Letter from the Dean


Dean Judy D. Olian

In May, I had the privilege to announce Mrs. Marion Anderson’s stunning and transformative gift of $100 million to UCLA Anderson. Long before sharing success, thinking fearlessly and driving change were established as the differentiating qualities of UCLA Anderson students and alumni, they were the qualities propelling the lives of Marion Anderson and her late-husband, John.

Mrs. Anderson’s new gift ensures that students’ unique learning and development experiences at Anderson, and the important research advances of our faculty, will continue for generations to come. Her visionary philanthropy will endow student and faculty support, and will serve as the lead gift for the Marion Anderson building, to be constructed within the Anderson complex at UCLA.

Mrs. Anderson’s donation is one of several received to date in support of our Into The Next campaign. At our recent campaign kick-off celebration, we expressed our profound appreciation to Professors Don and Sherie Morrison, who have endowed the Morrison Family Center for Marketing Studies and Data Analytics, and to Board of Visitors members Jim and Phyllis Easton for endowing the Easton Center for Technology Management. Many other alumni and friends have been generous and important early supporters of the Into The Next campaign for UCLA Anderson. Our heartfelt gratitude to each of you.

To date, we have raised over $180 million toward the Into The Next campaign. Our goal for Anderson’s campaign has been lifted to $300 million, a drive that is part of UCLA’s overall Centennial campaign slated to end in 2019, the 100th ‘birthday’ of UCLA.

At Anderson, we aspire to transform lives through distinctive learning programs, path-breaking research, and extraordinary public service. We are profoundly grateful to all of our alumni and friends who, over the years, have enabled many forms of excellence to flourish at Anderson, and who themselves embody lives of significance that make us proud.

This issue of Assets showcases some of these spectacular alumni who have found a home in the entertainment and digital industries that thrive in Southern California. From major movie studios to digital start-ups, it is this community that creates the trailblazing content consumed around the world, despite language and culture differences. The depth and range of talent and resources in L.A. is central to the growth and vitality of digital business models and content. For example, Los Angeles dominates entertainment production in the U.S. with its estimated economic output of $55 billion in 2013, dwarfing that of other regions and cities.

In his excitement over what he calls the “digital tsunami,” in this issue of Assets, Mandalay Entertainment Group CEO and Chairman Peter Guber, embraces technologies that transport us to new realities and enable collaboration across great distances. The downside, of course, is the evaporation of local jobs and the effect it has on the L.A. economy.

Los Angeles boasts the highest density of creative professionals in the nation, and Anderson is fortunate to count among its graduates Erika Green Swafford (’99). Erika drives change as a seasoned TV writer despite the dearth of women and other underrepresented minorities among the prominent creators of digital and entertainment content. Green just won the prestigious NAACP Image Award for Outstanding writing in a Drama Series for her work on How to Get Away with Murder – a show celebrated for its diverse cast and subject matter.

Our alumni also develop new digital pathways to fitness and health. In this issue we find out just what people are made of, literally – thanks to Elaine Shi (’14) and Bryce Luken’s (’14) BodySpec business that provides fitness buffs with personal data to guide their workouts. Also in this issue, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins (’03), reminds us that what’s old is new again in terms of content proliferation through emerging platforms.

The bold vision of our donors has always enabled creative pursuits among our graduates who become the game changers across industries, including the digital trailblazers profiled here. We’re in a time and place where the waves of change are breathtakingly fast. It’s exciting to be riding those waves!

Warm wishes,
Judy Olian, Dean

Gerald Loeb Awards
New Morrison Family Center for Marketing Studies