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Alum James R. Parks makes $15 million gift to boost key accounting program, endow chair

The USC Leventhal School’s Master of Business Taxation degree program will be named in honor of the business leader and his late wife

James R. Parks
James R. Parks has donated $15 million to the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. (Photo/courtesy of USC Marshall School of Business)

Business leader James R. Parks ’72, MBT ’75 has donated $15 million to the USC Leventhal School of Accounting to name its Master of Business Taxation (MBT) degree program, endow a chair and help renovate the accounting building.

A member of the USC Marshall School of Business Board of Leaders, Parks is a certified public accountant, executive director for the Los Angeles office of CBIZ MHM LLC and a shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. He has specialized in tax consulting, financial analysis and litigation consulting for business management professionals, entertainment, oil and gas, manufacturing and real estate companies for more than 40 years.

This is truly a meaningful and significant commitment, and we are deeply grateful for this transformative gift.

James G. Ellis

“The Parks family’s generosity will enable the USC Leventhal School of Accounting to extend its already formidable reputation as a place where elite accounting education takes place,” said James G. Ellis, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business, which houses USC Leventhal. “This is truly a meaningful and significant commitment, and we are deeply grateful for this transformative gift.”

The MBT program will be renamed the Jennifer and James R. Parks Master of Business Taxation Program. It will support, in perpetuity, a number of scholarships as well as other academic priorities of this elite program.

“This is a true milestone for the USC Leventhal School of Accounting,” said William W. Holder, USC Leventhal dean. “This extraordinary gift is second in size only to the original Elaine and Kenneth Leventhal naming gift made in 1996, and reflects the commitment of Jim Parks and his late wife, Jennifer, to making a real difference in the future of USC Leventhal.”

The gift will support additional key initiatives, including renovation of the accounting building and funding and naming an endowed chair. The Jennifer and James R. Parks Chair of Taxation, funded with $3 million of the gift, becomes the 10th endowed chair or professorship at USC Leventhal, Holder said.

“The education and preparation I received over my years at USC Leventhal was the foundation for much of my future success,” Parks said. “My late wife, Jennifer, and I felt strongly that it was our duty to give back one day. I am pleased to help ensure the same foundation for future professional and industry leaders.”

Parks is a member of the board of directors of the California Council on Economic Education, the board of trustees of Whittier College and the board of trustees of the Autry National Center of the American West. In 2011 he was awarded the USC Leventhal Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Parks’ gift supports the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC’s academic priorities and expand its positive impact on the community and world. Four years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $4.5 billion.

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Alum James R. Parks makes $15 million gift to boost key accounting program, endow chair

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