The USC Associates’ mission is to advance knowledge in the sciences, the humanities and the professions through financial support of academic programs at the University of Southern California.
Since its inception in 1959, the USC Associates has played a vital role in advancing the mission of the university. The group has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to support both the current academic achievements and the long-range goals of the university. Through its commitment, the USC Associates has truly earned its stature as the university’s premier academic support group. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the organization’s legacy of support has contributed significantly to USC’s status among the world’s leading private research universities.
The organization dates back to the fall of 1959, when a new support group brought together “influential and representative” people—alumni and non-alumni alike—who contributed at least $1,000 annually to the university’s academic programs. The group was formally chartered in the spring of 1960 and named the USC Associates.
Deeply committed to realizing its mission, the USC Associates presented eight $1,000 checks in 1960 to professors voted the best instructors by graduating seniors. Today, these USC Associates faculty honors, which include awards for Creativity in Research and Scholarship, Excellence in Teaching, and Artistic Expression, continue to represent the highest honors the university can bestow upon its faculty members and total over $21,000.
The 1970s ushered in a range of fun social programs, including festive and popular tailgate parties before home football games. This idea was originally proposed by past USC Associates President Kennedy Galpin and his wife, Bobbie, as a powerful tool for recruiting new members. Eventually, these parties evolved into the perennially popular USC Associates Football Picnics, a tradition that continues to bring thousands of members and their guests together for games all season long.
In 1982, the USC Associates launched its highly competitive student scholarship program to recognize students for their exemplary leadership in academics and community service. Today, the USC Associates’ endowed student scholarship program provides more than $900,000 in annual scholarships. The most prestigious of these scholarships, the USC Associates Trustee Scholarship, awards the highest-ranking entering freshman with four years of full tuition.
There can be no doubt that the USC Associates has earned its reputation as the university’s premier academic support group. The generosity of its members benefits every Trojan pursuing a USC education, now and in the future.
A Tradition of Leadership Giving
In the beginning, the USC Associates focused on raising funds for awards to recognize outstanding faculty. Over time, however, the group widened its spectrum of support. In the 1970s, for example, the USC Associates dedicated itself to endowing a series of chairs and professorships at the university. Today, by fostering teaching and learning in countless fields, the USC Associates remains true to its original charge of advancing knowledge through the support of academic excellence at USC.
Members’ contributions have enriched nearly every aspect of the university. The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is the first new school to be established at USC in more than 40 years, and was founded thanks to a transformational gift by visionary philanthropist and USC Chairman Associate Glorya Kaufman. Numerous campus landmarks—including the USC Engemann Student Health Center, Wallis Annenberg Hall and Dr. Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall, to highlight just a few—also bear the names of USC Associates. Thanks to another USC Associates family, Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall has revitalized the educational environment at the USC Marshall School of Business with state-of-the-art classrooms, as well as more collaborative and technology-enabled learning spaces.. Hundreds of named scholarships, academic chairs, classrooms, fountains and other areas of campus reflect the Associates’ wide reaching impact.
The USC Associates Today
There can be no doubt that the enthusiasm, loyalty and leadership of the USC Associates have played a key role in making USC the world-class institution that it is today. For over a half-century, USC Associates members have been among the most devoted members of the Trojan Family—fostering innovative research, education, artistic creation and community service on many vital fronts at USC, while also helping to attract the highest caliber students and faculty.
Today’s USC Associates offers a full array of membership levels and courtesies, a wide-ranging calendar of events and more support opportunities than ever before. When you join the USC Associates, you may elect to make an unrestricted contribution, or you may direct your gift to the school or program of your choice.
For 60 years, USC Associates has made an incredible impact on the university. Our members have named schools, buildings and centers, and endowed numerous scholarships.
As the University of Southern California moves forward with its plan to redefine the research university of the 21st century, the USC Associates will be there—helping write exciting new chapters in the history of our great university.
For more information, please contact USC Associates at 213-740-8722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.