September 05, 2002

UCLA Anderson Celebrates Achievements: John E. Anderson Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

On a recent cool and misty September evening under a tent of beautifully decorated tables on Alumni Plaza, alumni, key donors, faculty, staff, and friends of the school gathered to “Celebrate UCLA Anderson.” UCLA Anderson community gathered to observe and celebrate a number of key milestones in the school’s history—along with a very special personal milestone of the school’s key benefactor.

The key milestones that UCLA Anderson was celebrating were as follows:
15 years as UCLA Anderson
10th anniversary of UCLA Anderson complex groundbreaking
Awarding of the first John E. Anderson Distinguished Alumni Award
85th birthday of John Anderson (’40)

On hand for the gala were several members of UCLA Anderson School Board of Visitors (BOV), family and friends of John and Marion Anderson, UCLA officials, including Chancellor and Mrs. Al Carnesale, Vice Chancellor Michael Eicher and Assistant Vice Chancellor Lawrence Lokman, along with Dean Bruce Willison and faculty, staff, students and alumni of UCLA Anderson and UCLA.

Dean Willison was first to thank John Anderson for his “leadership and vision in making The Anderson School a reality.” He noted that not only is UCLA Anderson recognized for having one of the most advanced business school complexes in the world, but also that the school has garnered a solid reputation for providing the very best in management education. Dean Willison noted that UCLA Anderson is perennially ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world and has an award-winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, as well as highly selective students and a spectrum of successful alumni.

After a wonderful dinner, Marion Anderson toasted her husband, telling him that she and all of the guests gathered in his honor were “proud of the things you’ve accomplished and will continue to do.” Mrs. Anderson also commented on John Anderson’s “honesty and integrity” and told him, “you’ve been an inspiration to all of us.”

Next, Peter Mullin, chairman of UCLA Anderson Board of Visitors, shared his thoughts on John Anderson. He noted that John Anderson is one of the most “youthful and energetic individuals I know.” In looking at the dynamic growth of UCLA Anderson over the last 15 years, Mullin thanked John Anderson for “making the greatest and most valuable gift of all—the gift of time.”

In honoring John Anderson, Mullin also said that, “great achievements don’t just happen, they’re conceived, planned and executed by people with extraordinary vision.”

UCLA Chancellor Carnesale talked about the key role John Anderson plays not just at UCLA Anderson, but also within the larger UCLA community. He noted that John Anderson got his academic start at UCLA by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business here. He has also taught several business courses at UCLA and received the university’s highest honor when he was named UCLA Alumnus of the Year in 1995. Carnesale said that John Anderson has served as a “connection to commerce, industry and government.” In commenting on John Anderson’s 85th birthday, Carnesale humorously said, “John, I hope I’m as sharp as you are when I’m my age.”

Reflecting upon what’s in a name, BOV Member Jim Collins discussed the school’s history, noting that before the school was renamed the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management in 1987, it was known by many names, including the College of Business Administration, Graduate School of Business Administration and the Graduate School of Management. Collins discussed the qualities possessed and exemplified by John Anderson: leader, visionary, entrepreneur, philanthropist and teacher—noting that these were all qualities that reflected in UCLA Anderson and qualities the school instills in its students.

In detailing how UCLA Anderson complex came into being, BOV Member Gene Rosenfeld (’56) discussed how Dean Emeritus Clay La Force emphasized the need for UCLA to create a “world-class facility in order to become and remain a top business school,” noting that a new facility was deserving for the outstanding faculty and student body. Rosenfeld acknowledged John Anderson’s “shrewd vision and intense personal commitment” to seeing a new management education complex built.

Rosenfeld also sent regards from Dean La Force and his wife Barbara, who were on a cruise celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. In recognizing John Anderson’s 85th birthday, La Force, through Rosenfeld said, “You must look on with amusement at a dean who retired at 70 years old.”In describing what makes UCLA Anderson a unique place, Dominique “Mike” Hanssens, Bud Knapp Chair in Management and professor of marketing, said that there is “a culture of people and spirit of innovation at UCLA Anderson,” along with “intellectual openness.” Prof. Hanssens noted that UCLA Anderson brings onto the faculty individuals with different talents from around the world. He also remarked that UCLA Anderson invented the MBA field study concept some 30+ years ago and was an early adopter of integrating laptops as a requirement. Most importantly, Prof. Hanssens explained that UCLA Anderson does not live in academic isolation, but is closely integrated with the global business community.

To cap the evening, Peter Trepp, (’98), president of UCLA Anderson Alumni, honored John Anderson as the first recipient of the award that bears his name, the John E. Anderson Distinguished Alumni Award. Trepp commended John Anderson for his service and dedication to the school, noting that with his consistent presence, influence and assistance, UCLA Anderson has become an “institution that brings out the best in students.” Trepp also commented that UCLA Anderson alumni “are not just leaders, but truly innovators who have blazed new trails in many areas.”

Finally, John Anderson, in his self-effacing, laconic manner, said, “I’m certain you’ve heard enough about John Anderson. I’m so proud and am praying that I continue to justify this school.”

And with that Dean Willison wished us all a good night.

Media Relations