In Memoriam: Life Trustee Jon Lovelace, 1927-2011

Life Trustee Jon Lovelace died on November 16 at his home in Santa Barbara, California, surrounded by his family.

Lovelace and his wife, Lillian, were generous and longtime supporters of the College, Claremont Graduate University, and the Claremont University Consortium. Their generous contributions helped to fund the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, the Children’s School, the Rose Institute, the Claremont Colleges Libraries, the Black Merit Scholarship Fund, the Jack L. Stark Endowed Scholarship Fund, the J.B. Lovelace Lecture Series, the construction of Stark Hall, amongst other College initiatives. An endowment for International Place was created in his name, called the Lovelace Endowment for International Place. He also supported the Jonathan B. Lovelace Professorship of Economics which was established by his father and is currently held by Professor Richard Burdekin.

Professionally, Lovelace guided The Capital Group Companies, Inc., as it grew to become of the largest investment management firms in the nation. Under his tutelage, The Capital Group, which was founded by his father Jonathan Bell Lovelace, became a pioneer in international and global investing. Specifically, the company initiated the multiple portfolio system of asset management.

The Capital Group now manages around $1.2 trillion, most of which is in mutual funds owned by millions of Americans.

President Emeritus Jack L. Stark ’57 said of Lovelace, “Jon was chairman of Board of Trustees, when CMC tackled the issue of co-education. It was because of his leadership that everything went so well.”

Stark continued, “The same ways he ran his business in an open and democratic way those are the same qualities he brought to CMC. I was absolutely honored to have him as my chairman.”

Beside his contributions to the College, Lovelace was a charitable philanthropist in many Southern California institutions, donating effort and support to causes he believed in, including the arts, education, health, the environment, and science. He was Chairman of the J. Paul Getty Trust from 1988 to 1993, a time during which the J. Paul Getty Center was being constructed. He was also a founding trustee of the California Institute for the Arts.

Born in Detroit in 1927, his family moved to Los Angeles in 1929. Lovelace attended Beverly Hills High School and the Hotchkiss School. He joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, and returned from war to attend Princeton University.

Lovelace graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1950 with an A.B. in Economics. CMC awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1976. He was first appointed as a Trustee of the College in 1969. He then served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1976.

Lovelace was an honorary member of the CMC Alumni Association and received the Association’s Highest Honor, the George C.S. Benson Distinguished Achievement Award, in 1986.

He is survived by his wife, Lillian; his daughter, Carey; three sons, Jeffrey, Jim and Rob; and six grandchildren.