Combined, Fertitta and Schaeffer have donated more than $50 million to the university. In the form of a leadership gift, the Fertittas’ donation will be put toward the construction of a new undergraduate instructional building. In addition, the donation will lead to the endowment of a faculty chair in the Marshall School of Business. A previous donation from Schaeffer established the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.
Fertitta and Schaeffer are both USC alumni. Fertitta is the chairman and CEO of Station Casinos, one of the largest gaming companies in the United States, and Fertitta Entertainment, a resort and casino developmentand management firm. Fertitta is also a founder and primary owner of Zuffa LLC, which is best known for owning Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“I look forward to his contributions as a member of our Board of Trustees as we strive to instill in our students the critical and entrepreneurial thinking that will enable them to thrive in our globally interconnected world,” President C. L. Max Nikias said in a statement.
Schaeffer has also worked extensively in the private sector. He was the founding chairman and CEO of WellPoint, a large health care company associated with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Schaeffer’s company has been listed as “America’s Most Admired Health Care Company” in Fortune magazine for six years straight, beginning in ‘04.
Schaeffer is one of the primary donors to the Schaeffer Center, which is housed within the Price School of Public Policy and the School of Pharmacy. The center conducts research that is focused on developing and evaluating solutions to control health care costs and improve the experience for patients.
“Leonard D. Schaeffer is a visionary who has revolutionized every institution that he has led over the course of his career,” said Schaeffer Center Associate Director Julie Zissimopoulos. “The breadth of his experience and the depth of his knowledge has been invaluable to the USC Schaeffer Center, particularly through his service as the chair of the center’s advisory board.”
Both Fertitta and Schaeffer have previously received awards from the university for their contributions to USC in the past.
Schaffer was the 2012 recipient of the Sol Price Award for his accomplishments as a business leader, philanthropist and policy expert. Fertitta was the recipient of the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award for exceptional commitment to the university as an alumnus.