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LOS ANGELES-Arden Realty Inc. chairman and CEO Richard S. Ziman has agreed to donate $5 million to create a center for real estate research and education at the Anderson School of Business at UCLA, providing the school with a major boost in its efforts to compete against the rival Lusk Center for real estate at USC.

The gift is the largest ever committed for research and teaching at the Anderson School, UCLA officials say. Ziman says the donation will help the school better prepare students and industry leaders alike to tackle the increasingly complex business of developing and investing in real estate.

The Anderson School is UCLA’s graduate business school. The new real estate center will combine the school’s current real estate curriculum with new undergraduate courses, as well as an executive education program designed for working real estate professionals.

Ziman, 58, is one of California’s leading fundraisers for the Democratic party. He is a graduate of UCLA’s arch rival, USC.

Locally based Arden is the Southland’s largest commercial real estate landlord and biggest REIT. It owns nearly 19 million sf of office space across the region.

To recognize Ziman’s gift, UCLA will name its new education organization the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate.

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