Berklee Today

Berklee's Helping Hands

  John Connaughton
  Photo by Phil Farnsworth

A Sound Investment

Established in 1984 and with more than $40 billion in assets under management, Bain Capital is one of the world's leading private investment firms. Bain Capital's family of funds includes private equity, venture capital, public equity, and leveraged debt assets. Established in 1997 to support children's causes, Bain Capital Children's Charity has donated more than $14 million to worthy organizations since its inception.

Berklee is honored that Bain Capital Children's Charity and Bain Capital partners is the lead donor for Berklee's Twelfth Annual Encore Gala on October 21. Bain's leadership ensures that the gala will raise $1 million, a milestone for the college. Reaching this goal would not be possible without their generous contribution.

Bain's donation will provide an immediate benefit for aspiring young musicians in the Greater Boston area. The gala is Berklee's flagship fundraising effort to support the Berklee City Music Program that serves disadvantaged middle- and high-school students who want to enroll as full-time students at Berklee.

"We are proud to support Berklee City Music right here in the city of Boston because it ensures that urban youth who enter Berklee will be prepared to succeed," says John Connaughton, a Berklee trustee and managing director at Bain Capital. "We see Berklee City Music as a creative way to inspire these young people without financial resources to work hard, be creative, and gain an education at the world's largest college of contemporary music. That's the definition of a good investment."

Godin Guitar founder Robert Godin (center) , poses with students at Berklee's Summer Guitar Sessions 2006. Godin Guitars provided scholarship support for students attending this years program.  
Photo by Nick Balkin  

A First for the Counseling Center

Matt and Ronda Deso have traveled to Boston from their home in Texas over the years to enjoy the music written and performed by their son, an outstanding guitar player at Berklee. Like many parents, they made it a point to meet many of their son's friends to understand what Berklee students need from the college to succeed. Ronda's professional experience as a school psychologist provided a unique vantage point from which to view Berklee's artistic environment.

Grateful for the education their son has received, the Desos have been very generous to the college. They are also strategic in their philanthropy and wanted to make sure their support would directly benefit students. The Desos were impressed with the work and dedication of Berklee Counseling Center staff and decided to support these efforts.

The Desos' donation, the first such parent gift to the Counseling Center, will allow the college to launch the new Peer Advising Fellow portion of its First-Year Student Advising program. The goal of the initiative is to ensure that no first-year Berklee student falls through the cracks or wonders how to get the services he or she needs. The program will join up every incoming student with an advising fellow (an upper-class student) to help students adjust to Berklee, form relationships, and be educated about college resources, including the Counseling Center. The pilot program will begin in the spring of 2007. Berklee is deeply grateful to the Desos for their generous support.

Blue Cross Blue Shield/ Berklee Partnership

Berklee is pleased that the Boston Business Journal selected Gala colead sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts as the Large Company Arts Partner of the Year. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a colead sponsor of the Berklee Encore Gala for the second year. "There's a connection that we see between the spiritual uplifting that comes from being involved with the arts and improved health and well-being," says Kate Wilson of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Berklee is proud of its partnership with Blue Cross and grateful for their support for aspiring young musicians.