Mrs. Moneypenny, a weekend columnist for the Financial Times, wrote a column on October 30th about Haas Professor Oliver Williamson, a really nice guy who won the Nobel Prize in Economics this year. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/856a6cd2-c20b-11de-be3a-00144feab49a.html. In her pithy column, she wrote about the prize money, stating “I wonder what Williamson will do with his. At 77, he presumably has plenty of time for shopping.” Well, Ollie had a different vision for his prize money.
A few days after the announcement, even before his trip to Sweden to shake hands with King Carl Gustav, Dr. Williamson scheduled a meeting with Dean Lyons. I’m sure the Dean expected a request for more research assistance, perhaps a larger office, or, the perk of perks that is granted to all Berkeley Nobel Laureates—an assigned parking space. Instead, Ollie noted that he and his wife had been talking about what they would most like to do with the prize money, and the Williamsons are giving the majority of it to the Haas School to establish an additional faculty position in Economics. How classy is that?
And for the record, Dr. Williamson did get his assigned parking spot!