It's just coincidence I'm sure, but the same week that Eli Broad is profiled for his philanthropy on "60 Minutes," three major local gifts have been announced. And it's only Tuesday. Mark at LA Biz Observed covered today's game-changing donation by Margie Petersen of $100 million to the Petersen Automotive Museum, and John and Marion Anderson's $25 million gift to the UCLA school of management that already bears their name. Now the Times reports that John and Julie Mork, a local couple now living in Colorado, are giving $110 million to USC to be used just for undergraduate scholarships.
John Mork, chief executive of the Denver-based Energy Corp. of America, told the Times' Larry Gordon he worries that well-paying blue collar jobs are disappearing and that he wants "as many young people as possible to obtain a university education as the ticket to a middle-class life."
"Public and private education has gotten more expensive over time. I think this will allow the very best kids to get a degree at USC, whether they can afford it or not," he said.
Already this year, USC has reported a $200 million gift to the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences by alumnus David Dornsife and his wife, Dana. UCLA has also reported a $200 million gift, from Kirk Kerkorian and his Lincy Foundation and $100 million for the School of Public Affairs by a Meyer and Renee Luskin.