USC has received a $50 million donation from the Price Family Charitable Fund to endow the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, which will be renamed the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, the school announced Monday.
The new endowment will provide USC Sol Price School with the resources to expand its social justice goals through the creation of the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and plan to make the USC Sol Price School the leading public policy school in the nation.
“This gift allows us to achieve excellence in innovation and become the best school of public policy in the country,” USC Sol Price School Dean Jack Knott said. “It will also allow us to increase our social justice and urban development programs in partnership with the Price Family Charitable Fund.”
Robert Price, chairman of the Price Family Charitable Fund said they decided to donate because the school’s values were similar to those of his father.
“The school’s approach to public policy and administration, urban planning, real estate development and health care is closely aligned with the core principles my father held dear,” Robart Price said in a press release. “Endowing the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy not only honors my father’s legacy but also advances sound research and scholarship and develops future leaders who will serve at the forefront of social change.”
The Center for Social Innovation, which will open spring 2012, will provide students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the classroom to practical situations. The center will initially focus on issues affecting low-income areas in San Diego, where the Price Family Charitable Fund is located.
“The Center for Social Innovation will work to provide access to health care, employment opportunities and education for people in low-income areas,” Knott said. “Our partnership with Price Family Charitable Fund will allow us to carry out projects eventually in Los Angeles in low-income areas near USC.”
The school will be named after Sol Price, the founder of the Price Family Charitable Fund and the discount department stores Price Club and FedMart, which merged with Costco in the 1980s. SOL Price graduated from the USC School of Law in 1938.
Last May, Price’s grandson, David Price, graduated from the school. After attending his graduation ceremony, the Price family decided to contribute to the school because of the its focus on social justice, which is at the core of the Price Family Charitable Fund’s mission.
“Undergraduate students will have real life experience to develop transportation and health care policy for a real client and receive feedback from clients,” Knott said.
According to Knott the endowment will allow the school to focus on social justice issues on both a local and national level.
“By attracting the best faculty we hope to start national dialogue on social justice,” Knott said. “We want to influence state and national policies and create models of urban development that might be applied in other cities across the country.”
Also the USC Sol Price School will use the endowment to hire new faculty, provide scholarships and internship opportunities for students and increase resources for the student body.