Press Room Search

Current Press Releases
Archived Press Releases

News Home Archived Press Releases

Archival Information
For recent information, please see Current Press Releases.

David Pierpont Gardner Elected Chairman of the Board for the J. Paul Getty Trust

Distinguished Leader in Higher Education and Philanthropy to Chair Board of International Cultural and Philanthropic Institution Based in Los Angeles

Three New Trustees Emeriti Named by Board

July 18, 2000

Los Angeles--David Pierpont Gardner, recently retired president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and president emeritus of the University of California and the University of Utah, has been elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Dr. Gardner succeeds Robert F. Erburu, who was named chairman emeritus after having completed his third four-year term on the board and seven years as chairman on June 30.

Dr. Gardner comments, "I am honored to serve as the chairman of the board of the Getty Trust--an institution that plays a leadership role in enhancing the understanding and support of the visual arts worldwide. I look forward to assisting the Getty Trust in its efforts to help conserve the world's great cultural treasures through the work of our Conservation Institute and the Grant Program, to strengthen the capacity of our Research Institute and its library and the scholarly programs it sponsors, to enhance the Getty Museum and its collections, and to gather support for the visual arts in our schools and communities. Under Bob Erburu's chairmanship, these and other programs and activities of the trust have advanced dramatically. We are all indebted to him for his dedicated and effective service as our leader these past seven years."

Mr. Erburu states, "It has been a great pleasure and special honor to have served as chairman of the board during the last seven years of the Getty's evolution as an institution. I will never forget the opening of the Getty Center, in December, 1997, and I have been thrilled that it has served over four million visitors since then. I am especially pleased that the board has chosen David as its next chairman. I have worked closely with him over the years at the Getty, including during his service this past year as vice chairman, and as a trustee of the Hewlett Foundation during his tenure as its president. I know he will be an outstanding chairman of the board in the coming years."

Dr. Gardner has served on the Board of Trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust since 1992. He was the 15th president of the ten-campus University of California from 1983 to 1992, and prior to that served as the tenth president of the University of Utah from 1973 to 1983. In 1981 Secretary of Education T.H. Bell appointed him chairman of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, whose 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, helped spark the national effort to improve and reform schooling in the United States. From 1964 to 1970 Dr. Gardner was a faculty member and vice chancellor at the University's Santa Barbara campus and in 1971 was appointed a vice president of the University of California.

After being named president emeritus of the University of California in 1992, Dr. Gardner became president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, in 1993 and served in that capacity until 1999. Under Dr. GardnerÕs leadership, the foundation's Hewlett/Annenberg $100 million K-12 educational project for school improvement in the San Francisco Bay area was established; the project to strengthen universities in Eastern Europe and in the former republics of the Soviet Union was created in partnership with the Salzburg Seminar of Austria; the US/Mexico program was expanded to include Chile, Argentina, and Brazil; and the hiring of highly respected and experienced program officers was completed in tandem with the foundation's growth from $800 million in 1993 to $2.2 billion in 1999.

Dr. Gardner is the author of many articles and books on higher education policy and reform. He served on several national commissions concerned with American higher education and is a member or fellow of the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Public Administration. In addition to serving on the Getty board and now as its chairman, Dr. Gardner is a trustee of the Tanner Lectures on Human Values, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, and Huntsman Family Foundation, all of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also a director of and advisor to several public and private corporations in California, Utah, and other parts of the country.

"Dr. Gardner's expertise in educational issues, as well as his deep understanding of philanthropy, complements the core activities of the Getty, which are bound together by a dedication to teaching and learning and to increasing the accessibility for the public and for specialized professionals to the Getty's art and research collections. Personally, I am delighted and proud that he has agreed to accept this crucial responsibility of leading our board," states Dr. Barry Munitz, president and chief executive officer of the Getty Trust.

In addition to Mr. Erburu's retirement, two other trustees have retired and were named trustees emeriti. They are Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and former president of Brown University, who has served on the board since 1988, and John F. Cooke, who served on the board from 1996 to 2000 during his tenure as executive vice president, corporate affairs, for The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Cooke joined the J. Paul Getty Trust as executive vice president, external affairs in March 2000.

"We are grateful for the tremendous dedication and service of Robert Erburu as chairman of the board, and the invaluable contributions of Vartan Gregorian and John Cooke as board members and congratulate them on their new roles," comments Dr. Munitz.

The board also announced the re-election of Helene Kaplan as vice chairman and the election of Lewis Bernard as the other vice chairman.

# # #

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.