UCLA’s Anderson School of Management today (May 14) announced the largest gift in its history: $100 million from long-time supporter Marion Anderson. The pledge by Anderson, wife of the late John Anderson for whom the school is named, is the sixth largest ever to a business school.
The school said that the majority of the donation–some $60 million–will be used to establish an endowment to support priorities such as student financial aid and fellowships, faculty and research funding, and program innovations to prepare future graduates for leadership positions. The remaining $40 million will provide seed funding for a new building with what the school called “technology-enhanced classrooms and spaces that connect students with faculty and alumni.” The new building also will house research centers and faculty.
With the most recent gift, the Andersons have donated $142 million to UCLA’s business school which was named after Marion’s husband in 1987 in recognition of the first gift from them. A self-made entrepreneur, John Anderson was the son of a barber in Minneapolis, where he sold popcorn in front of his father’s shop as a boy. The valedictorian of his high school class, Anderson arrived in Los Angeles in 1936 with a hockey scholarship to UCLA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at UCLA in 1940 and and then earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
With his MBA in hand, Anderson eventually founded Topa Equities, which owns and operates numerous businesses involved in agriculture, insurance, real estate, beverage distribution and automotive dealerships. He died a billionaire in 2011 at the age of 93. The Andersons’ two sons graduated from UCLA, William from the law school and John from the business school.
GIFT MADE IN WAKE OF UNIVERSITY APPROVAL TO TURN MBA INTO A SELF-SUPPORTING PROGRAM
The gift is the second $100 million pledge to a California business school this year. In early April, billionaire philanthropist Ernest Rady gave UC-San Diego’s Rady School of Management $100 million to help attract high-caliber faculty to the school that already was named for him. Only three other donors to business schools have given more than $142 million, the largest being a $300 million pledge in 1997 to the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business from alumnus David Booth.
Anderson’s donation comes at a crucial time for the school and Dean Judy Olian. Nearly two years ago, Dean Olian won approval to turn the school’s full-time MBA program into a self-supporting program. Its executive MBA programs, the part-time MBA program, and a Master’s in Financial Engineering already had been self-supporting. In a video conversation between Olian and Marion Anderson, Anderson made it clear that part of the reason for her gift was the school’s self-supporting decision. “I’m hoping this will motivate enough people to also give,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what the size of the gift is so long as they do make a gift.”
“We are eternally grateful for Marion’s extraordinary generosity, which raises to new heights her commitment to UCLA Anderson and to the entire campus,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block in a statement. “Marion’s most recent gift will enhance learning opportunities for generations of students and support scholarship by faculty who are leaders in their fields. As UCLA Anderson expands its reach and distinctions, Marion’s gift provides the resources — both financial and physical — to realize an ambitious vision.”
Largest Gifts To Business Schools
|Chicago’s Booth School of Business||$300 million||David Booth||1997|
|Michigan’s Ross School of Business||$200 million||Stephen Ross||2004, 2013|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||$150 million||Robert & Dorothy King||2011|
|UCLA Anderson School of Management||$142 million||John & Marion Anderson||1987, 2011, 2015|
|Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business||$122 million||David Tepper||2004, 2013|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||$105 million||Philip Knight||2006|
|UC-San Diego||$100 million||Ernest Rady||2015|
|Columbia Business School||$100 million||Ronald Perelman||2013|
|Columbia Business School||$100 million||Henry Kravis||2010|
|Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School||$80 million||David Atkinson||2010|
|Florida’s Warrington College of Business||$75 million||Al & Judy Warrington||2014|
|Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business||$69 million||Jay Shidler||2014|
|Virginia’s Darden School of Business||$62 million||Frank Batten||1999|
|Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School||$60 million||Richard D’Amore & Alan McKim||2012|
|Thunderbird School of Management||$60 million||Sam & Rita Garvin||2004|
|Boston University’s Questrom School||$50 million||Allen & Kelli Questrom||2015|
|Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business||$50 million||Jim Haslam & family||2014|
|Georgia Tech’s Scheller College||$50 million||Ernest Scheller||2012|
|Harvard Business School||$50 million||Tata Group||2010|
|Yale School of Management||$50 million||Ned Evans||2010|
|Arizona State’s Carey School of Business||$50 million||William Carey||2003|
|Texas’ McCombs School of Business||$50 million||Red McCombs||2000|
|Arkansas’ Walton College of Business||$50 million||The Walton Family||1998|