Civic Leader Eli Broad to Receive Founders Day Award
Occidental College will present civic, cultural and business leader Eli Broad with its Founders Day Award, the college’s highest honor, in a campus ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 10.
Eli Broad is a visionary in the business and financial world, an extraordinary patron of the arts, a generous benefactor of higher education, and a tireless civic leader who has made a remarkable difference in the Los Angeles community, in California, and in our nation,” said Occidental President Theodore R. Mitchell.
“I can think of no more fitting recipient of this honor than Eli Broad, who for more than 40 years has played a leading role in helping to shape Southern California,” Mitchell said.
Board of Trustees President Irwin Field will present Broad with the award in the College Quadrangle as part of a day-long celebration of the inauguration of Mitchell, Occidental’s 12th president.
Since 1991, the Founders Day Award has been presented to individuals or institutions whose contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of Southern California are of such magnitude as to merit Occidental’s highest accolade.
Past Founders Day Award recipients include Bella Lewitzky of the Lewitzky Dance Company, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Huntington Library, KCET Public Television, librarian and author Lawrence Clark Powell ’28, and fine printer Ward Ritchie ’28.
Broad founded Kaufman and Broad Home Corp., the nation’s largest home construction company, in 1957. He then went on to create SunAmerica Inc., the diversified financial services company of which he is chairman and chief executive officer.
Called “the region’s most effective civic activist” by the Los Angeles Times, Broad served as founding chairman of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, headed the successful fundraising campaign for Disney Hall, and played a key role in bringing the 2000 Democratic Convention to Los Angeles.
As a philanthropist, he has been a major supporter of education and the arts, having created and endowed foundations to identify and cultivate innovations in urban school management and to improve museums’ ability to present contemporary art.
He also endowed the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University, his alma mater, and the new Broad Center for Biological Sciences at Caltech. Broad is a major supporter of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, the nation’s largest private scholarship program.
Located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, 113-year-old Occidental College is a selective, nationally ranked college of the liberal arts and sciences. Its 1,550-member student body combines diversity with academic excellence, having won three Rhodes scholarships and scores of other national awards over the past 10 years.