June 17, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Marion Anderson, Chair of Century City-based Topa Equities, gifts UCLA graduate management school $100 million

The UCLA Anderson School of Management has received the largest gift in its history: $100 million from longtime supporter Marion Anderson (right) to position the school for continued excellence and honor the legacy of her late husband, for whom the school is named. Anderson is pictured with Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson and the John E. Anderson Chair in Management. Photo: Sebastian Hernandez/UCLA
The UCLA Anderson School of Management has received the largest gift in its history: $100 million from longtime supporter Marion Anderson (right) to position the school for continued excellence and honor the legacy of her late husband, for whom the school is named. Anderson is pictured with Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson and the John E. Anderson Chair in Management. Photo: Sebastian Hernandez/UCLA

UCLA’s graduate management school will receive $100 million from the widow of its namesake, Century City businessman John Anderson, marking the largest gift in the management school’s history.

Marion Anderson made the donation as the UCLA business school has become mainly self-supporting, no longer receiving state funds for master’s degree programs and relying more heavily on donors.

John Anderson was the founder and chief executive of the privately owned Topa Equities Ltd., a Century City-based holding company involved in insurance, real estate, wholesale beverage distribution, automobile dealerships, and manufacturing. He died in 2011 at the age of 93. Anderson is now chairwoman of the company.

The gift will be split, with $60 million used to establish an endowment for financial aid, faculty stipends and research, and the remaining $40 million going toward about half the cost of a new building projected to be built next door to the current complex.

“Like my late husband, I take enormous pleasure in furthering the school’s impact on the lives of future global leaders, in advancing the practice of management through faculty research and in facilitating access to a world-class learning opportunity for students from all walks of life,” Anderson said. “UCLA Anderson has adopted an innovative financial model that depends on private giving. I hope my gift will inspire others to join me and my family in making significant philanthropic investments in UCLA Anderson and UCLA, and in future generations of students and faculty.”

The Anderson gift, among the largest donations in UCLA history, will also help with UCLA’s campaign to raise $4.2 billion by 2019, the centennial of the university’s founding.

The school was named after John Anderson, a billionaire businessman and UCLA alumnus, in 1987 when the couple donated $15 million. Including the new gift, the Andersons have given $142 million in all to the management school, according to the university.

Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson and the John E. Anderson Chair in Management, said she was humbled, calling it a “transformative 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,” Olian said.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the school is eternally grateful for the extraordinary generosity, which raises to new heights her commitment to UCLA Anderson and to the entire campus.

“Marion’s most recent gift will enhance learning opportunities for generations of students and support scholarship by faculty who are leaders in their fields,” Block said. “As UCLA Anderson expands its reach and distinctions, Marion’s gift provides the resources – both financial and physical – to realize an ambitious vision.”

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