USC Libraries received a $5-million donation from USC trustee Ronald Sugar and his wife to endow the Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair of the USC Libraries, the university announced Wednesday.
The endowment will be used to acquire new literary collections, expand the libraries’ digital archives and the creation of the Dean’s Challenge Grant, which will help fund pilot programs and encourage innovation and creativity.
Catherine Quinlan, the dean of USC Libraries, will be installed as the first Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair of USC Libraries.
President C. L. Nikias said the donation, the first to endow a chair in USC Libraries history and the largest endowment of a dean’s chair in USC history, will help support USC’s core academic mission.
“The USC Libraries are of central importance to the university’s academic mission,” Nikias told USC News. “This historic endowment gift ensures that the USC Libraries will continue to lead the nation — especially in the building of innovative digital collections and resources.”
Quinlan said the expanded digital and research collections will help USC’s rise as a leading research institution.
“World-class library faculty, staff and research collections are vital contributors to USC’s continuing rise on the global stage,” Quinlan said. “The Sugars’ generosity will help ensure that our libraries are able to support our talented students and transformative faculty at USC. The impact of this gift will be significant, enduring and broadly felt at USC and beyond.”
Ronald Sugar, who earned his doctorate in engineering at UCLA in 1971 and is the former chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp., an aerospace and defence contracting company. He currently chairs the Academic Affairs Committee of the USC Board of Trustees and holds the Judge Widney Professorship in Management and Technology. He also serves on the boards of Apple, Air Lease Corp., Chevron and Amgen.
Valerie Sugar graduated from USC with a master’s degree in library sciences and has served on the USC Libraries’ Board of Directors, helping raise awareness of the libraries’ special collections.
USC Libraries consists of 23 libraries and information centers. USC Libraries also launched USC Digital Repository, which offers cloud-computing consultation service, last year. This year, USC Libraries is working to develop an online librarianship master’s degree program, according to USC News.
“Great libraries fuel the work that takes place at great research universities,” Valerie Sugar said. “Through our gift, we hope the USC Libraries continue to support a vibrant community of critical thinkers, seekers of knowledge and engaged world citizens for many generations to come.”
[Correction: A previous version of this article stated that USC Libraries launched an online master’s degree in librarianship. The program is currently in development.]