Dedicated to family, passionate about learning, and ultimately a model citizen, Henry Thomas Segerstrom gave more than he received.
Born April 5, 1923, to Swedish immigrants in Santa Ana, California, Henry Segerstrom was a philanthropist, businessman, and cultural leader. Henry graduated from Stanford University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 1948, a Master of Business Administration degree, after serving in World War II. His vision for the future was clear and focused: where others saw obstacles, he pursued goals. A member of our nation’s greatest generation, his determination helped to develop Orange County into a cosmopolitan setting. With his dedicated community leadership through gifts of valuable land and financial resources, along with commissions of critically significant architecture and sculpture, Henry T. Segerstrom displayed a lifelong commitment to creating a vital cultural life for Orange County. Orange County is now recognized for its sophisticated arts community, its innovation, entrepreneurism, and cutting-edge successes in business and technology.
Among the many honors and awards presented to Henry include, in 2008, the annual Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, the GSB’s highest alumni honor. Recipients must demonstrate a commitment to both managerial excellence and to addressing the changing needs of society. An excerpt from Henry’s acceptance speech: “In the next 60 years, America will need to prepare responses to challenges of powerful emerging world economies. We must train new national leadership - in business as well as government. Thinking and training only in domestic leadership will no longer be enough to serve our nation’s needs.”
Henry’s service included five years on the GSB Advisory Council from 1987-1993. Among many others honors and accomplishments, Henry was most proud of his vital role in establishing the school’s Center for Social Innovation. Bob Joss, dean emeritus, reflects: “Stanford will always remain one of the great loves of Henry’s life. It represented, for him, his lifelong love of learning and reminds me now of his indelible curiosity. Henry’s leadership in higher education, by providing opportunities to those who would otherwise have gone without, will resonate in California for years to come.”
Henry T. Segerstrom died on February 20, 2015 at his home in Newport Beach, California at the age of 91.