Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 4:30 am | Fair 56º


UCSB Professor, Wife Donate $1 Million for Endowed Chair in Economics

Charitable gift annuity honors former colleague/friend Alec Alexander, who died in 2008

UC Santa Barbara professor emeritus Walter Mead and his wife, Thelma, have made a $1 million deferred gift to the campus to establish an endowed chair in economics — the couple’s second such contribution to the department where Mead was a career faculty member.

Made through a charitable gift annuity, the donation will fund the new Alec P. Alexander Chair in Economics, a tribute to Walter Mead’s former colleague, fellow economics faculty and longtime friend.

The Meads traveled extensively with Alexander and his wife, Eleanore, through the years. Alexander died in 2008.

“UC Santa Barbara is immensely grateful to Walter and Thelma Mead for their generous philanthropy to establish the Alec P. Alexander Chair,” UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said. “Their extraordinary generosity honors our esteemed colleague Alec Alexander, who passed away in 2008, and builds on their vision to further strengthen our outstanding Department of Economics.

“Walter’s world-renowned contributions as an emeritus professor of resource economics have been fundamental in the growth of economics at UC Santa Barbara. Walter and Thelma also honored the department with the establishment of the Walter J. Mead Chair just a few years ago; together with the Alec Alexander Chair, these gifts are a tremendous living legacy and will help to secure the excellence of the department for future generations of scholars.”

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