Haas to Honor Cal Booster and Mutual Fund Leader Robert O’Donnell at Gala

Alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends are invited to celebrate Berkeley-Haas and honor 2011 Business Leader of the Year Robert O'Donnell, BS 65, MBA 66, at the annual Haas Gala on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

The black-tie-optional event will start with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner, award presentations, and live music and dancing.

Haas will honor O'Donnell in recognition of his tireless commitment to public education at all levels; the enormous impact he has had at Berkeley and Haas; and his successful leadership role in the mutual fund industry.

From 2003 to 2007 O'Donnell served as chairman and vice chairman of the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees, which oversees the university's endowment and advises the chancellor and campus. In those roles, O'Donnell focused on improving coordinating between the trustees and the campus deans.

For the past 10 years, O'Donnell also has worked as a lecturer at Haas, sharing his experience and insights from a successful career in money management. In April he retired as senior vice president and director of Capital Research and Management Company after working there nearly four decades and leading the management of a $50 billion mutual fund.

A passionate advocate for public education at all levels, O'Donnell has been a strong supporter of Young Entrepreneurs at Haas, a program aimed at helping economically disadvantaged youth go to college. In addition to other philanthropic activities, O'Donnell also serves as director of the nonprofit Summit Public Schools, which started two charter high schools in Redwood City, in 2003 and 2009, and opened two more in San Jose this fall.

“Bob O’Donnell has been a true leader in his profession, in philanthropy, and in his volunteer roles at UC Berkeley," says Scott Biddy, vice chancellor of UC Berkeley University Relations. "He has a deep understanding and appreciation of UC Berkeley’s mission, and he has contributed his time, his talent, his wisdom, and his funds towards ensuring that this mission will be sustained into the future.”

During the gala, Bob Lutz, BS 61, MBA 62, also will be recognized with the school's Leading Through Innovation Award for driving creativity and innovation at four different major automobile makers.

In addition, the Haas School will honor David Eckles, MBA 73, with the Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award; Guadalupe Nickell and Sal Caruso, both BCEMBA 11, with the UC Berkeley Young Bear Award; and HAN East Bay with the Haas Alumni Network Chapter of the Year Award.

To attend the Gala, RSVP by Oct. 21 at the Gala website.