The Third Quarter Century (1971-1995):
growth of a bi-national Foundation

The third quarter century of the Foundation would be a radical departure from the past at two vital levels, that of governance and of financing. The crisis of the sixties had exposed major failures of the Foundation in serving adequately its de facto constituency and in securing its financial basis.

From 1920 until 1971 the governance of the Foundation was vested in a large body of Directors who were also the Members of the Foundation. These would meet at an Annual Meeting and elect the Officers. For the daily supervision, an Executive Committee of 7 to 10 Members effectively ran the Foundation. It was decided to modify the Certificate of Incorporation and the By-laws of the Foundation. The principal provisions of the new constitution were that the former Members and Directors would be Members only and participating in the business of the Annual Meeting, that a Board of Directors would be chosen by the Membership and include at least six Belgians, and finally that future large gifts should be authorized by the Membership, not by an Executive Committee.

Following the Reorganization of the By-Laws in 1971, the Executive Committee of 10 Members was replaced by a Board of Directors of 15, at least 6 of which should be Belgian by birth or nationality. On December 14, 1971 the following six were elected to the Board of Directors with the designation "Belgium": Emile L. Boulpaep, Gaston Deurinck, Daniel Janssen, Hugo Uyterhoeven, and Luc Wauters, as well as Jean Cattier who was already "Member and Director" by the pre-1971 definition. Mr. Léon Fraikin, a former Belgian B.A.E.F. Fellow was already on the Executive Committee since December 13, 1966 and also before 1966 had been a "Member and Director" by the pre-1971 definition. On the new Board of Directors of December 14, 1971, Mr. Léon Fraikin was designated as " Canada ". The other 8 Members of the Board of Directors were designated as "United States". Among the 1995 Members of the Board, three remain of those who entered the Board as "Belgians" at the time of the reorganization of 1971: Emile L. Boulpaep, Baron Daniel Janssen, and Baron Luc Wauters. Among the 1995 Members of the Board, two remain who were former members of the Executive Committee before 1971: Messrs. Sherman Gray and Edward H. Tuck.

In October 1973, the Board of Directors resolved that the Members of the Foundation be increased to a maximum of 250 and divided in three classes. Class A includes Alumni of the Foundation; Class B Members (who may or may not be Fellows) are designated at large and include all those elected before 1974; Class C Members are honorary members. The Corporation counted 148 Members at the end of 1995.

As noted above, Herbert Hoover had originally proposed a single foundation of Americans and Belgians, but following an exchange of letters and cables in 1919, it was later decided to divide the permanent trust into two co-operating Foundations, one in America (B.A.E.F.) and another in Belgium (Fondation Universitaire-Universitaire Stichting). In retrospect, this choice was instrumental in allowing the Belgian American Educational Foundation to evolve into an entirely American composition of its governing bodies, the Executive Committee and the Officers. At the start of the third quarter century the Belgian American Educational Foundation acquired a genuine binational governance, as its name implies. The new constitution was the impetus for a new era of tremendous growth in scope and reach for the Foundation.

The second important departure from the previous quarter century was the restoration of the financial health of the Foundation after the reorganization of 1971. For the first half-century of the Foundation's history no solicitation of funds was attempted. As shown in Figure 1, the capital of the Foundation declined rapidly from a value of $7,300,000 at the end of 1921 as a result of endowing the several Foundations created by B.A.E.F. in Belgium in the aftermath of the war. However, if one takes as a reference the total assets of the Foundation of about $3,750,000 at the end of 1927 and one considers the total assets at the end of the fiscal year 1971 of only $3,800,000, it is apparent that no provisions were made for nearly a half century of inflation. Expenses exceeded income throughout the second quarter century, as shown in Figure 2. Moreover, administrative expenses constituted an average of 50% of total expenses in the 26 fiscal years between 1946 and 1971. At the time of the controversial gift to the Hoover Birthplace Foundation, B.A.E.F. had six full-time employees in New York and compensated three employees in Belgium. In order to avoid extinction of the fellowship programs and of the organization itself in the years ahead, draconian measures would be needed.

The second important departure from the previous quarter century was the restoration of the financial health of the Foundation after the reorganization of 1971. For the first half-century of the Foundation's history no solicitation of funds was attempted. As shown in Figure 1, the capital of the Foundation declined rapidly from a value of $7,300,000 at the end of 1921 as a result of endowing the several Foundations created by B.A.E.F. in Belgium in the aftermath of the war. However, if one takes as a reference the total assets of the Foundation of about $3,750,000 at the end of 1927 and one considers the total assets at the end of the fiscal year 1971 of only $3,800,000, it is apparent that no provisions were made for nearly a half century of inflation. Expenses exceeded income throughout the second quarter century, as shown in Figure 2. Moreover, administrative expenses constituted an average of 50% of total expenses in the 26 fiscal years between 1946 and 1971. At the time of the controversial gift to the Hoover Birthplace Foundation, B.A.E.F. had six full-time employees in New York and compensated three employees in Belgium. In order to avoid extinction of the fellowship programs and of the organization itself in the years ahead, draconian measures would be needed.

