Community Driven

Community Driven

One alum’s vision makes new building a reality

Several years ago, when Berkeley-Haas’ space-planning group met to discuss how to accommodate a nearly doubled student enrollment, they devised a plan for a small L-shaped addition off of one of the existing buildings.

And then Ned Spieker, BS 66, a member of the Haas School Board, saw the plans. Spieker, managing partner of the private real estate firm Spieker Partners, had spent decades imagining the potential of places and convinced the Haas administration to dream bigger. He envisioned maximizing the footprint of the limited space on the north end of the Haas campus with a full building complete with basement levels.

Spieker became the catalyzing force behind this new building. Not only did he and his wife, Carol, BA 66 (political science), a former UC Berkeley Foundation trustee and longtime university volunteer, give $10 million toward its completion, but Spieker’s reputation and credibility as a real estate developer gave other donors confidence in the project and led to it being fully community funded.

Spieker has championed Haas’ new building at every turn, and his expertise helped bring the vision for a transformed Haas campus to life. To enable greater efficiency and cost savings, Spieker utilized a 501(c)(3) model to manage the design and construction of the building in tandem—a rarity for university projects. The private nonprofit fund, Partnership for Haas Preeminence, is chaired by Spieker and will donate the building to the university upon its completion.


Founding donors pave way for building to be completely privately funded

Alumni and friends of Berkeley-Haas played an essential role in seeing Connie & Kevin Chou Hall come to fruition, with four founding donors (one of whom prefers to be anonymous) joining Ned Spieker, BS 66, to provide more than half the $60 million cost of the building.

Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund

Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund

Douglas E. Goldman, MD, BA 74, is chairman and founder of Certain, Inc. and a philanthropist. Five generations of his family have attended UC Berkeley including his grandfather, in whose memory the Walter A. Haas School of Business is named. The new building’s Lisa and Douglas Goldman Atrium will be viewable from the first and second floors.

“My family feels a special connection to the school and its success. Lisa and I are fortunate to be able to give back to our community and feel it is both a responsibility and a great privilege to assist in improving and maintaining the school’s superb, qualitative edge.” —Douglas E. Goldman, MD, BA 74

Sue and Robert G. O’Donnell, BS 65, MBA 66

Sue and Robert G. O’Donnell, BS 65, MBA 66

Bob O’Donnell is a retired senior VP and director of Capital Research and Management Company. The couple’s gift revamped Haas’ outside meeting areas, providing a larger, more inviting, and flexible space that has since been named the Robert G. O’Donnell Courtyard. The new building forms a quad around this space.

“The new building offers the opportunity to increase the scale of Berkeley-Haas. Until now, physical space has limited the number of students it can serve. With the increased opportunity for new ways of making education both more compelling and more interactive, the building will greatly enhance student and faculty experience.” —Bob O’Donnell, BS 65, MBA 66

Sharon and Barclay Simpson, BS 43

Sharon and Barclay Simpson, BS 43

Barc Simpson, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 93, was the founder and chairman of Simpson Manufacturing Co. He and Sharon have left an indelible legacy across the campus: the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, undergraduate scholarships to Berkeley-Haas, and more, in addition to the Simpson Family Executive Education Suite on the fourth floor of the new building.

“I think supporting Cal is doing a great deal for society.” —Barclay Simpson, BS 43, in a 2014 video for the Campaign for Berkeley

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Ned Spieker, BS 66, led the efforts to bring Haas’ new building to fruition, from nding ways to cut costs and construction time to funding the building and encouraging others in the Haas community to do so as well.