Lawrence Benveniste earned a bachelor’s in mathematics at UCI in 1972. Photo courtesy of Emory University

A renowned economist and former dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Lawrence Benveniste ’72 and his wife, Marie, have committed to a $5 million estate gift to establish endowed chairs in mathematics at UCI and UC Berkeley. Benveniste earned a bachelor’s in mathematics at UCI in 1972 and a doctorate in mathematics at UC Berkeley in 1975. As a student at UCI, Benveniste said, he discovered his passion for mathematics when Professor Robert W. West introduced him to the rigor and elegance of mathematical thinking. “It was far and away the best class I’ve ever taken,” Benveniste said. “It inspired me to pursue my studies in math.” It proved to be an ideal launching pad. “If I started over in life, I’d do exactly what I did. I would study math first. I still think that’s the basis for everything I did afterward,” he added. The Benvenistes’ generous support will empower faculty at both campuses to significantly advance the field of mathematics. Read more here.