The entire Haas community is invited to the dedication of the Robert G. O’Donnell Courtyard on Monday, May 12, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The redesigned courtyard, which opened last spring, has been officially named in recognition of the $5 million contribution O’Donnell, BS 65, MBA 66, and his wife, Sue, made to the campaign to transform the Haas campus.
The O’Donnell Courtyard is a larger, more inviting, and more flexible outdoor hub of activity than the area before the renovation. On any given day it buzzes with conversations and collaborations among members of the Haas and broader Berkeley communities.
“The courtyard is a fitting space to bear Bob O’Donnell’s name as he excels at inspiring community,” says Haas Dean Rich Lyons.
O’Donnell, a retired portfolio manager and director of Capital Research and Management Company, improved the partnership between trustees and campus deans when he served as vice chair and then chair of the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2007. A longtime Cal benefactor, he has been a pro bono lecturer at Haas for more than 10 years, sharing his insights from a successful investment management career. In 2011, Haas named him its Business Leader of the Year.
The courtyard renovation replaced intrusive elevated planters with smartly landscaped stretches of uninterrupted space shaded by 12 new maple trees. New stone pavers engraved with the Defining Principles lend a subtle reminder of the culture that unites the school. The tables, already a popular gathering spot for lunches and group meetings, can be configured to accommodate a variety of functions, including career fairs, alumni events, and class orientations.
The dedication will feature the unveiling of a new plaque naming the courtyard, and guests will enjoy ice cream and Italian ices.