Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, was presented with the UCLA Medal, the highest honor for extraordinary accomplishment that may be bestowed upon an individual by UCLA, in a ceremony at UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s residence on Monday, Dec. 4.

A longtime Hollywood executive and producer of movies that have earned 50 Academy Award nominations, he is also a part owner of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

In addition to his other endeavors, for more than 40 years Guber has taught highly popular classes at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he also an executive board member, and at the Anderson School of Management.

“Peter is as passionate about his teaching as he is every other aspect of his career,” Chancellor Block said before making his presentation to Guber. “It’s clear that he values the opportunity to contribute and prepare the next generation for success — whether it’s in entertainment, sports or any number of other industries. His commitment is evident in the fact that, despite all he’s worked on throughout his career, Peter has never — to anyone’s knowledge — missed a year of teaching.”

That dedication, Block noted, was recognized by Gov. Jerry Brown last summer, when he appointed Guber to a 12-year term on the University of California Board of Regents.

During his remarks, Guber said he considered it a gift to be able to help and mentor students. “The way they learn, the way they ask questions — when you see you can touch people, it can change your life,” he said. “They get so much from it. Sharing with them, their journey, the joys of their journey, we’re fostering them to be curious. For me to be able to be part of that is a great honor. I dedicate myself to the years ahead to do even better.”

Teri Schwartz, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, praised Guber for his service and leadership.

“I could not be more proud or thrilled for Peter Guber, who has been a long-time friend, mentor, supporter, faculty member and executive board member at TFT,” she said. “He has galvanized and inspired students in his amazing classes and has been a groundbreaking leader across the entertainment industry. The UCLA Medal represents the highest honor one can receive at UCLA and I could not think of anyone more deserving than Peter to receive this distinguished award and great honor.

“All of us at TFT congratulate Peter and wish him continued success in all that he undertakes both at UCLA and in his illustrious career.”

Guber’s generosity and leadership have been felt beyond UCLA TFT; he is also a founding member and the chair of the board of advisors for the UCLA Anderson Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports. He has previously served as a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Trustees.

“Peter Guber is extraordinarily deserving of the UCLA Medal, the most prestigious honor our university bestows,” said Judy Olian, the Anderson School’s dean and holder of the John E. Anderson Chair in Management. “Peter has been a trailblazer in entertainment, sports and business, with a string of successes that few achieve in one, let alone multiple fields. Remarkably, throughout his very hectic professional career, he has always taught at UCLA. With his hunger for lifelong learning, his intellectual curiosity, broad knowledge of business and entertainment, and infectious enthusiasm, he has impacted generations of young people.

“We are so lucky that Peter's passion for education has been directed toward UCLA, and I am thrilled that he is being recognized with this special honor.”

Prior to Mandalay, Guber was chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, chairman and CEO of Polygram Entertainment, co-founder of Casablanca Record & Filmworks and president of Columbia Pictures. Guber produced or executive produced (personally or through his companies) films that garnered five Best Picture Academy Award nominations (winning for Rain Man in 1989) and box-office hits that include Midnight Express, Flashdance, The Color Purple, Batman, The Kids Are All Right and Soul Surfer, among others. He is an owner of Dick Clark Productions, a leading independent producer of television programming such as the perennial hits American Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards and So You Think You Can Dance.

Guber is also a noted author whose works include Shoot Out: Surviving Fame and (Mis)Fortune in Hollywood, from which AMC's TV series of the same name was adapted, and for which he served as host during the show's seven-year run. His most recent business book, Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story, became an instant No. 1 New York Times bestseller.

The UCLA Medal was established in 1979 and is awarded to those who have earned academic and professional acclaim, and whose work demonstrates the highest ideals of UCLA. Past recipients include entertainment luminaries Samuel Goldwyn, Rob Reiner, David Geffen and Francis Ford Coppola, as well as writer Toni Morrison, President Bill Clinton, architect I.M. Pei, UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun and UCLA alumna and astronaut Anna Lee Fisher.

Posted: December 7, 2017