Portrait of Jim Champy '68, photographed for Boston College Law School in his home at 330 Beacon Street in Boston.

Summer 2020

A One-Man Brain Trust

A globally recognized authority on business reengineering, Jim Champy has always forged his own path. After earning his BS and MS in Civil Engineering from MIT, anticipating he would go into business, Champy chose BC Law as the next step. “I made a specific choice to go to law school rather than business school because I felt that I would learn more,” he says, noting that the demands of law school challenged him to think at a higher level. “The disciplined thinking you have to do in the practice of law helped me enormously in business.”

Champy’s time at BC Law shaped his career and the way he lived his life. He credits his classmates for creating an atmosphere that pushed each of them to excel. “After class we would go down to the cafeteria and continue our case arguments; it was very rich engagement,” he recalls. “It’s surprising how often people forget the roots of their learning. People went off and were successful but so much of that thinking began in that cafeteria, not just in the classroom.”

After BC Law, Champy became one of the founders and the CEO of Index, a $200 million consulting practice, and then chairman of Dell Perot Systems’ consulting arm. Now, as Independent Director of Analog Devices and a best-selling business author of nine books, including his latest title, Reengineering Health Care, he continues to consult with multinational companies to improve business performance.

“I support the Law School because I see it as fulfilling an important role in society: graduating young lawyers with a high sense of purpose to provide for the needy.” —Jim Champy

He brings business expertise to his philanthropy. He and his wife, Lois, partner with organizations like BC Law and a handful of other schools to make their giving more effective. “I don’t have the need to make up something completely new for our philanthropy. I’d rather find a school that’s doing something well and support that school,” Champy says.

The Champys are especially passionate about funding the education of BC Law students. They describe it as the best kind of investing, since the impact of educating one student is multiplied by all the people that student will affect throughout an entire career. To that end, the couple established the James A. ‘68 and Lois Champy Fund, which provides scholarships to students pursuing public interest law. “I support the Law School,” he says, “because I see it as fulfilling an important role in society: graduating young lawyers with a high sense of purpose to provide for the needy.”

For Champy, the engine of endowments makes philanthropy exciting. “I like to sit back and think about the growth of these assets; it’s fun. By investing over time you see the benefit of what you’re doing.” Currently, their scholarship funds one student annually, but his most recent legacy pledge to BC Law will provide for a Champy scholar in each of the three classes every year.

Matching gifts is another example of Champy’s reengineering. In 2015, he pledged half a million dollars to create new endowed funds. “My idea was to help attorneys to establish scholarships,” he explains. “I would match their 50k gift to start an endowed fund and over time they would add to it.” The Champys’ match has partnered with twelve alumni to create new endowed funds.

BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau appreciates Champy’s vision and practicality. “Jim is a creative and dynamic donor with big ideas who inspires others to share his joy of philanthropy,” Rougeau says. “I rely on him as a trusted advisor who truly has lived his life guided by the Jesuit motto of being a ‘man for others.’ Together, Jim and Lois have made extraordinary strides for access to justice by supporting students with a passion for working in the public interest, which is so central to the special character of BC Law.”

For more information on how you, too, can make an impact, please contact Maria Tringale, director of development, at maria.tringale@bc.edu.


Challenge Funds

James Champy pledged $500,000 in 2015 to encourage other law alumni to establish scholarships. These endowed funds were created with his help.
  • The Michael & Patricia Dillon Family Scholarship
  • The Michael Fee & Elizabeth Fee BC Law School Scholarship
  • The Frederic N. Halstrom BC Law Scholarship Fund
  • The McGrath and Kane Fund
  • The Kelly Family BC Law School Scholarship Fund
  • The Janet and Gary Lilienthal BC Law School Scholarship
  • The Kathleen M. McKenna ‘78 BC Law School Scholarship
  • The Honorable G. T. Rocha Memorial
  • The Spillane Scholarship Fund
  • The Mary, Vincent, and Mark V. Nuccio Scholarship
  • The Lawrence A. Adelman, JD ‘78 Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • The Francis D. Privitera, JD ‘56 Law Scholarship Fund

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