With one of the largest single donations to a dental school in history, the USC School of Dentistry has become the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, named after alumnus and benefactor Dr. Herman Ostrow.
Ostrow, who graduated from the school of dentistry in 1945, donated $35 million to name the school of dentistry, President Steven B. Sample announced Wednesday before a crowd of more than 400 people. The donation makes the school of dentistry the 11th school at USC to be named and the eighth named during Sample’s presidency.
“This announcement promises to solidify the dentistry school’s stature amongst the nation’s elite dental schools, and it will touch the lives of all who study, teach, work and receive oral health care at USC,” Sample said when the gift was announced.
The $35 million will be used as an endowment, Dean Avishai Sadan said. He told the crowd that the donation and the naming represents the strong attachment alumni feel to their alma mater.
“The naming of a school signifies the highest bond between a school and a donor whose philanthropic act enabled the promotion of the school’s vision and mission in perpetuity,” Sadan said.
Sample described the announcement as one of the most significant in USC history. Sadan had similar praise for Ostrow’s gift.
“His amazing act of generosity will prove to be transformative for the university,” he said.
The naming of the dental school is just one of many recent changes at the school. Earlier this year, the school welcomed Sadan as the new dean, and it is currently working on upgrading its clinic.
Current dentistry students are well aware of the strides the school has been making and of the impact Ostrow’s large gift will have.
“Usually large donations take a long time to develop, so it probably won’t happen in our time here, but it will provide at least a history that we can be proud of even after we leave here,” said Daniel Mease, a third-year dentistry student. “Even though we might not see it ourselves, it will at least benefit the students who are under us.”
Andy Yu, a third-year dentistry student, said the gift not only represents the potential for future growth but also reflects the school’s history.
“It shows there’s a powerful foundation of alumni that our school has created and it shows the integrity and how dedicated our alumni are to our school, so it’s just a wonderful example of how they can keep supporting our school,” Yu said.