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USC 2017 | 10 ways philanthropy changed USC for the better this year

Year in review: Donors invested in the university’s research, students and facilities through gifts to the Campaign for USC (Fourth in a 10-part series)

They created new residential colleges for students, and they funded scholarships so more aspiring Trojans could attend USC. Across the university, donors gave generously in 2017 to support the Campaign for USC. Here are 10 of the many ways that gifts have already changed how students live and learn at USC.

New residential colleges at USC Village: Charles and Jessie Cale, Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky

USC students have a new place to call home thanks to the generosity of two families that each donated $15 million this year to endow and name a residential college at the newly unveiled USC Village. USC Trustee Charles Cale ’66 and his wife, Jessie ’74 established a hub for student life by creating the Jessie and Charles Cale Residential College. An equally generous gift from USC Trustee Shelly Nemirovsky ’85 and her husband, Ofer, ensured that up to 320 students have a place to live and mingle with fellow scholars by naming the Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky Residential College.

Charles and Jessie Cale give $15 million for residential college

Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky’s $15 million gift supports residential college at USC Village

Getting more underrepresented voices in cinema: George Lucas Family Foundation

A new $10 million gift from the George Lucas Family Foundation for student scholarships doubled its support of student diversity at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Established in 2016 with an initial $10 million donation, the George Lucas Family Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity provides support to students from underrepresented communities. Recipients are known as George Lucas Scholars or Mellody Hobson Scholars.

George Lucas Family Foundation increases support of diversity at USC School of Cinematic Arts

Women’s soccer scholarships: Will Ferrell and Viveca Paulin

USC women’s soccer can now offer its first full scholarship thanks to a gift to USC Athletics from actor and comedian Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca Paulin. The longtime supporters of USC’s Swim with Mike, which provides college scholarships to athletes with physical challenges, expanded their giving by establishing the Viveca Paulin and Will Ferrell Scholarship Fund. Soccer is a passion for the family; Paulin played soccer at Pomona College, and the couple’s three sons — Magnus, Mattias and Axel — also play the sport.

Will Ferrell and Viveca Paulin establish USC’s first full women’s soccer scholarship 

To boost reading and writing among local children: Pamela Buffett

Local children are receiving a helping hand with their English skills thanks to a $1 million donation to USC’s Kinder 2 College from philanthropist Pamela Buffett. The initiative helps children aged 5 or older in neighborhoods around the University Park Campus boost their reading and writing proficiency. The gift allowed the program to double its enrollment, expand to include girls and launch new afterschool sessions in nearby elementary schools.

New gift ensures hundreds more L.A. children will embrace reading

Quality health care at Keck Medicine of USC: The W. M. Keck Foundation

The W. M. Keck Foundation continued its long-standing tradition of supporting USC by giving $10 million to name the Willametta Keck Day Healthcare Center, one of USC’s largest outpatient facilities. The building is home to clinicians whose services range from primary care to surgical specialties. This gift is the latest in the foundation’s transformative donations to the university, including $150 million in 2011 as part of the Campaign for USC and $110 million in 1999 to name the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

W. M. Keck Foundation names health care center at USC with $10 million gift

Groundbreaking stem cell research: Eli and Edythe Broad

A $1 million donation from philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad supported eight grants for early stage stem cell research at three California universities, including USC. The gift builds on the Broads’ longtime support of the university, including $25 million in 2006 to establish the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC.

Eli and Edythe Broad add $1 million donation to further stem cell research

Business education for women: Marilyn Beaudry-Corbett

A USC alumna who broke into the male-dominated business world of the 1960s gave back to her alma mater with a $4 million gift to the USC Marshall School of Business to ensure other women have access to a graduate-level education in business. Marilyn Beaudry-Corbett ’53, MS ’61 hopes the scholarships, earmarked for female MBA students aged 30 or older, will help chip away at the barriers that keep women from pursuing advanced business degrees.

Alumna’s gift will support MBA scholarships for women over 30

The Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy: George Lucas Family Foundation

To honor the late actor and stand-up comedian Robin Williams, the George Lucas Family Foundation established the Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Its first holder is Barnet Kellman, a preeminent director and producer of television pilots who serves as a professor in the school’s Division of Film & Television Production.

USC School of Cinematic Arts announces Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy

Research into lupus: Selena Gomez

A gift from Selena Gomez — singer, actress and longtime advocate for lupus research — will help researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC explore treatment options for the chronic autoimmune disease. Her donation created the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research; its first project explores how to treat complications of lupus and is overseen by Janos Peti-Peterdi, professor of physiology and biophysics.

Selena Gomez donation to support lupus research at Keck School of Medicine of USC

Advocacy for immigrants’ rights: Audrey M. Irmas

Advocates for the legal rights of immigrants are expanding their work at USC thanks to a $1.5 million donation from philanthropist Audrey M. Irmas. The gift created the Sydney M. and Audrey M. Irmas Endowed Clinical Professor at the USC Gould School of Law, and will help the USC Gould Immigration Clinic promote student advocacy and representation of immigrant clients. Niels Frenzen, the clinic’s founding director, is the first holder of the endowed professorship.

Gift from Audrey M. Irmas supports new law professorship at USC Gould


See more of our 10-part year-end package, which continues through Dec. 31.

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USC 2017 | 10 ways philanthropy changed USC for the better this year

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