USC campuses host GNC kickoff event
The Good Neighbors Campaign (GNC) officially kicked off this year’s fundraising drive with dual celebrations on USC’s two main campuses.
The University Park Campus (UPC) hosted a celebration on Oct. 2 in Alumni Park and the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) held its festivities last month.
Now in its 18th year, GNC is an annual fundraising initiative organized by USC Civic Engagement that directs staff and employee donations toward the communities surrounding the university campuses.
“The Good Neighbors Campaign is part of what makes USC so special,” said Thomas S. Sayles, senior vice president for University Relations. “It’s a testament to the abounding generosity and compassion of the Trojan Family and a testament to our continuous commitment to the community.
“I am confident that the Trojan Family, like years past, will live up to its reputation of being a good neighbor by participating full force in the campaign.”
Since 1994, more than $14 million has been raised for the GNC. This year, the campaign has set its fundraising goal at $1.6 million, topping last year’s $1.4 million target.
“The purpose of the campaign launch is to bring faculty, staff and community leaders together to see benefits of the Good Neighbors Campaign and to help us create excitement to reach our goal of $1.6 million,” said Carolina Castillo, executive director of development for Civic Engagement, at the UPC rally.
At the UPC celebration, USC President C. L. Max Nikias and other senior administrators gave community partners a $1.5 million check, which represented the funds raised from last year’s campaign.
As cardinal and gold streamers burst through the air, Nikias commended the GNC for its long-standing commitment to making lasting differences in the community through the funding of education programs.
The HSC hosted its kickoff celebration on Sept. 28. Sayles and other top USC administrators addressed the crowd, as Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School’s Latin Jazz members and the USC Trojan Marching Band provided the entertainment.
Scott Evans, CEO of Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Cancer Hospital, also joined the celebration to receive recognition from Sayles for the hospitals’ generous matching contribution of the amounts raised from hospitals staff. In addition, Evans announced that hospitals leaders would provide a matching gift again this year. (In 2010, the hospitals provided a $75,000 gift to match the $75,000 contributed by hospitals employees. In 2011, a $56,000 matching gift was made to GNC.)
Local community members from the surrounding neighborhoods were also on hand to share their experiences and programs with USC faculty and staff.
“As a USC alumnus and now beneficiary of the incredible generosity of the Trojan Family, we at Proyecto [Pastoral] are so proud to partner with USC in providing much-needed services to the community,” said Fatima Djelmane, the organization’s associate director. Proyecto Pastoral is a University Neighborhood Outreach grant recipient that aims to provide training, education and social services to residents of East Los Angeles.
The GNC runs through Oct. 31, but donations can be made at any time during the year. To view the campaign’s online giving page, visit communities.usc.edu/gnc
Cesar Armendariz and Faith Jessie contributed to this story.