USC has long been renowned for its deep commitment to finding new ways to get students thinking about and interacting with the world. And because the undergraduate years are a time of great personal and intellectual discovery, we have continued to introduce groundbreaking programs that foster creative thinking and expand students’ perceptions. Some of these programs include the Discovery Scholars, for those who produce exceptional new scholarship or artistic works; the Global Scholars, for those who have determined to become outstanding world citizens by incorporating significant international study into their undergraduate experience; and the Academy for Polymathic Study, a program designed to heighten the interdisciplinary mindset.
Through the Campaign, we will seek to endow such signature USC programs such as Visions and Voices, our arts and humanities initiative featuring theatrical productions, music and dance performances, film screenings, lectures, and workshops conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university.
Investments in the undergraduate experience pay dividends for generations to come—for our graduates who go on to lead rich lives and for society as a whole. In addition to generating more scholarships for undergraduate students, the Campaign must fuel programs that will make the undergraduate experience at USC second to none— inside and outside of the classroom.
USC undergraduates must have challenging and authentic opportunities to participate in the creation of knowledge through hands-on undergraduate research experiences. They must also have opportunities to strengthen their writing and critical thinking skills as well as their visual analysis and digital literacy skills.
The creation and endowment of new residential colleges will assure an environment that fosters the intellectual, emotional, and moral growth of our students. We must also offer our students deep engagement with global perspectives, cultures, and faiths and provide rich opportunities for service learning that will inspire them to become the ethical leaders of tomorrow. Investment in a new center for USC’s Office of Religious Life, for example, will continue to foster a vibrant university community of spiritual reflection and free inquiry.
These are just a handful of the opportunities we have planned to prepare USC students for the challenges of the 21st century. But they are central to our long-range vision: to continue to produce the agile and influential leaders our changing world urgently needs.