Looking anything but a stuffy banker, Richard M. Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of BankAmerica Corp., acted more like David Letterman as he accepted his Exemplary Leadership in Management Award Tuesday evening at the Beverly Hilton before 800 business tycoons and students of the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.
Introduced by Mary Anne Dolan, master of ceremonies and former editor of the defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner, as a "torrid competitor" and "a new kind of Giannini" (B of A founder A. P. Giannini) and as "just another guy who looks like Mel Brooks and who wanted to be a newspaperman," Rosenberg called his career "fascinating."
Said his wife Barbara, "This man is so much fun--so exciting--to live with."
He's the man whose bank rushed in first after the riots to pledge $25 million to rebuild L.A., whose bank foundation gives away $10 million a year, whose company is the largest United Way giver in the state.
And, he added, "The banking industry is getting healthier, and it has never been better financed than it is today," noting that the "FDIC premium from B of A is $150 million."
It was a big day for the Anderson graduate school. The UCLA campus groundbreaking was earlier in the day for the seven-building, state-of-the-art complex to be completed about 1994. That made a lot of people happy, especially John Anderson, who parted with $15 million several years ago to launch the new complex, and J. Clayburn La Force, dean of the school, who received a standing ovation for his decades of service. He leaves the school this year.
Happy, too, were major donors in the audience who have financed buildings in the complex: James and Carol Collins, Carolbeth and Lester B. Korn and Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld. Anderson brought his wife, Marion, to the stage to announce that a garden in the center of the complex will be named in her honor.
Prominent in the crowd: Gerald and Robin Parsky, Maude and Dick Ferry, Barbara and Bob Volk, Joseph Alibrandi, Prof. Bill Ouchi and Bob and Diane Anderson.
LUCK OF THE IRISH: Is it the luck of the Irish that they have so much fun doing what they do? Or do they work at it?
Whatever, cheerful dispositions seemed to surround the American Ireland Fund gala last week chaired by Frank Price. Donald O'Connor received the Heritage Award, Gene Kelly and Michael J. Roarty were perfectly Irish as honorary co-chairs, and John Forsythe was master of ceremonies. Like last year's recipient, Maureen O'Hara, they helped net $300,000 for peace, culture and charity in Ireland.
If you doubt the Irish-ness, Angeline Ball ("The Commitments"), the McGing Dancers (an Ohio-based dance troupe) and the Galways (a brother-sister clogging team) kept hearts palpitating.
DIPLOMATIC: Those college presidents who sit side-by-side at football games while their respective teams clash on the field surely must need to watch their epithets.
However, USC's Steven Sample and his wife, Katherine (who hosted a pregame brunch), and the University of Arizona's Manuel Pacheco and his wife, Karen, over from Tucson, were squeezed tight and having one wonderful time watching Trojans and Wildcats.
Said Katherine, who reads the sports pages avidly, "This is serious: The difference between winning and losing is a good bowl." USC won.
Around them were USC trustees chairman Forest Shumway, John Argue, Virginia Ramo (keeping cool with a battery-operated fan) and USC provost Neil and Majorie Pings, who leave in February for Washington, where he'll head the prestigious American Assn. of Universities.
GOLDEN: In 1942, the United Hostesses Charities was created by 10 young women, all close friends, who wanted to do something philanthropic.
Last weekend United Hostesses Charities celebrated its 50th Birthday Ball at the Beverly Wilshire. How much have they raised? $8 million--and they have a $2-million pledge to endow the cardiology research floor in the Barbara and Marvin Davis Research Building at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
To treat themselves, ball chair Susan Savin and president Marilyn Gilfenbain flew in orchestra leader Peter Duchin from the East to play for dancing.
KUDOS: To George Page, from Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, for his contribution to the new community health center . . . To James A. Collins, who is to be named outstanding individual philanthropist Friday at the National Philanthropy Day breakfast at the Beverly Hilton . . . To Bob Voit, honored by the Valley Cultural Center last weekend at a gala at the Promenade in Woodland Hills, for his efforts to raise funds for a stage in Warner Park . . . .
To Michael Blake (Oscar winner for his screenplay "Dances With Wolves"), who received Cancervive's Victory Award Saturday at the Variety Arts Theatre . . . To Marie Borofsky and Helma Bloomberg, garnering a significant $325,000 from their Monty Hall-Cedars Sinai Diabetes Tennis Tournament . . . To Debbie Reynolds, who helped raise $200,000 at Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center's gala . . . .
To Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart--a retired Air Force brigadier general--and the Duke of Kent--all behind the Regent Beverly Wilshire celebration of the 50th anniversary of the arrival of World War II American air power in Great Britain, a fund-raiser for the American Air Museum in Britain . . . To Maria F. Murdock, elected a trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art . . . To Sheldon Ausman, David Lizarraga and Jiro Ishizaka, honored as International Citizens of the Year by the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles.