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Gift endows strategic public relations chair at USC Annenberg

by Shirley Shin

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has received a $3 million gift from Jayne and Hans Hufschmid to endow the Jayne and Hans Hufschmid Chair in Strategic Public Relations and Business Communication. The couple’s gift will enable USC Annenberg to attract a transformational interdisciplinary scholar to provide academic and research leadership focusing on the intersection of communication and business.

The holder of the chair, yet to be selected, will be an expert on the rapid convergence that is taking place among the various communications disciplines, new models of articulating the “corporate message,” and the relevance of these new conditions for small and large businesses alike.

Reflecting USC’s commitment to collaboration across multiple areas of study, this faculty leader will work closely with top-ranked faculty colleagues at both USC Annenberg and the USC Marshall School of Business to build on existing partnerships and create new programs that explore, inform and strengthen the critical connections among communication, public relations and business in the corporate environment.

“USC faculty create outstanding scholarship in areas that reflect the realities of modern society, which often means that long-established disciplines and professions will converge in complex and meaningful new ways,” said Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC. “The Hufschmids’ generous support for this endowed chair provides USC the opportunity to recruit a renowned scholar studying how message creation and distribution in the 21st century can help institutions become more successful.”

USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III said: “I’m thrilled and inspired by the generosity and the visionary leadership that Jayne and Hans Hufschmid have shown. This endowed chair exemplifies the issues that I’ve been committed to since becoming dean and allows our school to become an even greater world leader in communications, business strategy and public relations.”

The gift is part of The Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort to secure $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC’s academic priorities and expand its positive impact on the community and world.

Both of the Hufschmids are graduates of USC. Jayne Hufschmid earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1975 and received a master’s in public relations in 1980. Hans Hufschmid earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from USC Marshall in 1983.

Hans and Jayne Hufschmid with Dean Ernest J. Wilson III

Hans and Jayne Hufschmid with Dean Ernest J. Wilson III at USC Annenberg’s commencement ceremony in May (Photo/Courtesy of USC Annenberg)

Hans Hufschmid co-founded GlobeOp Financial Services in 2000 and was former chair and CEO of the company. Previously, he was a principal at Long-Term Capital Management and co-head of its London office for five year. Jayne Hufschmid is an independent public relations and communications professional.

“Our USC university experience was integral to our professional careers,” Jayne Hufschmid said. “For many years, Hans and I spoke about making a gift that reflected both of our interests and backgrounds in strategic PR and business. It is exciting to know that the chair is now in place and that the work will soon begin.”

The couple met while Jayne Hufschmid studied abroad with the USC Annenberg International Communication Studies program. Today she sits on the alumni steering committee for the program.

The Hufschmids have been longtime supporters of USC, and their previous gifts include support for the creation of the USC Annenberg Bill Faith Scholarship Endowment, as well as a $300,000 gift to endow the USC Trojans football team kicker position.

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