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A lifetime of Achievement

Professor Emeritus Harry DeAngelo receives USC 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award

January 08, 2020
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The University of Southern California has given Harry DeAngelo, Professor Emeritus of Finance and Business Economics and the Kenneth King Stonier Chair in Business Administration, the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is an honor the university bestows on its most distinguished retired faculty.

“We are delighted—but hardly surprised—that Professor DeAngelo would be recognized by the university in this manner,” said Nandini Rajagopalan, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Joseph A. DeBell Chair in Business Administration for USC Marshall. “His scholarly contributions to his field and his popularity in the classroom make this distinction well deserved. We could not be more proud of his accomplishment.”

DeAngelo, an expert in corporate finance with a focus on payout policy, capital structure, and corporate governance, joined USC in 1991 as Charles E. Cook/Community Bank Chair and professor of finance.

“My main reaction to the award is that it is very nice to feel so appreciated by people who have known me well for such a long time,” he said.

DeAngelo was recruited, along with his wife, corporate finance and accounting scholar Linda DeAngelo, (now Professor Emerita of Finance and Business Economics and Kenneth King Stonier Chair in Business Administration) from the University of Michigan by then-FBE department chair and soon-to-be dean Randolph Westerfield.

“I have been incredibly lucky to have a career in which I have been paid to think about interesting ideas and interact with smart students and faculty on a regular basis."—Harry DeAngelo, Professor Emeritus of Finance and Business Economics and the Kenneth King Stonier Chair in Business Administration.

DeAngelo credited Westerfield with “doing a masterful job selling us on the academic potential of USC’s then-unnamed business school, while not so subtly reminding us of how much we had both enjoyed life while growing up in Los Angeles.”

He also noted that the decision to join the USC faculty was aided by the facts that “Both Linda and her mother have undergraduate degrees from USC. Linda was a voice major in the then-unnamed Thornton School and had loved her student years at USC.”

A Teacher and a Researcher

DeAngelo earned a Ph.D. in finance from UCLA in 1977. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) in economics from UCLA in 1973.

His work has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance and American Economic Review. He received the Jensen Prize for best corporate finance paper in the Journal of Financial Economics in 2004 and 2011. He currently serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Financial Economics, a position he has held continuously since 1984.  He served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Finance from 1988 to 2000 and was an American Finance Association Director from 1993 to 1995.

Apart from his research distinctions, DeAngelo was a favorite in the classroom throughout his career as well. The MBA Association of the University of Washington voted him Professor of the Quarter in 1978, as a young professor in his first academic post. Years later the graduating USC Marshall MBA class of 1999 voted to give him a Golden Apple Teaching Award. Businessweek Magazine named him one of Marshall's two most popular teachers in 2000.  The other Businessweek honoree was his wife, Linda, who developed and taught the (still quite popular) MBA and undergraduate classes on Financial Analysis and Valuation.

DeAngelo cited the leadership of former Marshall deans Westerfield and James G. Ellis for making the business school a lasting home for many years.

“Randy and Jim were both great deans in terms of fostering a collegial and substance-oriented environment at Marshall in which a faculty member could flourish.”

He also credited former USC president Steven Sample for his strategic plan to elevate the faculty and student population at USC. “USC has made massive strides in these dimensions over the last three decades, and that helped make USC an especially attractive work environment during my time on the faculty,” he said.

DeAngelo remains engaged in his field, working on a research project, serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Financial Economics, and occasionally attending research seminars in the FBE department.

“I have been incredibly lucky to have a career in which I have been paid to think about interesting ideas and interact with smart students and faculty on a regular basis,” he said.