Trustees donate millions

Amid the pomp and circumstance that took place at the inauguration of President C.L. Max Nikias on Friday came the announcements of two major donations to the university.

Two members of the USC Board of Trustees donated a total of $100 million toward university advancement. Ming Hsieh presented a $50 million gift to fund a permanent endowment supporting research and development in nanomedicine for cancer. In return, the university plans to create the USC Ming Hsieh Institute for Research on Engineering-Medicine for Cancer.

“With this extraordinary gift, Ming Hsieh joins USC as a partner in the fight against cancer,” Nikias said in a press release. “What is exciting about the USC Ming Hsieh Institute is that it bridges our two campuses. This kind of creative collaboration is our best hope for dealing with this devastating disease.”

In Nikias’ inauguration speech, he said one of his top five priorities for the university is to unite the community under one identity in order to increase excellence and research.

“Our Health Sciences Campus and the University Park Campus represent one unified USC. Though they are seated at different ends of Downtown Los Angeles, they must have one character and one shared identity,” Nikias said. “Let’s make no mistake about it: When it comes to doing good for the world, we believe there is a USC way of doing it. … We must place this USC stamp on the intellectual and social revolutions that lie ahead.”

The USC Ming Hsieh Institute will advance nanotechnology in the realm of cancer research by bringing together USC’s world-class engineers from the Viterbi School of Engineering with scientists and physicians from the Keck School of Medicine and the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, Hsieh said in a press release.

“It’s my hope that their efforts will lead to better survival rates, longer remissions, new treatments and cures for this horrible disease that leaves an indelible mark on so many,” he said.

Hsieh, a USC alumnus, has contributed about $85 million to the university in the last five years.

Edward P. Roski Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced the donation of an additional $50 million from the Annenberg Foundation during the inauguration ceremony. The gift will go toward construction of a new state-of-the-art building for the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism on the University Park campus.

“This gift opens new frontiers and dramatically accelerates the school’s progress,” Annenberg Dean Ernest Wilson wrote in an e-mail to Annenberg students and faculty. “We plan for this cutting-edge building to serve the public interest as well with gathering spaces that encourage students, faculty, guest lecturers and members of our diverse local community to convene to share ideas and socialize.”

Preliminary plans for the new building, to be named Wallis Annenberg Hall after Wallis Annenberg, chairman of the Annenberg Foundation and the longest-serving member of the USC Board of Trustees, detail a 90,000 square foot, multi-story building with the latest technologies and equipment at the corner of McClintock Avenue and West 34th Street. A construction timeline has yet to be determined.

The Annenberg Foundation and Annenberg family have donated about $350 million since Walter H. Annenberg’s founding of the school in 1971.

For the Daily Trojan’s recap of the inauguration ceremony, click here.

For reactions from the Trojan Family regarding the inauguration ceremony, click here.