To the UCLA Anderson Community,
I’m very sad to share the news that our alumnus and benefactor Bernard “Bernie” Briskin (B.S. ’49) passed away on February 29.
Bernie earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at UCLA in 1949 and then started his career at The May Company. He later worked at Norton Simon for 10 years, then acquired Telautograph in 1963, serving as president for 15 years. In 1978, Bernie became owner, president and CEO of the Arden Group, serving in that role until his retirement in 2014. During that period, Arden Group owned Gelson’s Markets, Mayfair Markets, Farrell’s Ice Cream, Arden Dairies and other businesses across Southern California.
But while his business career was an enormous success by any measure — including the respect of his employees and those with whom he did business — his philanthropic endeavors were just as impactful.
Together with his wife Judy, Bernie supported causes such as medical research, synagogue life, women’s health care, underprivileged youth and educational opportunities for the less fortunate. Bernie enthusiastically gave of both his money and his time. The family’s philanthropy includes, but is far from limited to, a gift that launched the Judy and Bernard Briskin Family Foundation for Multiple Myeloma Research at City of Hope and the Judy and Bernard Briskin Charitable Foundation, which supports health, medical treatments and cures, and education. They have made charitable contributions to Temple Israel of Hollywood, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Home, Venice Family Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where they received the Humanitarian Award in 2015.
At UCLA Anderson, Bernie is best known for the generous gift that resulted in our renaming Alumni Plaza as the Judy and Bernard Briskin Family Plaza. In 2018, Bernie was awarded UCLA Anderson’s John E. Anderson Distinguished Alumni Award. The Briskins’ generosity established the Judy and Bernard Briskin Marketing Specialization Program Fund, an endowment that provides fellowships to Anderson students specializing in marketing; and the Briskin Marketing Student of the Year award in the full-time MBA and fully employed MBA programs. Their gifts support Briskin Distinguished Visitors and enhance UCLA Anderson’s marketing curriculum, support academic research and create ways for students to connect with the marketing profession.
Please join me in expressing condolences to Bernie’s wife Judy, his children and grandchildren, including Anderson alumnus Sam Okabayashi (’17), and his great-grandchildren.
Dean and John E. Anderson Chair in Management