Faculty + Staff

Harold Williams receives UCLA Arts Award

Harold Williams et al

From left: UCLA Arts dean David Roussève, Harold Williams and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block at the award ceremony.

Harold Williams, an entrepreneur, arts advocate, public servant and philanthropist, received the UCLA Arts Award, the highest honor bestowed by the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Williams received the award, which is given to community members who have made significant contributions in the field of the arts and play an active role in supporting the arts at UCLA, at UCLA Arts’ Board of Visitors meeting on Oct. 27. 

Williams has helped move UCLA to its present position of prominence, bringing distinction to the university through his professional achievements as former dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Management (now the UCLA Anderson School of Management) from 1970 – 1977, and through his many volunteer service contributions. He has served and supported UCLA as a founding trustee of the UCLA Foundation, a UC regent, a member of the Graduate School of Management Board of Trustees, a life member of the Alumni Association, a Jacoby Associate and a James West Center New Founder. In 1995, he – along with Eli Broad and Daniel Belin – was a founding chair of the UCLA Arts Board of Visitors, where he continues as the current chairman. He has been recognized at UCLA with the Professional Achievement Award, the Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award and, in 1997, the UCLA Medal, the highest honor that may be bestowed upon an individual by the university.

He received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, in 1946 at the age of 18. Three years later, he was awarded his J.D. from Harvard University Law School. He has served in the highest levels of leadership in the fields of industry, education, government and the arts. His career has included  positions as president of Hunt-Wesson Foods, chairman of the board of the Norton Simon, Inc., chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and founding president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Williams made his first gift to UCLA 45 years ago, and since that time his philanthropy has been extensive and diverse. His generosity, passion and commitment to the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture is unparalleled: He has supported academics through the establishment of his own UCLA Arts scholarship endowment and through his support for the school’s Fund for Excellence, which enables new opportunities and subsidizes the school’s highest priorities. His generosity to the school’s Visual and Performing Arts Education program speaks to his notable commitment to arts education, and his support of arts programming at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA – and to the Hammer and Fowler Museums – extends his impact across the the entirety of UCLA Arts. 

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