More than a Name

Benefactors lay the foundation for a legacy of learning.

 

 
Prospectus Alumni
by David Davis

John E. and Marion Anderson
UCLA Anderson School of Management

The son of a barber, John Anderson (B.S. ’40) belonged to a family that did not have the money to send him to summer camp with the other children in the neighborhood. A good samaritan stepped in and not only paid for him to attend camp, but also bought him a new pair of sneakers. After attending UCLA on an ice hockey scholarship and becoming a successful businessman, Anderson made “doing the right thing” his life’s work. Every year until his death in 2011, Anderson paid for underprivileged kids to attend summer camp — and bought each of them a new pair of sneakers. He and his wife, Marion, became the benefactors of the Anderson School of Management, infusing the campus with an entrepreneurial purpose and a generous spirit. “The lessons and values I learned while attending UCLA shaped my thinking throughout my business and community life,” he once said. He learned those lessons well.

Clark and B.J. Cornell
Cornell Hall

Clark Cornell went down over enemy territory after the P-38 aircraft he was piloting was shot during World War II. He survived by roaming the hills of Yugoslavia, getting help from farmers and hiding in caves. When the war ended, he walked into a town where a local hotel offered him food and a place to sleep. The next morning he began walking and hitchhiking back to his base in Italy. After the war he earned an industrial engineering degree, joined Kellow Brown Co., a leading financial printer, and quickly rose from sales representative to president. Later, he started Forms Engineering Co., an innovative direct-mail business that was one of the first companies to embrace computer technology. His twin passions, according to daughter Jill Gwaltney, were family and business. When his son, Bradford, began teaching finance at UCLA Anderson, Cornell found a way to support both. “My father loved solving customers’ problems and figuring out new ways to help them achieve their goals,” says Gwaltney, who worked alongside her late father at FEC. “He was fortunate, through philanthropy, to be able to give back to those following in his footsteps.”

James Collins
Collins Center for Executive Education

James Collins earned an engineering degree from UCLA in 1950, but when he saw the massive crowds lining up for 15-cent hamburgers at the original McDonald’s in San Bernardino, he switched direction and jumped into the then-nascent fast food industry. Collins Foods transitioned from ground patties to poultry after Collins met Colonel Sanders, and later operated more than 200 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants (and, eventually, dozens of Sizzler restaurants). A member of the board of visitors at UCLA Anderson, Collins remains involved in the restaurant business, but his true passion is attending UCLA football and basketball games. “Being part of this university family is more fun than an individual should have,” he said. “There’s something here for everybody.”

Richard Ziman
UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate

Richard Ziman, a member of the Board of Visitors at UCLA Anderson, passed on dental school to become a lawyer. It was then he found his true focus: real estate. He founded several real estate investment companies — including, most recently, Rexford Industrial Realty — learning along the way that the three most important words in real estate are “timing, timing, timing.” The UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate is not just a physical structure, however, but rather a leading center combining education and research, policymakers and private industry. A prolific philanthropist in the areas of education and health care, Ziman would have it no other way. “Buildings are bricks and mortar, and they come, go or are reinvented,” he says. “Real estate is the connecting fiber that impacts everyone, and programs involving academia, policy and industry create knowledge and explore and determine solutions guiding the future.”

Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld
Rosenfeld Library

Eugene Rosenfeld’s (’56) father was a janitor. The only way Rosenfeld could afford to attend UCLA was through a $50 scholarship. That “life-changing event” enabled Rosenfeld to graduate from UCLA and begin his business career, first in accounting and then in real estate development with such major firms as Kaufman & Broad and Western Pacific Housing. Rosenfeld’s childhood experience helped shape his philanthropic endeavors at UCLA Anderson, where he is a member of the Board of Visitors. “Without UCLA, my life would have been dramatically different,” he says. “We wanted to give back so that young people have the chance to go to school, get educated and raise their whole family. I look at it as the same thing that happened to me.”

Jim L. and Phyllis Easton

Jim L. and Phyllis Easton
Easton Technology Leadership Program
Easton Technology Classroom

Jim Easton (B.S. ’59) was so determined to attend college that he worked a full-time job at Douglas Aircraft while earning his engineering degree at UCLA. After rejoining the family business manufacturing archery equipment, he grew the company by introducing innovative aluminum products for skiing, baseball, softball, ice hockey and cycling. (His son, Greg, a UCLA and UCLA Anderson graduate, now runs the archery business.) During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Easton served as mayor of the Athlete’s Village at UCLA and Commissioner of Archery, later becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee. He never forgot his collegiate roots, however, and his philanthropic initiatives have boosted UCLA’s fortunes in engineering, business, medicine and sports. Even as the Easton Technology Leadership Program at UCLA Anderson annually produces the next generation of tech leaders, his business philosophy remains simple: “Excellence is expected. Perfection is the goal.”