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Bose Corporation founder gives majority share of company to MIT

bose-corporationConsumer electronics company Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose. The 81-year-old billionaire, who is a graduate of and former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has gifted a majority share of his company to the school, The Boston Globe reports. Bose accepted a job at the school after his graduation and continued teaching there until 2001, all in addition to his duties as the head of a major company.

The majority share comes with a few attached strings. MIT hasn’t been given any voting rights, and so won’t be able to make any decisions with regards to how the company is managed. The school also will not be permitted to sell off its company holdings. The gift is more of a long term contribution than anything else, as the school will receive cash dividends whenever the company pays them. The company wouldn’t comment on the total value of the gift, but 2010 earnings for Bose Corporation exceeded $2 billion.

“Amar Bose gives us a great gift today, but he also serves as a superb example for MIT graduates who yearn to cut their own path,” university president Susan Hockfield said in a statement.

Bose — the company, that is — is of course a major player in today’s consumer audio market. It is best known for its line of headphones and speakers, though the company also makes car stereo systems, commercial audio solutions and a patented automotive suspension system, which is built on the same technology that powers the audio noise reduction in Bose products.

The company founder offered no indication as to what motivated his decision to give the generous gift, but the Globe, speaking to Chronicle of Philanthropy managing editor Heather Joslyn, notes that such acts are not unusual among the wealthy. What is unusual is the recipient, as Joslyn could cite no other examples of a company founder donating such a large amount to a single university.