The Cotsen Prize is the brainchild of Mr. Lloyd E. Cotsen of Los Angeles, California. Former President and CEO of Neutrogena Corporation, Lloyd E. Cotsen has been associated with UCLA’s Institute of Archaeology for almost forty years as a volunteer, adviser and benefactor. His financial support to archaeology at UCLA includes the creation of a visiting scholar’s fund, an advanced seminar series, undergraduate research funds, field and laboratory endowments and the Jo Anne Stolaroff Cotsen Prize Imprint for excellence in archaeological publications.
A graduate of Princeton University, Cotsen conducted graduate studies in archaeology and was a fellow of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He was an archaeological field architect on excavations in Lerna, Pylos and Kea, Greece. He then entered Harvard, receiving an MBA. Joining Natone (later Neutrogena), he was first responsible for marketing, then manufacturing, eventually becoming President, CEO and finally Chairman of the Board. After he sold Neutrogena in 1994, he started the Cotsen Management Corporation.
Cotsen created the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING, a philanthropic organization dedicated to promoting professional growth and development of school teachers. He likewise established the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research dedicated to expanding both public and scholarly knowledge of the arts and making his renowned art collections accessible to museums and the academic world. He supports a number of other cultural and educational institutions, including the American School of Classical Studies at Athens , the , the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University , the Cotsen Occasional Press , the Huntington Library , California State University, Los Angeles and the Skirball Cultural Center of Los Angeles.
In recognition of Mr. Cotsen’s contributions to UCLA, the University renamed its Institute of Archaeology to the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology in February 2000. In 2009, Mr. Cotsen was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his extensive philanthropic work and stewardship of our nation’s educational and cultural institutions.