Leavey Foundation Gives Law School $3 Million
THE THOMAS AND DOROTHY LEAVEY FOUNDATION has given the USC Law School $3 million to establish the J. Thomas McCarthy Trustees’ Chair in Law.
The chair – the first of its kind at USC – is named in memory of the late J. Thomas McCarthy, a well-known Southern California attorney and philanthropist who died in 1996.
Trustees’ chairs, established by a gift twice the amount required to endow a traditional university chair, are designated for a professor who has achieved national or international distinction.
McCarthy’s widow, Kathleen Leavey McCarthy, is a member of the USC board of trustees and serves on the board of the Leavey Foundation. Lifelong Trojans, the pair met on campus.
“Tom McCarthy was a splendid lawyer, a philanthropic leader, and a loyal graduate of the Law School. He always provided wise counsel and fundraising leadership as a member of our board of councilors,” said Scott H. Bice, dean of the school and holder of the Carl Mason Franklin Dean’s Chair.
McCarthy, an alumnus of the USC Law School, served as chairman of the Leavey Foundation, which has given more than $100 million to Southern California educational, medical and Catholic institutions. In 1988, a $9 million challenge grant from the foundation provided major impetus toward the funding of USC’s state-of-the-art Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library, completed in 1994.
A native of Santa Monica, McCarthy was a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Bodkin, McCarthy, Sergeant & Smith. He assumed the chairmanship of the Leavey Foundation in 1980, following the death of his father-in-law, Thomas Leavey, co-founder of Farmers Insurance.
McCarthy was a member of the Law School’s board of councilors and served on the boards of Farmers Group Inc. and the California Hospital Medical Center. He was a member of the board of trustees of Mount St. Mary’s College, Georgetown University and Santa Clara University.
He earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees from USC in 1953 and 1956, respectively.
Among other Leavey Foundation gifts to USC were a matching grant to assist in construction of an addition to the Law School; a gift to the department of nursing to support faculty research and clinical teaching; support for the Carl Mason Franklin’s Dean’s Chair in Law; and contributions to various scholarship endowments.
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