August 20, 2008 4:07 pm

Imperial drops Tanaka name

The business school at Imperial College in London has dropped the Tanaka name from its title, adopting the new name Imperial College Business School. The university adopted the Tanaka name in 2000 following the donation of £27m by technology investor Gary Tanaka, principal and director of Amerindo Investment Advisors in the US.

The university says the reason for dropping the Tanaka name - which will be retained on the business school’s architect-designed building in west London - was that there was little brand association between Imperial College and the Tanaka Business School.

”Imperial College is known globally for carrying out research that improves quality of life worldwide,” according to Sir Roy Anderson, Imperial’s rector. “The business school’s activities play a central role in this mission. By putting the college’s name into the business school’s title we are making clear its position as an integral part of the college.”

However the university may have difficulty shaking off suggestions that the move is related to the fact that Mr Tanaka, who received his doctoral degree from Imperial, was charged in 2005 with fraud by the SEC. Charges were dropped in 2007.

This is not the first time a business school has dropped a benefactor’s name. In 2004 Georgia Tech had to remove the Dupree name from its headed notepaper as Tom Dupree admitted that he was unable to meet the $25m pledge he had made to the business school in 1996.

So too, the Thunderbird school in Arizona had to drop the Garvin name after the $60m promised by benefactor Samuel Garvin did not materialise as expected.

www3.imperial.ac.uk/tanaka

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