The USC Marshall School of Business Society and Business Lab received a $5 million donation Tuesday from the Brittingham Family Foundation.
The Brittingham Family Foundation’s mission statement is to create an enlightened community by supporting education, arts, social services, youth, health and the environment. The donation comes at a time when businesses, both large and small, have seen an increased interest in graduates with a social entrepreneurship background.
The Brittingham Family Foundation has close ties to the Trojan family, as two of its board members are USC alumni. Scott Brittingham received his MBA from the Marshall School in 1988, and Ella M. Brittingham received her bachelor’s degree in English in 1992.
The Society and Business Lab will be now dubbed The Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. The gift will help the center move one step closer toward its $15 million initiative to support growth among social entrepreneurship programs on campus.
The center will also continue to serve the USC community through programs around the world with a focus on the long-term success of its students and faculty members.
Though housed at USC Marshall, the lab works across campus in terms of curriculum offered to students. Its events and career development focus on social entrepreneurship and guest speakers who are both Trojan alumni and non-Trojan alumni.
Adlai Wertman, founding director and professor at the Society and Business Lab, expressed his optimism about the new donation.
“I am so encouraged that dedicated Trojan alumni want to support our students in having a positive impact on the world after graduation,” Wertman said. “We are looking forward to some more good news soon and we expect to be announcing a new master’s program to be offered as soon as this fall, and also a program in entrepreneurship involving K-12 education.”
The center was founded in 2008 at a time when the world was still reeling from the financial crisis and economic recession. USC quickly saw an opportunity to differentiate itself among its competitors by giving its students and faculty a leg up in the face of the changing business landscape.
The program has been very well-received by students, faculty and the provost’s office. It aims to prepare the next generation of leaders to use the tools learned at school to solve new global challenges.
The generous donation continues the established relationship between USC and the Brittingham Family Foundation.
“The gift shows that the Brittingham family continue to see USC as having the perfect nexus to support cutting-edge social entrepreneurship programs at top-notch universities while also reaching their own philanthropic goals,” Wertman said.