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USC breaks ground on Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall

Amid fanfare from the USC Trojan Marching Band and a flurry of cardinal and gold confetti, ground was broken on Sept. 5 for Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall.

This unique building on the University Park Campus (UPC) — the university’s first interdisciplinary social sciences building — was made possible by a $30 million gift from USC Trustee Verna B. Dauterive ME ’49, EdD ’66, in memory of her late husband, Peter W. Dauterive ’49.

Situated prominently along Pardee Way near the main entrance to UPC, the six-level, 110,000-square-foot building will feature graceful arches and Gothic flourishes, evocative of USC’s most beloved and storied structures. The building is expected to be completed in summer 2014.

“Since I came to USC in 1943, I’ve seen the university come a long way,” Dauterive told the crowd of some 350 USC trustees, deans, administrators, faculty, civic leaders, friends and other guests who gathered to take part in the celebration. “Today, as a person who has reaped the benefits of attending a university that offers so many wonderful resources and opens so many doors, I am grateful to be able to reach back and help that university become even better.”

Dauterive Hall will provide a place where USC faculty members from diverse disciplines can work together with thought leaders from other institutions around the world totackle problems too complex to be resolved by any single discipline alone — problems related to energy and the environment, world hunger, affordable health care, global financial policy, border and transportation security, and more.

“Here, many of the world’s most prominent thought leaders will be brought together,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “Here, they will be unleashed to achieve breakthroughs across the full range of social sciences. And here, their bold ideas will be developed into real-world applications that can improve the life of a family in downtown Los Angeles, a child in India and society overall.”

From advanced laboratories and the latest technology to central kitchenettes and a five-story atrium providing a prime location for informal gatherings, the building will be configured to foster connections and creativity among scholars. As USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett described it, Dauterive Hall will be “a building that does more than simply house great research with policy impact, but that actually engenders it by its design.”

Another distinctive aspect of Dauterive Hall is that it will not be overseen by a single school, dean or director.

“The building will function under the president and provost, providing a home for multidisciplinary centers focused on developing solutions to pressing problems facing the world,” Garrett said. “This is a key aspect of Verna’s vision for the building, that it be university-wide and serve as a hub for work that operates at the intersection of disciplines.”

Among the initial programs slated to be housed in Dauterive Hall are the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, which is committed to promoting health and value in health care delivery both in the United States and internationally, and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, which focuses on the responsibility of leaders to transcend partisanship to implement the policies that most benefit the people they serve.

“When we first met in Doheny Memorial Library at ’SC, Peter may not have imagined that someday the two of us would dream of having a building with our names on it — or that such a dream would ever come true,” Dauterive said. “But I know he is jumping for joy as he looks down on us today.”


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