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A Golden Opportunity

A Golden Opportunity

Ilene and Stanley Gold create fellowship for graduate students to study overseas
By Nicole St. Pierre
March 2006

Longtime USC supporters Ilene and Stanley Gold have pledged $1 million to establish the Gold Family Fellowship at USC College. The new fellowship will help graduate students pursue overseas study opportunities.

Ilene Gold serves on the USC College Board of Councilors; her husband, alumnus Stanley Gold, is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at USC.

“The Golds are pillars of the USC community and we are extremely grateful for their leadership gift. Fellowships like these help guarantee the success of our most promising young scholars,” said USC College Dean Joseph Aoun. “Countless students have already benefited from the Golds’ generosity and because of this recent gift, many more students will have the important opportunity to study overseas.”

As agents of innovation and discovery, the ideas that drive academic research often come from the fresh, fearless minds of graduate students. Because of them, the College can achieve many intellectual goals, offer a wide range of courses, and recruit and retain outstanding professors.

The Golds said they stay active in the Trojan Family because of all they have received from the university, starting with a first-rate education that led to a highly successful career.

“We’d like to help others get this same opportunity,” said Ilene, recalling how the USC professors and administration helped Stanley locate a scholarship and part-time employment when he applied to USC Law School in 1964. Today, he is president and chief executive officer of Shamrock Holdings, Inc., an international investment company.

The personal interest and generosity shown by the USC community four decades ago still inspires the Golds to provide a helping hand to new generations of young people who have the dream of earning a graduate degree, but where costs may make realizing that goal prohibitive.

They also feel it is important for students to incorporate time abroad in their studies. After law school, the Golds spent a period traveling to Great Britain to study at Cambridge University ─ an experience they say had a tremendous impact on their personal and intellectual development.

“We know from our own experience of studying abroad that such experience gives the student a wider world perspective that is invaluable in one’s life work,” said Ilene, whose philanthropy has already sent many undergraduate students overseas.

In 1996, a $1 million gift from the Golds established the Gold Family Trustee Scholarship which sends two undergraduate students abroad annually.

Undergraduate Kenneth Basin benefited from the Gold’s generosity when he spent a semester at King’s College in London.

“I dreamt of studying overseas for a long time,” said Basin, an international relations major with double minors in natural science and critical approaches to leadership. “Because of this scholarship, I was able to live and learn with students from around the world. It was an exhilarating experience.”

The Golds are also supporters of the School of Public Policy, Planning and Development and the Gould School of Law.

“I believe that investing in USC students is an investment in the future of society,” said Ilene. “The College has come so far in the past 10 years. The brightest students in the world are coming here. It’s wonderful, but we can’t stop where we are.”