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New scholarship program aims to attract top law school students

USC Trustee Stanley Gold and wife Ilene give $2.5 million for scholarship, mentorship program at USC Gould School of Law

Alumni pledge $2.5 million for innovative scholarship program to Gould School of Law
The gift from Ilene and Stanley Gold will establish the Honors Scholars Program. (Photo/Stefanie Keenan)

Stanley Gold ’67, USC trustee and a long-standing leader in the private investment sector, and his wife, Ilene, have pledged $2.5 million for a scholarship program to attract the nation’s top students to the USC Gould School of Law.

Their donation will launch the Honors Scholars Program, which will combine financial support with mentoring and networking opportunities for a select group of law students. The gift is the latest in a series the couple has made toward student scholarships and fellowships at the university.

“Stanley and Ilene Gold have long championed our university, and their enduring values are the foundation for this visionary gift,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “It is certain to dramatically bolster USC Gould’s ability to attract the best and brightest students, producing the next generation of great legal minds.”

The Golds are challenging others to pledge matching funds before the program launches this fall. Stanley Gold grew up in South Los Angeles near USC and was the first in his family to attend college and law school. He credits his success in part to USC professors and administrators who helped him locate scholarship funds and part-time employment while he earned his law degree.

I am committed to helping students achieve their very best.

Stanley Gold

“Scholarships are critical to the success of high-achieving students who may come from modest beginnings, just as I did,” Gold said. “I am committed to helping students achieve their very best, and I wholly believe that USC Gould offers the most stellar legal education and its small environment is designed so students may achieve great things.”

Longtime support

Gold joined Shamrock Holdings Inc., a private investment company wholly owned by the Roy E. Disney family, in 1978 when the firm was founded. Shamrock is a diversified investment company that, directly or through subsidiaries, operates numerous companies throughout the world. Prior to Shamrock, Gold was an attorney at the Los Angeles law firm of Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. He remains of counsel to the firm.

The Golds are longtime and dedicated supporters of USC, serving the university and schools such as USC Gould in several capacities. Gold has served on the USC Board of Trustees since 1993 and was chair from 2002-08. In addition, he serves on the law school’s Board of Councilors and the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Board of Overseers. Ilene Gold serves on the Board of Councilors of the USC Roski School of Art and Design.

Their donations to USC over the years have funded student scholarships and fellowships at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and other schools, including USC Gould, the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC Marshall School of Business, where their son Charles earned his MBA. They’ve also supported research centers that advance religious and cultural understanding, such as the USC Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and the USC Institute of Armenian Studies. In 2009, Stanley Gold received USC’s highest honor, the Presidential Medallion.

“Stanley and Ilene Gold are incredibly generous with their time and their support of USC Gould,” said USC Gould Dean Andrew Guzman. “They are committed to excellence, and the Honors Scholars Program will help us advance our goal of attracting the nation’s brightest students.”

Merit-based scholarships

The Honors Scholars Program will provide financial support to approximately 20 students in each class, as well as three years of academic and professional programming. Each Stanley and Ilene Gold Honors Scholar will receive merit-based scholarships and be assigned a faculty mentor who shares the student’s area of interest and will guide them during their three years in law school. In addition, scholars will be invited to two faculty-led dinner workshops on scholarly projects or important legal issues and attend networking functions with prominent alumni and distinguished members of the legal profession.

The Honors Program will create an environment where top performers know they can thrive and fulfill their potential.

Andrew Guzman

“The Honors Program will create an environment where top performers know they can thrive and fulfill their potential,” Guzman said. “As dean, this is one of my priorities and I’m elated that Stanley and Ilene Gold are my partners in this incredibly important initiative.”

Gold said his mission is to give back as much as he’s received.

“Seeing students graduate and the university grow in stature and resources is a great reward,” he said.

In addition to their support of USC, the Golds are benefactors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Gold served as chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles from 2008-09.

The Campaign for the University of Southern California is 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 $4.7 billion.

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New scholarship program aims to attract top law school students

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