Philanthropic Visionary Honored with The University of Arizona's Highest Honor


Margaret Richardson, successful businesswoman and inspirational philanthropist, was conferred with an honorary degree from the University of Arizona on April 11. UA President Ann Weaver Hart and Provost Andrew Comrie presided as Mrs. Richardson was awarded the degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, in a private ceremony at Old Main. This is the highest honor given by the UA and celebrates Mrs. Richardson’s impact on the health and wellness of our community.

Margaret and her late husband, UA alumnus Howard Richardson, established The Howard G. and Margaret C. Richardson Endowed Chair for Excellence in Cardiology at the UA Sarver Heart Center. She also established The Margaret and Howard Richardson Endowment for Cancer Research and The Margaret and Howard Richardson Endowment for Medical Research. These gifts will continue to support research at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

During her life, Margaret has transformed obstacles and adversity into opportunities, exemplifying the Wildcat Spirit and the Never Settle sentiment. Born and raised during the Great Depression, her parents could not afford to send her to college.  She left Pennsylvania in 1947 with $200 in savings and moved to Los Angeles to start a new life. She found success in the automobile sales industry working alongside her husband. Together, they invested time and resources in the community and supported many of the institutions that contributed to their success.

That commitment is still very much a part of her life. At the degree ceremony, Margaret shared her sentiments about giving back with her many nieces and nephews in attendance stating, “I feel that, if you’re successful, you must give back to your community, including your alma mater.”  

Margaret is a member of the Founders Society, the Old Main Society, and The President’s Club.

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