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Barrack Hall to be new home for USC Marshall’s global programs

USC Trustee Thomas Barrack and family commit $15 million to advance international business education

by Jessica Raymond
USC Trustee Thomas Barrack
Thomas Barrack (USC Photo/Steve Cohn)

A $15 million gift from USC Trustee Thomas J. Barrack Jr. ’69 and his family will transform a USC Marshall School of Business building and significantly advance the school’s global mission. The renovated and renamed Barrack Hall will serve as a state-of-the-art home for all of USC Marshall’s international business programs.

“As a distinguished USC trustee and alumnus, Thomas Barrack is a stellar leader in our university’s community, as well as a renowned leader in the sphere of international finance,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “The Barrack family’s exceptionally generous gift will bolster our Marshall School of Business and its faculty and students, and revitalize one of the school’s key facilities for generations to come. We warmly applaud the family’s philanthropic vision.”

A new era

The Barrack family’s gift will make possible extensive renovations of Bridge Hall, which was built in 1928 and named to recognize Dr. and Mrs. Norman Bridge, two longtime friends of USC. It had the special distinction of serving as USC Marshall’s first building. While the structure will retain its Italian Romanesque exterior, the interior will be completely reimagined, signifying the beginning of a new era for the facility.

As the new center for USC Marshall’s international efforts, Barrack Hall will serve as a vibrant hub for international business thought leadership at the university. The school currently operates 15 international programs for undergraduate and graduate students, which include the innovative World Bachelor in Business degree program. Bringing these diverse initiatives together in one location will foster dynamic collaborations and inspire novel approaches and perspectives in teaching and research.

As an alumnus, I feel privileged to supply stewardship for the bricks, while Marshall, its dean, administration and faculty supply the intellectual mortar.

Thomas Barrack

The building will be reconfigured with offices, classrooms, research centers and gathering areas that will encourage dialogue among students, faculty and guest lecturers. It will feature cutting-edge tools and digital technology, which will support distance learning and global communication.

“Through this transformative gift, the Barrack family strengthens USC Marshall’s position as a leader in international business education and research,” USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis said. “Marshall has long been a central destination for academics and practitioners from around the world, and Barrack Hall will provide them with a state-of-the-art global headquarters for ongoing collaboration.”

A leader in international finance

Barrack knows firsthand the importance of an internationally focused education. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC, one of the world’s largest private equity real estate firms. As chairman, he has invested approximately $45 billion in assets worldwide and oversees a global organization located in 13 cities and 10 countries.

“Education and the development of a cultural sixth sense are the keys to commerce, and commerce is the key to tolerance and understanding. As an alumnus, I feel privileged to supply stewardship for the bricks, while Marshall, its dean, administration and faculty supply the intellectual mortar,” Barrack said. “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting venture at Marshall and hope that the resources provided by the enhanced facility will help nurture the next generations of international business leaders.”

Barrack Hall is a fitting tribute to Tom, who has left an indelible impression on this university and on the global business community.

 James G. Ellis, dean of USC Marshall 

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Barrack grew up working in his parents’ grocery store in Los Angeles and graduated from Loyola High School. As an undergraduate at USC, he enrolled in a business communications class where his professor urged him to consider law school. He took this advice, and after receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology from USC, he later attended the USC Gould School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Southern California Law Review. He earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego in 1972. Barrack has also received an honorary doctorate of law from Pepperdine University.

Barrack is also a Trojan parent with two of his five children attending the university. TJ graduated from USC Dornsife in 2001, and Nicholas will be a freshman at USC Marshall this fall.

A commitment to Trojan service

The new facility expands on Barrack’s many efforts on behalf of USC Marshall. He advises senior leadership at the school as a member of the school’s Board of Leaders and has shared his expertise in keynote addresses and presentations at various USC Marshall conferences. In 2005, Barrack was honored with the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies’ Entrepreneur of the Year award. In addition, he serves on the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate’s Advisory Council. He was elected to the USC Board of Trustees in 2012.

“A building stands as an enduring marker of the passion, generosity and vision of the person whose name it carries,” Ellis said. “Barrack Hall is a fitting tribute to Tom, who has left an indelible impression on this university and on the global business community. We could not be prouder or more grateful for his support.”

The Barrack family’s gift provides a significant boost for USC Marshall’s $400 million fundraising initiative that will support endowments for student scholarships, academic programming and faculty research and teaching, as well as capital projects and other pressing needs.

USC Marshall’s fundraising drive is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance the university’s mission of academic excellence and to support research and scholarship that will address society’s most pressing challenges. Three years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $3 billion — an unprecedented achievement in higher education.

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