The gift of $200 million from David and Dana Dornsife is the largest ever to USC, surpassing the $175 million from George Lucas. USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences will be renamed for the couple, who made their money in steel fabricating and who live in Northern California. From the LAT story:
A USC business major who graduated in 1965 and was a shot putter on the track team, Dornsife has deep family ties to the Los Angeles campus; both his parents were also USC alumni. And although none of their six adult children attended the school, Dana and David Dornsife say they are encouraging their eight grandchildren with gifts of Trojan sweatshirts.
"We are brainwashing them at an early age," he joked.
In a telephone interview from their home in Danville in Northern California, the Dornsifes recalled how they had attended Nikias' inauguration in October and heard references to several USC schools that have been named for donors, including the Viterbi School of Engineering. The couple, who have made major donations to neuroscience research at the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, began discussing how that school lacked a donor name. Campus officials then encouraged a naming donation.
USC says it will establish a cash prize for outstanding seniors whose scholarly work tackles societal problems in the United States and abroad. But most of the unrestricted donation will go to boost USC's endowment.