On June 30, 1972, Mr. Clare Torrey resigned and Mr. Léon Fraikin became President. Mr. Fraikin, a B.A.E.F. Fellow 1930, resided in Canada as Executive Officer of a Belgian Corporation, that also kept a corporate office in New York. In an attempt to balance the budget, a large fraction of the capital of B.A.E.F. was invested in fixed-income securities. In addition, Mr. Léon Fraikin launched a fund-raising campaign among Belgian corporations and American corporations with operations in Belgium. On March 14, 1973, the Board of Directors decided to formally open a branch office of the B.A.E.F. in Belgium at 11, Egmontstreet in Brussels. It was further decided to publish in the Belgian State Gazette a translation of the Certificate of Incorporation and the By-laws of B.A.E.F., as the legal framework for the operations of the Foundation in Belgium. Through the personal efforts of Mr. Fraikin the campaign was a splendid success. Pursuant to gift pledges obtained for three or five years, B.A.E.F. income exceeded expenses in the years 1973 to 1975 for the first time since 1945. Concurrently, a vigorous program of fellowships was maintained.
On January 26, 1977, Mr. Léon Fraikin retired as President and Member of the Board of Directors, when he was succeeded as President by Dr. Emile L. Boulpaep, Belgian B.A.E.F. Fellow 1964, and a Professor at Yale University. On that date, the office of Chairman of the Board was re-instated and Mr. Gaston Deurinck held that position from 1977 to 1988, at which time Emile L. Boulpaep became also Chairman of the Board.

Under the stewardship of Prof. Boulpaep, several measures were taken that would lead to the evolution of the last twenty years as shown in Figures 1 and 2. Total assets of the Belgian American Educational Foundation rose eight-fold from $3,352,000 in 1976 to $25,222,000 in 1995. Income from public support, grants and portfolio revenues, not including any realized or unrealized gains, increased from $311,055 in 1976 to $2,282,264 in 1995. Total functional expenses were boosted from $325,230 in 1976 to $1,613,955 in 1995. Over the third quarter century of the Foundation, management and fundraising expenses that were 72.4% of total expense in 1971 have fallen in 1995 to 10% of total expenses or to 7% of total income.

The growth of assets and income of the last two decades was achieved, firstly, by eliminating staff positions and by reducing rental expenses. The New York office of B.A.E.F. in Suite #2017 at 420 Lexington Avenue was closed in 1982 and the headquarters of the Foundation were relocated to New Haven, CT, where the President personally administers the office. The Foundation does not keep any full-time employees anymore. Investment management, accounting, auditing, and some program management services are all delivered on a fee-for-service basis. Secondly, mindful of the example set by Herbert Hoover and his associates of the C.R.B., all Officers, the President, Treasurer and Secretary serve the Foundation pro bono. Thirdly, intensive fundraising was initiated among Alumni and corporations on an annual basis.

Fourth, a system of eponymous fellowships was designed for individuals, organizations or foundations to subscribe to a Graduate or Postdoctoral B.A.E.F. Fellowship, carrying their name. The funding modes for these eponymous B.A.E.F. fellowships are described below.

Fifth, a system of Patron Companies was inaugurated with the assistance of Count Charles Ullens to alert a group of Companies of the outstanding services provided by the Foundation in the training of future business leaders. Patron Companies have committed to make a gift to the Foundation to provide a new B.A.E.F. Fellowship, each time the Patron Company recruits a B.A.E.F. Fellow upon return from the U.S.

Sixth, the investment policy of the Foundation was modified to commit again a major fraction of the Foundation's assets to common stocks. Mr. Thomas A. Famigletti became the investment manager of the Foundation's portfolio in 1978. Between 1978 and 1995 average total return on the Foundation's investment has been 15.2% per annum.

As financial health of the Foundation was achieved, there was also a substantial growth of the fellowship programs. The provisions of the fellowships were made more generous. Since 1976, the stipend for Belgian B.A.E.F. Fellows increased from $5,000 to $10,000 per academic year, and for American B.A.E.F. Fellows rose from $6,000 to $12,000 per academic year in 1995. Tuition expenses, that had a ceiling of $4,000/year in 1976, were paid in 1995 at an average cost to the Foundation exceeding $20,000 per academic year. Thus, fellowship expenses rose from $186,343 in 1977 to $1,451,431 in 1995.

