Kogod School of Business

Info For

Our Approach to Learning


Robert and Arlene Kogod Provide Monumental $15M Gift to American University’s Kogod School of Business

The $15 million donation will establish three endowed chairs—one each in finance, marketing, and sustainability.

Grier and Bruno header

Kogod Eminent Scholar Chairs Sonya Grier and Valentina Bruno.


American University’s Kogod School of Business received a $15 million gift from school namesake, Robert Kogod, and his wife, Arlene, to establish three endowed chairs as part of the institution’s ongoing investment in impactful scholarship and teaching. The gift is the largest single contribution in the Kogod School’s history, and the Kogods are the second highest individual donors in American University’s Change Can’t Wait fundraising campaign, which has raised more than $433 million to date toward AU’s $500 million goal. Their support will further the pathbreaking scholarship of Kogod’s faculty in key areas of academic focus.  

The funds will endow three departmental chairs, two at the Kogod School of Business and a third as a joint appointment at Kogod and the American University School of Public Affairs. The newly minted Arlene R. and Robert P. Kogod Eminent Scholar Chairs will be established in key areas of focus, expertise, and impact at American University: finance, marketing, and sustainability. Valentina Bruno and Sonya Grier, two current Kogod faculty members, will be appointed Kogod Eminent Scholar Chairs, and the third will be identified at a later date. 

Endowed faculty positions are universally recognized as a hallmark of academic quality. Holding an endowed position is one of the greatest honors in academia, conveying the individual’s great expertise and sustained record of achievement.

The Kogod name is associated with excellence and impact throughout D.C., and their generous support will enhance academic and experiential opportunities for our students, support our expert faculty members in their changemaking scholarship, and continue AU’s momentum in our community and beyond."

Sylvia Burwell headshot

Sylvia Burwell

President, American University

The Kogodsgift is a transformational part of the Change Can’t Wait campaign, which is advancing American University’s leadership in scholarship and learning with impact," said American University President Sylvia Burwell.

Kogod School of Business Dean David Marchick also expressed his gratitude to the Kogods, saying, “We are deeply grateful to Robert and Arlene Kogod for this exceptionally generous gift. The Kogods’ impact cannot be understated; I cannot imagine our school or our city without the lasting imprint of their vision. These new Kogod Eminent Scholar Chairs will be pillars of our community, and these appointments recognize their leadership and contributions to Kogod and in their respective fields of scholarship.”  

“Few things are more important than education,” Robert Kogod said. “It provides a solid basis for life—an impetus for continual personal growth and exploring what is possible. Arlene and I are truly inspired by American University’s vision to invest in the next generation of thinkers and educators to equip students to pursue success with integrity and to ultimately create a better world.” 

The Kogod Eminent Scholar Chair in Finance is Valentina Bruno, professor of finance and Kogod faculty excellence fellow in finance at American University. Professor Bruno holds prestigious positions internationally as a research fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research, faculty research member at the European Corporate Governance Institute, and associate editor at the Journal of Banking and Finance.  

Sonya Grier, professor of marketing at Kogod, will hold the position of Kogod Eminent Scholar Chair in Marketing. An interdisciplinary scholar, educator, and consultant, Professor Grier’s expertise spans across race, diversity, and market dynamics. In addition to her newly appointed role of endowed chair in marketing, Professor Grier is cofounder of the Race in the Marketplace Research Network and serves on the editorial board for the Advertising and Society Quarterly, Journal of Consumer Affairs, and Journal of Public Policy. 

The Eminent Scholar Chair in Sustainability, which will be a joint appointment in the Kogod School of Business and the School of Public Affairs, will be identified through a comprehensive, national search.  

The notable gift will continue to propel Kogod’s momentum in these key program departments and enhance the school's position as a leader in these focus areas. Professor Bruno, Professor Grier, and the prospective third Eminent Scholar Chair in Sustainability will join the roster of the five previously appointed endowed faculty at Kogod.  


American University leverages the power and purpose of scholarship, learning, and community to impact our changing world. AU’s faculty, students, staff, and alumni are changemakers who shape the future from sustainability to social justice to the sciences. Building on our 129-year history of education and research in the public interest, we say “Challenge Accepted to addressing the world’s pressing issues. Our Change Can’t Wait comprehensive campaign creates transformative educational opportunities, advances research with impact, and builds stronger communities.  


American University's Kogod School of Business, established in Washington, D.C., more than 60 years ago, aims to equip and empower its community to use business as a force for meaningful change. Kogod graduates are not only leaders on Wall Street and in the corporate world, but also work for nonprofits, government agencies and social service organizations. Washington, D.C., serves as a laboratory for learning through work, internships, and other forms of experiential education. Kogod is the oldest accredited business school in Washington, D.C. The school is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), which represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.