributions ever reported from a single donor or family to a business school in New England. Since 1993, the McCallum Family Foundation has donated $1 Million to the college during the Campaign for Bentley, which ended in 1997, plus another $250,000 to support its Gregory H. Adamian Professorship in Law, for total contributions of over $16.25 million.

In honor of their generosity, the college is naming its graduate school as the Elkin B. McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley College.

"Over the last two to three years, the transformation at Bentley College has been exciting," said Elkin McCallum, who graduated from Bentley in 1967 with a degree in accounting. "I've never seen more enthusiasm and spirit than under President Joe Morone, who came to the college in August 1997. We're committed to the new vision for the school. That's why my wife, Donna, my daughter, Kerry, and I decided to make this gift to my alma mater at this time."

"I started working at Joan Fabrics so I could attend Bentley College, I never left Joan and I never left Bentley. Those two paths eventually came together because my Bentley education provided me with a solid foundation for my career in business. For our family, the decision to give back to the college has come easily. We hope this will inspire others. I can think of no better way to give back to the community than to support education, and what's happening now at Bentley College is very dynamic."

Lowell-based Joan Fabrics Corporation was founded in 1932 and manufactures textile products for the automotive, home furnishings, and contract industries. The company today employs 5,000 people in 11 communities in Massachusetts and North Carolina and produces over 100 million yards of woven and knitted fabrics annually.

In the Lowell community, the McCallums have been strong supporters of many cultural, civic and educational organizations. The Merrimack Repertory Theatre, American Textile History Museum, Middlesex Community College, Saints Memorial Medical Center, Lowell General Hospital and the American Red Cross are a few of the McCallum Foundations active charities.

In 1995, with the assistance of the late Senator Paul Tsongas, McCallum as well as other investors were instrumental in securing an American Hockey League franchise for the City of Lowell. Today, the Lowell Lock Monsters make their permanent home in a new arena named after Senator Tsongas.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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