USC Marshall Kicks Off $400 Million Fundraising Campaign

Photograph by Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business launched a $400 million fundraising drive at a gala event at Warner Brothers Studios in Los Angeles on May 8. The initiative is part of a larger campaign to secure $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance the university as a whole.

Half of the $400 million raised for the business school will beef up the endowment for student scholarships, $100 million will go toward improving facilities, and $50 million will be used for the endowment for faculty, research, and teaching as a means of attracting talent “of the highest caliber,” according to a report describing the fundraising initiative. Another $40 million will be for the dean’s strategic fund, which can be used at the dean’s discretion.

The remaining $10 million will be used for student academic programs and priorities, which could help sustain and expand programs already in place or be used to create new ones.

Marshall Dean James Ellis says the school is nearly halfway to meeting its fundraising goal.

“Unrestricted funds enable faculty, students, and administrators to experiment with new ideas and respond strategically when unexpected opportunities appear,” according to the report. “Unrestricted funds help the school launch initiatives that enhance teaching and learning amid a rapidly changing business and educational landscape.”

Hosted by Kevin Tsujihara, a 1986 alumnus and chief executive of Warner Brothers Entertainment, the Marshall gala attracted 300 donors, friends, faculty, and students. Frank J. Fertitta III, a 1984 alumnus, USC trustee, and CEO of Las Vegas-based Fertitta Entertainment and Station Casinos was among the speakers, while fellow trustee and 1969 alumnus, Thomas Barrack Jr., CEO of private equity and venture capital firm Colony Capital, in Los Angeles, gave the keynote address.

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