I was privileged to have known Fred Weston, who has generously donated the chair that I am holding now to the Finance area at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. Fred was an absolute gentlemen and scholar. In 2000, I thus came up with the idea to convey the "Weston Scholar" designations on the top Anderson MBA students in finance.
Tom Copeland knew him better than I did, so I am taking the liberty to include Tom's obituary.
One of the great early leaders in the fields of finance and industrial economics, J. Fred Weston, passed away in August of 2009 at the age of 93. He often said that "I have always considered the success of my students as my greatest achievement." chaired or served on 66 doctoral committees. Those students have published over 220 papers in the top academic journals. They are Fred's folks. Among them are Jerry Baesel, Larry Dann, Harry DeAngelo, Chi-Cheng Hsia, Clem Krouse, Wayne Lee, S. Mansingha, Tim Opler, Ed Rice, Rick Smith, and Mark Rubinstein. Nobel Laureate Bill Sharpe wrote of Fred, "I believe that I can claim to be the first doctoral student to have taken a field in Finance. You, of course, were directly responsible for this, so to the extent that I became a financial economist, one might well date it from that moment. Then again, one might well date it from the day when I became your research assistant." (William F. Sharpe, October 22, 1990). Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz (November 19, 1990), wrote "Bill Sharpe and I recall that (a) you published Markowitz 1952, and (b) you suggested that Bill drop in on me at RAND concerning a possible dissertation topic. I am sure that he joins me in thanking you for your support and encouragement long before Stockholm heard of us."
Fred earned his BA in political science in 1937, his MBA in 1943, and his Ph.D. in financial economics in 1948—all from The University of Chicago. From 1947-1949 he was an instructor then an assistant professor at Chicago. He then went to UCLA as an associate professor, and was promoted to full professor in 1956. Throughout his career, he published over 100 refereed articles spanning five decades of research. He also published over 30 books. His publishers estimate that over a million people have read them. Managerial Finance, first published in 1962, had 9 editions. Essentials of Managerial Finance, was first published in 1965 and by 2001 was in its eleventh edition. Financial Theory and Corporate Policy has been continuously in print since 1979. His research-oriented books reflect his strong interest in industrial organization, especially mergers and acquisition. A partial list includes: Economics of Competitive Bidding on New Issues of Corporate Securities (1942), The Role of Mergers in the Growth of Large Firms (1953), The Scope and Methodology of Finance (1966), Public Policy Toward Mergers (1969), The Impact of Large Firms on the U.S. Economy (1973), Industrial Concentration: The New Learning (1974), Economics of the Pharmaceutical Industry (1982), and The Art of M&A Financing and Refinancing (1999). His influential papers on industrial organization included: "Diversification and Merger Trends," Business Economics (1970), "Tests of the Efficiency Performance of Conglomerate Firms," Journal of Finance (1971), and "Conglomerate Performance Using the Capital Asset Pricing Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, (1972). Weston's honors were many.
He was President of the Western Finance Association 1962, President of the American Finance Association 1966, President of the Financial Management Association 1979, 1980, Fellow of the American Finance Association and of the Financial Management Association, Fellow of the National Association of Business Economists, 1978 UCLA campus wide teaching award for excellence with doctoral students,1994 Anderson Graduate School of Management Dean's Special Award for, Outstanding Achievement in Instruction. He was awarded Abramson Scroll Award for the best article in Business Economics: In 1989 for "Strategy in Business Economics", in 1990, in 1991 for "Some Financial Perspectives on the Comparative Costs of Capital", in 1992 and 1994, and in 1998 for "Restructuring and Its Implications for Business Economics" Fred had a lasting impact on all of those who came to know him well. He set a standard for hard work and for excellence that we seek to emulate, but most of all he was a humble man who helped everyone he touched.
Information for this obituary was provided by Tom Copeland on October 5, 2009, and first posted on the AFA memoriam website.
See also Fortune's story about the Brigham and Weston textbooks.