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Donors are recognized in various ways in the buildings of the School of Business

The School of Business is grateful for the donations from individuals and organizations that support the school's activities
Dekaani Timo Korkeamäki ja Abacus-lahjoittajaseinäteos
Dean Timo Korkeamäki and the Donor’s Wall named Abacus. Photo: Aalto University/Roope Kiviranta

Donations are a long tradition at the School of Business: the construction of the former main building at Runeberginkatu, completed in 1950, was also financed with donated funds. This tradition now lives on in Otaniemi as well. 

The School of Business offers its supporters the opportunity to be recognized as a donor.

‘When our school moved from Töölö to Otaniemi, we wanted to create ways for bringing in our alumni who had graduated from Töölö. We wanted them to feel a connection with the new building as well, even if they consider the iconic former main building at Runeberginkatu to be their actual ”Alma Mater”. The various forms of donor recognition enable the supporters of the school to also leave their mark for future generations of business students,’ says Jonna Söderholm, Head of External Relations at the School of Business.

Donors can receive recognition in the School of Business building in the form of a named piece on the Donors’ Wall, a named chair or a named piece on the Major donors’ Wall. These forms of recognition all have connections to business studies. Donor recognition was planned by looking at examples around the world, such as Harvard, before named chairs and Donors’ Walls were ultimately chosen. Some countries have long traditions with donations for universities, and the amounts required for these kinds of recognition are usually many times larger.

Abacus is the name of the Donor’s Wall located in the lobby of the main building of the School of Business. As its Latin name implies, the wall resembles a counting frame. Individuals can have their own white ‘bead’ added to Abacus by making a single donation of at least 250 euros to the School of Business. Abacus has room for 500 pieces, and almost 300 of them have already been named. 

Some donors have had their own name engraved on their piece, others have named a piece for someone else as a birthday present, and some have requested a piece with their family’s name on it. One peculiarity of Abacus is that people are allowed to touch and move the pieces. Students have already been quite creative when writing words with the pieces! Abacus was designed by Pentagon Design, where a number of Aalto alumni work as designers. The work was implemented by AU3.

‘The Abacus Donors' Wall was recently updated with a screen next to it that displays the location of each named piece. The screen also displays greetings sent by the donors to the School of Business. People who wish to add their own named piece to Abacus can still do so with a donation of 250 euros until the end of this year. From the beginning of next year, the amount required for a named piece will be 500 euros,’ Söderholm continues.

Named chairs and Major Donors’ Walls

All individuals who have donated at least 1 000 euros to the School of Business have the opportunity of being recognized with an individually named chair. The hugely popular Carousel chairs by Lammhults, used in the three lecture halls of the School of Business, have already been booked. 

New donors can now have their names added to the backs of valuable Domus chairs. These classic chairs were used at the Töölö campus in places such as the nostalgic Rafla restaurant. They were refurbished and brought to the Otaniemi campus. New generations of business students can now use the chairs for example in the Learning Hub. Brass plates with the name of a donor engraved on each of them are attached to the backs of the chairs

In addition to these recognitions for individuals, all donors who have donated at least 10 000 euros to the School of Business since the establishment of Aalto University are recognized in the various categories of the Major Donors’ Wall. The categories of the wall are: donations of 10 000 euros or more, donations of 100 000 euros or more and donations of 1 000 000 euros or more. Major donors include both organisations and individuals. The Major Donor’s Wall already includes many organizations, such as the Foundation for Economic Education, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Saastamoinen foundation, the Business School Graduates in Finland, the City of Espoo and the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), KPMG, OP Financial Group and PwC. The last three are also Premium Partners of the School of Business.

Since this autumn, the School of Business has two Major Donors’ Walls in Otaniemi, as the first wall has already been completely filled. The School of Business also has a similar Major Donors’ Wall in Töölö. No new donors will be added to that wall, since it is reserved for supporters who made donations between the founding of Aalto University and the move of the School of Business to Otaniemi. 

‘I would like to express my warmest thanks to our donors for supporting the School of Business: you continue to enable the future success of the School of Business and support the current and future generations of business students. It has been a great pleasure to hear how many of you are grateful for your education at the School of Business, how your education has provided you with good careers, and how you wish to give something back to your school. I am grateful and happy for this,’ says Timo Korkeamäki, Dean of the School of Business. 

Further information:

Helena Salminen

Helena Salminen

Asiantuntija, lahjoittajasuhteet

Donor recognition

The School of Business offers their supporters different ways of being recognized in the new main building of the School in Otaniemi. Among them are a named piece on the Abacus Donors’ Wall, a named chair and a named piece on the Major Donors’ Wall.

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