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USC Trustee David C. Bohnett gives $15 million for residential college

The college at USC Village will focus on the principles of social justice and community service

David Bohnett
David Bohnett’s gift will create a social justice residential college at USC Village. (Photo/Michael Bulbenko)

USC Trustee David C. Bohnett ’78 has pledged $15 million to endow and name a residential college at USC Village.

The David C. Bohnett Residential College will focus on the principles of social justice and community service, and will form part of a thriving student community that integrates living and learning for up to 320 students as well as faculty-in-residence and student support staff.

The gift also will establish a leadership fund at the USC Price School of Public Policy supporting a fellowship in public policy with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and endow a chair in social entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Mr. Bohnett is a true champion of social justice. His generous gift underscores his enduring passion for USC, and will create a living and learning environment that nurtures personal growth through community action.

C. L. Max Nikias

“David Bohnett is a visionary philanthropist who has consistently demonstrated his commitment to public service,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “By empowering society through the next generation of leaders, and enriching civic spirit through understanding, Mr. Bohnett is a true champion of social justice. His generous gift underscores his enduring passion for USC, and will create a living and learning environment that nurtures personal growth through community action.”

Residential colleges

The Bohnett College is one of eight residential colleges planned for USC Village. In all, they will add as many as 2,700 student beds to the University Park Campus and increase the number of students in USC-owned housing by nearly 40 percent.

“I can trace back so many of my personal and professional accomplishments to my four years as an undergraduate student at USC, where I learned how to excel academically and how to give back through service to others,” Bohnett said.

“It’s my hope and aspiration that the Bohnett Residential College will afford USC students with a richly immersive college experience and help prepare them to be actively engaged members of the community throughout their lives.”

USC Village is the largest economic redevelopment project in the history of South Los Angeles. Located directly north of the University Park Campus, the 1.25-million-square-foot USC Village project will enhance campus life for students while opening up an array of new retail and service options for the local community when it opens in 2017.

Philanthropist and entrepreneur

Bohnett is a philanthropist and technology entrepreneur. In 1994, he founded the media and e-commerce company GeoCities.com, which paved the way for modern social media. A year after taking Geocities.com public in 1998, he sold it to Yahoo! Inc. He then established the David Bohnett Foundation as well as Baroda Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in early stage technology start-ups.

Since 1999, the mission of the David Bohnett Foundation has been improving society through social activism. A wide array of grants have funded state-of-the-art technology and technical support to hundreds of innovative organizations and institutions in several primary focus areas: The Fund for Los Angeles, supporting a broad spectrum of arts, educational and civic programs; LGBT-related causes; graduate school leadership programs; voting rights and registration initiatives; research and public policy initiatives to reduce the toll of firearm violence; and animal welfare and rights programs.

Deeply involved in the arts as well as social justice, Bohnett is chairman of the Wallis Annnenberg Center for the Performing Arts and a trustee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. A resident of Los Angeles and New York, Bohnett also serves as a member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

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USC Trustee David C. Bohnett gives $15 million for residential college

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