UCLA Anderson Receives $100M Gift from Namesake’s Widow

major gift to UCLA Anderson

The UCLA Anderson School of Management has announced the largest gift in its history: $100 million from longtime supporter Marion Anderson to position the school for continued excellence and honor the legacy of her late husband John, for whom the school is named.

Anderson says her gift is motivated by her appreciation of the role and impact of UCLA Anderson as a global innovator in management education, and that it is a tribute to her husband’s passion for education and community priorities.

Sixty million dollars 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 in the 21st century global economy.

Forty million dollars will provide seed funding for a new building that will advance students’ learning and development experiences by adding technology-enhanced classrooms and spaces that connect students with faculty and alumni. The new building also will house research centers and faculty.

The school was named the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management in 1987 in recognition of the first gift from John and Marion Anderson. John Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at UCLA in 1940 and later founded Topa Equities, which owns and operates numerous businesses involved in agriculture, insurance, real estate, beverage distribution and automotive dealerships. He died in 2011 at the age of 93.

Marion Anderson is chair of Topa Equities. A Los Angeles resident, she also is a member of the UCLA Anderson Board of Visitors executive committee and the Centennial Campaign for UCLA executive committee.  She also is a member of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles board of trustees. An endowed professorship and a courtyard at UCLA Anderson are named in her honor. With the most recent gift, the couple has donated $142 million to UCLA Anderson.

The $100 million donation formally launches Into the Next: The Campaign for UCLA Anderson, which is part of the Centennial Campaign for UCLA, a $4.2 billion fundraising drive scheduled to conclude in 2019, the university’s 100th anniversary. UCLA Anderson has already received gifts or pledges of more than $183 million toward its revised goal of $300 million for Into the Next.

Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson, says she feels humbled by the generous gift. “From student fellowships to faculty recruitment and retention, to innovative research programs and the state-of-the-art facilities that will house them, Marion Anderson has enabled our future and empowered us with her confidence in the path we are taking.”


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