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Sugars Donate $5 Million to the USC Libraries

Sugars Donate $5 Million to the USC Libraries
USC Libraries dean Catherine Quinlan, left, with Valerie and Ronald Sugar

USC trustee Ronald D. Sugar and his wife, Valerie Sugar MS ’72, have endowed the Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair of the USC Libraries. The $5 million gift is the first to support a named chair in the libraries and the largest to endow a dean’s chair in the history of USC.

USC Libraries dean Catherine Quinlan will be formally installed as the first holder of the chair today.

“This is an extraordinary moment for our libraries and for me personally,” Quinlan said. “With this gift, the Sugars are helping the libraries support research excellence and innovative scholarship throughout the entire university.”

USC president C. L. Max Nikias said: “The USC Libraries are of central importance to the university’s academic mission. This historic endowment gift ensures that the USC Libraries will continue to lead the nation – especially in the building of innovative digital collections and resources.”

The endowment will support activities such as collections acquisitions, the development of inventive digital collections and the Dean’s Challenge Grant. The latter is a competitive program that encourages innovation within the libraries and enables pilot projects with the greatest potential to transform library services, improve collections and create an excellent research experience at USC.

“World-class library faculty, staff and research collections are vital contributors to USC’s continuing rise on the global stage,” Quinlan said. “The Sugars’ generosity will help ensure that our libraries are able to support our talented students and transformative faculty at USC. The impact of this gift will be significant, enduring and broadly felt at USC and beyond.”

“We live in an era of rapid technological change,” Ronald Sugar said. “By endowing the Dean’s Chair, we wish to ensure that USC will be able to recruit and retain insightful leaders, such as Dean Quinlan, in perpetuity and provide the resources to support their vision and capitalize on opportunities that arise in the future.”

USC Libraries consists of 23 libraries and information centers, as well as the USC Digital Repository. USC’s libraries are among the oldest private academic research libraries in California, yet they also are among the most innovative libraries in the nation.

With the creation of an online master’s degree program in librarianship this year, USC will be able to reach a widely diverse cohort of students and provide them with a signature USC educational experience, no matter where they live in the world.

“Great libraries fuel the work that takes place at great research universities,” Valerie Sugar said. “Through our gift, we hope the USC Libraries continue to support a vibrant community of critical thinkers, seekers of knowledge and engaged world citizens for many generations to come.”

Ronald Sugar is chairman emeritus of Northrop Grumman Corp. He joined the corporation in 2001 and served as chairman of the board and CEO from 2003 until his retirement in 2009. In addition to chairing the Academic Affairs committee of the USC Board of Trustees and holding the Judge Widney Professorship in Management and Technology, he holds directorships on the boards of Apple, Chevron, Amgen and Air Lease Corp. He earned a Ph.D. in engineering from UCLA in 1971.

After graduating from USC with a master’s in library science, Valerie Sugar held librarian and software-user interface development positions at the Aerospace and RAND corporations. She joined the Friends of the USC Libraries’ Board of Directors in 2005 and has served on a Friends committee charged with increasing awareness of library services and collections – particularly the unique, rare books and other special collections that distinguish USC from its peers.

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