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USC College Launches $400 Million Fundraising Initiative

Inaugural USC College Dean's Medallions Awarded at the "Tradition & Innovation" Event

August 2005

USC President Steven B. Sample, USC College Dean Joseph Aoun and USC trustee Patrick C. Haden formally launched Tradition & Innovation, the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences’ largest-ever fund-raising initiative, on Sept. 13.

In its quest to become one of the best colleges within a private research university, USC College plans to raise $400 million by 2010.

Haden serves as chair of the Tradition & Innovation initiative steering committee, which is composed of prominent members of the USC Board of Trustees and USC College Board of Councilors.

“We are launching the Tradition & Innovation initiative at a time when the role of a successful college within a research university is rapidly evolving,” Aoun said. “The initiative will elevate USC College – the core of USC – so that it can attain the highest level of accomplishment.”

To sustain its momentum and further foster a dynamic culture of innovation, Aoun said, USC College seeks funds to strengthen its academic and research programs, recruit and retain top-notch students and faculty, and enhance teaching and research facilities.

The black-tie kickoff celebration took place in a tented area outside the newly dedicated Molecular and Computational Biology Building on the University Park campus.

The event included a special inaugural awarding of the USC College Dean’s Medallion, which recognizes alumni, parents and benefactors who have helped propel the College to excellence. Recipients included MaryLou and George Boone, Lois and Robert Erburu, and Dana and David Dornsife.

“The inaugural recipients of the Dean’s Medallion have exhibited altruism and leadership that has given USC College new energy,” Aoun said. “Their generosity has enabled us to elevate the quality of our educational and research programs, and create exciting, innovative pathways for both students and faculty.”

President Steven B. Sample said: “Those who support the College are investing in the creativity and imagination of our students and faculty.

“When you invest in the College, you’re saying you believe that we can, and should, do our best to improve the quality of life for people in our community and around the world.”

During the ceremony, Lois and Robert Erburu received the Dean’s Medallion for exemplary leadership. As a founding member of the College’s Board of Councilors, Robert Erburu has been integral to the College’s unprecedented growth. He has helped establish strong ties with the Huntington Library and the Getty Research Institute.

Erburu also recruited support for the newly built Molecular and Computational Biology Building. In honor of Erburu, USC College and the Skirball Cultural Center recently established the Robert F. Erburu Chair in Ethics, Globalization and Development.

George and MaryLou Boone received the Dean’s Medallion for pioneering enterprises. George Boone is a USC Life Trustee, Presidential Associate and past president of the Alumni Association. He also serves on the College’s Board of Councilors and the advisory board for the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies.

MaryLou Boone, a member of the College’s Humanities Advisory Board, plays a key role in building partnerships with prominent cultural institutions, such as the Huntington Library.

The Boones are well known for their support of the Wrigley Institute in Catalina. Their continued support of Wrigley’s George and MaryLou Boone Center for Science and Environmental Leadership has helped to recruit and maintain outstanding marine scientists.

Dana and David Dornsife received the Dean’s Medallion for commitment to innovation. Their commitment continues to boost the quality of the Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center while drawing exceptional faculty and graduate students. Since the state-of-the-art facility opened in 2004, the College has bolstered its research on the human brain and recruited renowned neuroscientists Hanna and Antonio Damasio.

The Dornsifes follow in the footsteps of David’s parents, Harold and Ester Dornsife, whose contributions to the Seeley G. Mudd Building greatly enhanced USC’s science education. The elder Dornsifes helped to create the HEDCO Neuroscience Building and endowed two chairs.