In 2009 Oliver Williamson won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his analysis of economic governance. Williamson works at a highly theoretical level in economics sciences. His groundbreaking work was allowed, in large part, because of his career in academia, which gave him time to conduct research in economic governance.

In a show of gratitude toward the institutions that supported his research Williamson decided to donate the bulk of his Nobel Prize award to the Haas School of Business the University of California in Berkeley. His generous gift was enlarged by his colleague, Professor David Teece, and alumnus Rene Kern, managing director at General Atlantic.

These gifts will be matched with an additional $1 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and will fund The Oliver E. Williamson Chair at the Haas School. The “chair” will be used to fund a research position in the emerging field of the economics of organization, an area of particular interest to Williamson. In a further show of support for Williamson’s contribution to education, a group of his former Ph.D. students funded a student fellowship in his name.

The Haas School has a tradition of supporting innovative thinking and the education of students exploring the possibilities of careers in business, marketing, and finance. The school’s mission is “to develop leaders who redefine how we do business.”

By articulating its defining principles, the school differentiates itself from other institutions. Each student in the Haas school is expected to: Question the Status Quo, Have Confidence Without Attitude, Be Students Always, and Think Beyond Yourself. The end results of this educational philosophy are students who are open-minded and appreciative of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

The Hass School puts innovation at the core of their academic approach by placing importance on establishing connections between industry and academia. The school’s Institute for Business Innovation features the Haas@Work program, which creates connections between the industry and the college community. Williamson’s prize-winning tradition of intellectual curiosity is in good hands—and minds.