Students, faculty, staff, and special guests welcomed Eli Broad (BA Accounting ’54), namesake of the Broad College, back to his alma mater on Friday, November 9. A standing-room-only crowd of several hundred people had the unique opportunity to hear firsthand from the renowned business leader and ask questions about his views on business, philanthropy, and the future of education.
An hour-long discussion with Broad was moderated by Sanjay Gupta, associate dean for MBA and professional master’s programs, followed by audience questions. Broad spoke about his start as an accountant and how he built and lead Fortune 500 companies SunAmerica and KB Home (formerly Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation). He emphasized the importance of philanthropy — which he said anyone can do, from giving time to money to leadership — as well as the need to take risks.
Broad also discussed his new book, The Art of Being Unreasonable, and after the dialogue, signed complimentary copies of the book for the audience.
Broad and his wife, Edythe, were in East Lansing for the dedication and grand opening of the new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. The museum, a modern designed by architect Zaha Hadid, will house contemporary art.
In 1991, Broad made what was at the time the largest gift ever made to a public business school — as well as a gift that changed the face of the college. The college was renamed in his honor. Every year since, he has continued his support.