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USC Price receives $4 million endowment for new chair

Michael and Linda Keston
Philanthropists Michael and Linda Keston (Photo/John Livzey)

The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has secured a $4 million endowment to create the Keston Family Chair in Real Estate, made possible by a lead gift from Michael and Linda Keston and the generous support of Fritz Duda, Jon Muller ’91 and Steve Silk ’97, announced Dean Jack H. Knott. The chair will hold a joint faculty position at USC Price and the USC Marshall School of Business.

“We are deeply grateful for the Keston family’s continued generosity and unflagging support for the school and commitment to our mission,” Knott said. “For more than a decade, Mike Keston has played a significant role at the school, as a member of our Board of Councilors, as a member of our adjunct faculty and as the donor who established the Keston Institute to help California and the nation address critical issues affecting civil infrastructure. His engagement with the school has had and will continue to have an enormous and positive impact on our work.”

A national and international search currently is under way to recruit a renowned figure in real estate research whose contributions have advanced academic theory and influenced business thinking and practice in the commercial real estate sector. The faculty position will be affiliated with the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, one of the nation’s leading research and education centers committed to advancing real estate knowledge, informing business practice and addressing timely issues that affect the real estate industry, the urban economy and public policy.

Recruiting a strong commercial real estate scholar will help advance the Lusk Center’s goal of becoming the nation’s preeminent center for real estate education and scholarship. The position also will help the center’s mission to expand its real estate scope beyond Southern California and the United States to the fast-growing markets of South and East Asia.

“Linda and I are very proud to continue our long support of the school and USC, and we are delighted to know this gift will help to position the university as the undisputed leader in both commercial and residential real estate research and education around the world,” Michael Keston said. “It is a privilege to be a part of the school’s growing reach and influence in the real estate industry and in every discipline related to social policy and community development. ”

Longtime USC Price supporters Duda, Muller and Silk were lauded by Knott.

“We are also deeply appreciative of these donors’ commitment to our school,” he said.

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