USC is receiving a $50 million gift from the Price Family Charitable Fund to endow and name the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy (formerly the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development), cementing its standing as one of the most progressive and prestigious American schools of public affairs.
The gift honors the life and legacy of the late Sol Price ’36, ’38, Price Club founder, business entrepreneur and leader who was committed to addressing social justice and poverty. In recognition of that commitment, the gift also will create the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation at the school.
“USC has one of the finest public policy schools in the nation,” said USC president C. L. Max Nikias. “With the Price family’s extremely generous gift, we will take the school to an even higher level of excellence, ensuring that it becomes the undisputed, international leader in the field of public policy.”
In announcing the gift, Robert Price, Sol’s son and chairman of the fund, said: “The school’s approach to public policy and administration, urban planning, real estate development and health care is closely aligned with the core principles my father held dear. Endowing the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy not only honors my father’s legacy, but also advances sound research and scholarship and develops future leaders who will serve at the forefront of social change. This gift will have an enduring impact on society.”
Jack H. Knott, dean of USC Price, said: “The missions of the school and Price Charities are built on a common conviction that positive societal change grows out of a holistic approach to social and economic issues.
“This is a transformational gift for the school that enables us to amplify the mission we share with the Prices to improve the quality of life for people and communities here and across the world.”
The school, which ranks seventh among 269 nationwide schools of public affairs, houses five independent but related degree programs in public policy, public administration, urban planning, real estate development, and health management and policy; and excels at interdisciplinary work in the areas of governance, urban development and social policy.
The gift also will be used to launch the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, a collaboration between the school and Price Charities that will seek to promote sustainable and replicable models of community development in low-income urban areas.
The center will combine academic rigor and practice-based expertise, along with firsthand opportunities for students and practitioners, to define innovative models that leverage public, private and nonprofit resources. It will benefit Southern California urban communities in perpetuity, including a special emphasis on the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego.
By promoting public dialogue and evaluating various efforts nationwide, the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation will seek to serve as a positive force for community development across the country.
Price earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from USC in 1936 and a bachelor of law degree in 1938. His wife, Helen Price ’37, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and history.
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