William Watson named Vice President for Health Sciences campus development

William Watson has officially been chosen as USC’s vice president for Health Sciences campus development to oversee development functions at the USC University Hospital, the Keck School of Medicine and the Norris Cancer Hospital.

Watson will report to Al Checcio, senior vice president for University Advancement, and will work closely with Provost Elizabeth Garrett, Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen Puliafito and Mitch Creem, CEO of USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.

Watson previously worked at Keck’s development office before moving to the Saint John’s Health Center and John Wayne Cancer Institute.

“I am delighted Bill Watson has returned to USC and joined our team,” Checcio said in a press release. “Having such a talented fundraiser and manager overseeing our efforts gives us a tremendous advantage at this stage of our campaign planning.”

Watson’s job will not stop at overseeing development functions at various university institutions. He will also work to collaborate with leaders at other USC health schools and bringing their diverse fundraising interests together.

“I’ll be working with the school of pharmacy, dentistry, occupational therapy and physical therapy,” Watson said. “Many times faculty of those places have overlapping interests.”

When Watson was the chief development officer at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, he raised money for the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and the Keck School.

At Saint John’s, Watson helped raise $300 million for a new treatment center.

Watson said he grew up hating USC because of his family’s sports allegiances and was embarrassed to tell his friends he worked for Norris Cancer center in 1988. Watson has since had a change of heart.

“Being a Trojan gets in your blood,” Watson said as he held up a mug that read ‘Once a Trojan, always a Trojan.’ “I worked with Nikias before, so I’m excited to work with him.”

Watson said he is happy to return to the Trojan family.

“I’m excited to be back at USC,” Watson said. “The university has taken great strides in the past few years to advance the mission of the Health Sciences campus, and I’m eager to address the challenge of taking USC’s recent success even further.”

Dennis Jenkins, a graduate student studying public health, said he remembers hearing  about Watson’s fundraising work around USC before he left to work in Santa Monica.

“To hear a name being tossed around at such a huge university, I’d say that proves he’s done some great things in the past,” Jenkins said.