Chancellor Gene Block presented the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor to an individual for extraordinary achievement, to James (Jim) L. Easton May 8 at the Chancellor’s Residence.

For the last five decades, Easton, a global leader in business and philanthropy who received his B.S. degree in engineering from UCLA in 1959, has made extraordinary contributions to UCLA and the larger world.


A top manufacturer of athletic equipment, Easton, who served as vice president of the International Olympic Committee and president of the World Archery Federation, has contributed to programs in athletics, management, technology and the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Todd Cheney/UCLA
Phyllis and James Easton, UCLA's newest recipient of the UCLA Medal

“In addition to philanthropic gifts, you have lent immeasurable hours of service and strategic guidance, elevating UCLA’s ability to provide competitive learning opportunities and hasten critical research in medicine,” according to the UCLA Medal citation. “For your engaged citizenry and tireless devotion to your alma mater, we proudly bestow upon you the UCLA Medal.”

The UCLA Medal is bestowed on those with exceptionally distinguished academic and professional achievement whose bodies of work or contributions to society illustrate the highest ideals of UCLA. Recipients have included national and international leaders in government, education, science, industry and the arts.

Previous recipients include Nobel laureates, President Bill Clinton, UCLA alumnus and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, basketball coach John Wooden, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun and UCLA alumnus and astronaut Anna L. Fisher.

“What an honor to be among the ranks of such esteemed men and women, all talented leaders that have achieved so much,” said Easton in a statement. “It is humbling, and acceptance of this recognition carries with it the responsibility and obligation to face future challenges and solutions. I thank UCLA for the life-changing opportunities it afforded me and countless others. To be recognized with the UCLA Medal, the school’s highest honor, makes me very proud.”

Easton was nominated for the medal by UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian.

Easton’s wife, Phyllis, said in a statement, “I’m thrilled for Jim. UCLA and the many talented people at UCLA have played such a significant role in his and our lives. We are deeply touched, and this recognition is certainly a highlight for us. The UCLA Medal is a tribute not only to what Jim has accomplished, it’s a tribute to what he will — with resolve and determination — continue to accomplish.”

Adapted from a story posted on the Anderson School website.