USC has received $110 million – the single largest gift in the university’s history for undergraduate scholarships and one of only seven gifts to USC of $100 million or more – from USC supporters and devoted philanthropists Julie and John Mork.
The gift provides support in perpetuity for the university’s most precious asset: its extraordinarily diverse, talented and ever more accomplished undergraduate student body.
“Through its exceptional generosity, the Mork family has demonstrated its tremendous passion for higher education, ensuring that the life-changing gift of education will be available to many young men and women now and into the future. The gift forever changes the educational landscape at USC and will help us attract the most talented and deserving students,” said president C. L. Max Nikias.
“The Morks embody the Trojan ideals, and they believe that higher education is vital to a robust and democratic society. This historic gift solidifies the Mork family’s inspiring legacy at USC. We will always be indebted to the family’s generosity.”
To view a celebration video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLrLiyoygfk
The gift to create the USC Mork Family Scholars Program, which will benefit high school seniors of extraordinary intellectual talent and capability who have demonstrated the highest qualities of scholarship and citizenship, is the largest gift for student scholarships in USC’s history.
“Attending USC is the dream of talented high school seniors from all walks of life who have incredible potential to effect positive change as tomorrow’s leaders,” John Mork said. “We hope this gift will help transform hundreds of young lives and, through them, allow the university to continue strengthening its reputation for excellence for generations to come.”
The USC Mork Family Scholars Program will support current and future generations of students who will become leaders in science, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, and other fields for decades to come.
The program will support undergraduates on full tuition, four-year scholarships with additional $5,000 living stipends per year.
In keeping with USC’s long-standing commitment to its neighborhoods and the Mork family’s personal values, each year Mork Family Scholars will include students from the USC Family of Schools.
“The Mork family understands the incredible importance of undergraduate scholarships as an engine of opportunity and transformation,” said Katharine Harrington, USC’s vice president for admissions and planning. “For deserving students from all backgrounds, the USC Mork Family Scholars Program will open the doors not only to a university, but to the future.”
USC Mork Family Scholars at the junior and senior class level will have the opportunity to serve as mentors to USC Mork Family Scholars at the freshman and sophomore level.
The gift to fund the USC Mork Family Scholars Program comes five years after the Mork family contributed $15 million to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering that resulted in the naming of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science after the Mork family.
Two years earlier, John Mork had received USC Viterbi’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. A 1970 USC graduate in petroleum engineering, Mork was named a member of USC Viterbi’s Board of Councilors in 2002.
He was elected to the USC Board of Trustees in 2006.
John Mork is chief executive officer of the Denver-based Energy Corp. of America (ECA). ECA is a privately held energy company engaged in the exploration, development, production, gathering, aggregation and sale of natural gas and oil, primarily in the Appalachian Basin and Gulf Coast region in the United States and in New Zealand.
He currently is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization and Chief Executives Organization.
Julie Mork is a director of Energy Corp. of America and managing director of the ECA Foundation, a private corporate foundation with a focus on youth and education. ECA commits 6.5 percent of its net income annually to the ECA Foundation, which has distributed more than $13 million to individuals and communities across the country to date.
She has volunteered with several organizations, including the Anchor Center for Blind Children, where she serves as a member of the advisory committee and is a past president of the board of directors.
In 2004, she was elected to the National Board of Directors of College Summit, an organization dedicated to increasing the college enrollment rate of low-income students in the United States. She also serves on the board of trustees of Alliance for Choice in Education. She is an honorary alumna of USC.
The couple has two adult children. Kyle Mork currently serves as vice president of eastern operations for ECA and completed work toward a master’s degree in petroleum engineering at USC Viterbi. Alison Mork received a bachelor’s degree at the USC Marshall School of Business and a master of arts in teaching at the USC Rossier School of Education.
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