School of Architecture receives $1 million

Architect and USC alumnus Anthony Marnell, ’72, donated $1 million to the School of Architecture Friday, according to a statement made by the university.

A member of the School of Architecture’s Board of Councilors, Marnell is known for the the design and construction of numerous Las Vegas casinos, including the Mirage, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. Marnell’s donation marks one of the largest recent gifts given to an architecture school in the state.

“With his generous gift, Anthony Marnell honors our faculty and the many students who will benefit from this innovative new program,” provost and senior vice president of academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett said in a statement. “As a USC graduate and successful practitioner of the art form, his support elevates the prestige of our School of Architecture and our university.”

The gift, a part of The Campaign for the University Of Southern California’s $6 billion goal, will be used to establish “The M Studio”, a multidisciplinary design studio for upper-level undergraduates. The studio will be used to enhance critical thinking necessary to complete large-scale projects and will include instruction in other disciplines including business, real estate development and engineering.

Marnell said The M Studio is the brain-child of his and School of Architecture Dean Qingyun Ma’s collaborative efforts.

“Being a design-builder my whole life, I see the value of students having more experience both practicing architecture and building their designs,” Marnell said in a statement.

Marnell said the new studio will provide students with opportunities, like design building, that he did not have as a student.

“The M Studio is a new opportunity for exposing students to that possibility, if it is part of their dream going forward,” Marnell said.