Marty Wachs on Harvey Perloff

I was over at UCLA last night to see my colleague, Gen Giuliano, give the annual Harvey Perloff lecture. Marty introduced the lecture series with some recollections of Harvey Perloff, who was one of the Luskin School’s early deans, and terribly important to its development. Dean Perloff was unfortunately passed by the time I went to UCLA, but his widow, Mimi, was still there–she lived to 91, and she was wonderful.

I’ll do my best to capture the Harvey Perloff story:

Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist, was visiting UCLA, and Harvey was having a conversation with her on the front steps of what is now Perloff Hall. A student called to him from across the courtyard “Hey, Harvey, I need to talk to you about my thesis.”

Dean Perloff–Dean Perloff–turned to Margaret Mead (MARGARET MEAD!) and said, “Excuse me, I need to go talk to a student.” And left her to go talk to his student about his thesis.

Most academics are cut of a different cloth now, I’d say.