The University of Utah was saddened to learn of the passing of Ian Cumming. Ian generously shared his time, business acumen, wisdom and financial resources with the university and leaves a tremendous legacy across our campus and to the people of Utah. Our condolences go out to Annette and his family.

Ian will be remembered for his service and generous philanthropic gifts to the David Eccles School of Business in honor of his mentor C. Roland Christensen; the College of Nursing, which bears Annette’s name; and support of research initiatives at the John A. Moran Eye Center, where he also served on its advisory board.

Ian didn’t relish the spotlight, but enjoyed knowing he was making a difference. A University of Utah Continuum magazine story in 2011 explains:

As Annette Poulson Cumming’s 60th birthday approached, her husband, Ian Cumming, faced a common husband’s dilemma: What kind of present to get your wife that is truly unique?

Ian, chair of the board and former CEO of Leucadia National Corp., had the means to do something extraordinary, so he did, choosing to give her a legacy — a gift to the next generation of nurses, and, at the same time, one to the community. At a birthday dinner party for Annette, surrounded by family and friends, Ian announced a $5 million gift to the University of Utah’s College of Nursing for the renovation of the building that now bears her name.

Read the full story online here.

Ian was remarkably generous, and his influence will be greatly missed at the university. We are grateful for the legacy he leaves on our campus.

David W. Pershing
University of Utah President


I was deeply saddened to hear of Ian Cumming’s passing. Ian and Annette Poulson Cumming have been kind and generous benefactors of the College of Nursing over many years. His deep love for Annette is most evident in his initiative to name the college’s newly renovated building after her at a grand reopening in 2010. He will be sorely missed by the College of Nursing family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Annette and the Cumming children and grandchildren at this difficult time.

Patricia G. Morton
University of Utah College of Nursing Dean


I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ian Cumming, whose donations were transformational for the David Eccles School of Business. Ian provided the lead gift for our C. Roland Christensen Center building, named after his favorite professor at Harvard, where Ian earned his MBA. In addition to that generous gift, Ian supported Discussion Method Teaching at the Eccles School, helping our students engage with hands-on, real-world learning. Ian’s influence on the education of future business leaders will resonate for generations. Our hearts go out to his wife, Annette, who graduated from the Eccles School along with several other family members.

Taylor Randall
University of Utah David Eccles School of Business Dean

Media Contacts

Chris NelsonCommunications Director, University of Utah Communications
Office: 801-581-5180 Mobile: 801-953-3843