Longtime supporters Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine launched a matching gift campaign with their donation of $7.5 million, the largest single charitable investment in our 34-year history.
Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine have been major supporters of uAspire since 2011. In 2014, the Lavines made a $3 million, five-year commitment to help uAspire address the issue of college affordability within Massachusetts and nationwide. This transformative gift helped uAspire launch the student-facing Lavine Family Center for College Affordability in April 2015 and leverage an additional $4.5 million from other supporters. In 2019, the Lavines founded a matching gift campaign, the Lavine Family Match, with a donation of $7.5 million. This campaign supports initiatives to reach millions more students by 2023.
Economic and educational equity are at the core of Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine’s philanthropy. “There is no greater way to improve someone’s future than giving them access to postsecondary education,” Jonathan says. “We know that intellect is not distributed based on income, neither should education be,” adds Jeannie. These beliefs inspired their multiyear, multimillion-dollar gift to uAspire, a game-changing investment that has helped uAspire achieve higher levels of impact and scale. uAspire is deeply appreciative of the Lavines for their bold leadership that makes college affordable for thousands of students.
Jeannie and Jonathan have been longtime supporters of programs dedicated to educational attainment, economic opportunity and other causes within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the U.S. In 2007, The Lavines founded the Crimson Lion Lavine Family Foundation. Through the Foundation, they have been regular supporters of events including the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and organizations such as Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Equal Justice Initiative and LIFT Communities. In 2017, the Lavines donated $12 million to Harvard Business School to fund scholarship aid for first-generation college students.
Jonathan Lavine is Co-Managing Partner of Bain Capital and the Chief Investment Officer of Bain Capital Credit. Lavine founded Bain Capital Credit, formerly Sankaty Advisors, in 1997. Jeannie Lavine is a former management strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.
Jonathan Lavine is Chair Emeritus of the City Year Board of Trustees, and he and Jeannie have been supporters of the organization since 1991. In 2018, the Lavines committed $18 million to the City Year Campaign to help ensure that more students are on track for graduation and long-term success through City Year mentorship programs. Jonathan Lavine is also Co-chair of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees, and is a member of the advisory board for Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. In 2015, he was named to the Holocaust Memorial Board by President Obama.
Jeannie Lavine serves on the Board of Directors for The Better Angels Society. In partnership with The Better Angels Society, the Library of Congress and Ken Burns, the Lavines have helped to establish the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film and the Lavine Fellowship, an annual award and program that rewards excellent documentarians with finishing funds and mentorship. Jeannie has also been a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Board of Dean’s Advisors since 2012, and serves on the FAS Major Gift Committee and the Committee on University Resources at Harvard.
Jonathan Lavine has been honored by the Anti-Defamation League with the Distinguished Community Service Award in 2012 and by Voices for National Service with the Citizen Service Award in 2015. In 2017, he was honored with the Alexander Hamilton Award by Columbia College.