The funding of B.A.E.F. eponymous fellowships ranges from $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 per fellowship. The B.A.E.F. assumes the balance of the cost of these eponymous fellowships from portfolio income. Sources of support for eponymous fellowships in 1995 was secured from:

1. Endowments held by B.A.E.F.

One "Fernand Collin - Luc Wauters Fellowship" restricted to a student of the University of Antwerpen , in the fields of Applied Economic Sciences, Law, or Political and Social Sciences.

One "Philips Fellowship" restricted to a student of the University of Antwerpen, in the fields of Exact Sciences, Biomedical or Cognitive Sciences.

2. Trust not held by B.A.E.F., but with income restricted to a B.A.E.F. Fellowship.

One "Albert and Evelyn Ferry Jadot Charitable Trust Fellowship" from the Albert and Evelyn Ferry Jadot Charitable Trust, restricted to a mechanical engineer of Belgian citizenship and of the French Community to engage in postgraduate study in the United States, pursuing either a master's or doctoral degree.

3. Unrestricted Annual Donations for Graduate Fellowships.

Eight "Fondation Francqui - Francqui Fonds Fellowships" from the Fondation Francqui - Francqui Fonds.

4. Restricted Annual Donations for Graduate Fellowships.

Five "Hoover Foundation for the Development of the University of Brussels Fellowships" from the Hoover Foundation for the Development of the University of Brussels , restricted to students of U.L.B. and/or V.U.B.

Two "David and Alice van Buuren Foundation Fellowships" from the David and Alice van Buuren Foundation and van Itallie Foundation, restricted to students of U.L.B. and/or V.U.B.

Two "H. Van Waeyenbergh Fellowships" from the Hoover Foundation for the Development of the University of Louvain and the University of Leuven, restricted to students of the K.U.Leuven.

Two "Firmin van Brée Fellowships" from the Hoover Foundation for the Development of the University of Louvain and the University of Leuven, restricted to students of the U.C.L..

5. Restricted Annual Donations for Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Six "D. Collen Research Foundation, vzw Fellowships" from the D. Collen Research Foundation, vzw, granted as supplements to B.A.E.F. fellowships, and restricted to postdoctoral fellows in biomedical and biotechnology research. 

6. Restricted Donation Every Two Years for a Graduate Fellowship.

One "De Bandt, Van Hecke & Lagae Fellowship" from the Partners of De Bandt, Van Hecke & Lagae, who were B.A.E.F. Fellows, and from the Firm Bandt, Van Hecke & Lagae, awarded every other year, restricted to a Belgian alumnus of the law school of one of the Belgian universities, who plans to study for one year at a law school of a university in the US.

7. Unrestricted Cumulative Donations for M.B.A. Fellowships.

A variable number of "Corporate Fellowships" assigned to M.B.A. students, granted in recognition of Patron Companies who have made 4 annual contributions.


Funding for the Belgian Graduate Fellows, outside the eponymous fellowships, is derived largely from gifts by Alumni, private, public and corporate sources.

In 1986, the B.A.E.F. initiated, in addition to the Fellowships in outright gift, a program of Conditional Grants, restricted to Belgian students studying Business Administration in the United States. These are interest-free loans of up to $60,000.00 for two years of study, covering the same annual expenses as those for the Fellowships in outright gift.

In 1986, the B.A.E.F. initiated, in addition to the Graduate Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, that provide a stipend and health insurance to young Belgian graduates who wish to perform research for one academic year at an American institution. Because these Fellows are not candidates for a degree, the fellowship does not cover any tuition expenses. In particular the fellowships jointly awarded with the D. Collen Research Foundation, vzw are restricted to postdoctoral fellows in biomedical and biotechnology research.

In 1990, the Board of Directors of B.A.E.F. wished to increase the number of awards to Americans who will participate in the scientific life of Belgium. For this purpose, Belgian Universities were invited to nominate professors, scientists or scholars as Senior B.A.E.F. Fellows. The initiative is intended as an incentive for U.S. professors on sabbatical leave to spend a period of one or two semesters with colleagues at Belgian Universities. These Senior B.A.E.F. Fellows carry the title of "B.A.E.F. Visiting Professor", or "B.A.E.F. Visiting Scientist", or "B.A.E.F. Visiting Scholar."

The Senior Fellows are in addition to the regular American Graduate Fellows that were increased from 6 fellowships in 1977 to 10 in 1991.

The success story of the last quarter century is vested on three basic principles.

Firstly, in the matter of governance, the benevolent work of Officers, Members and Alumni has served the Foundation splendidly.

Secondly, in the area of financial management, a lean administration, innovative fundraising and prudent investment have acted in concert to provide generously for the present needs and to endow for the future.

Thirdly, in terms of programs, constant adaptation to change through new awards, upgrading of existing awards, and striving for excellence have produced a genuine intellectual elite of Alumni. read more                                                

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