Washington, D.C. campus opens with ceremony

From left: Dana Goldman, dean of the USC Price School of Public Policy; Board of Trustees Chair Suzanne Nora Johnson; President Carol Folt; Trustee Fred Ryan, publisher of The Washington Post; and Keith Anderson, Washington, D.C. deputy mayor for planning and economic development. (MBK Photo)

USC officially opened its Washington, D.C. campus Wednesday afternoon with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The campus, located in the District’s DuPont Circle neighborhood, will be known as the USC Capital Campus. 

The ceremony included tours of the building, a signage reveal, speeches by President Carol Folt, Price School of Public Policy Dean Dana Goldman, USC Board of Trustees member Fred Ryan and Board of Trustees Chair Suzanne Nora Johnson, as well as a performance by the Trojan Marching Band. The band also performed at the Lincoln Memorial earlier in the day. 

In her speech, Folt said the Capital Campus’ mission is to connect the West Coast University of 22 schools to the East Coast to better insert itself into the national conversation. Folt said she hopes the new campus will allow students and faculty to further the University’s reputation in the nation’s capital. 

“What happens in D.C. matters,” Folt said. “We want to be a staple of this vibrant city … and we want this beautiful Capital Campus to serve as an academic destination and thriving hub — with Trojans streaming in and out every day, participating in the life of the city.”

Folt said she hopes the new campus will allow students and faculty to further the University’s reputation in the nation’s capital. (MBK Photo)

The campus, first announced March 15, will provide space for various USC academic programs that occur in the city, such as the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences’ D.C. program and the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism’s Maymester program. 

Goldman said he was excited about the new campus because of its location in the nation’s capital and its many unique, hands-on opportunities for students. 

“Opening a campus here is like winning the Super Bowl,” he said. “For journalism students, imagine attending news briefings on Capitol Hill, having a class taught by a press secretary and breaking news from our own in-house studio. If you’re thinking of a career in government service or international relations, what better place to dip your toe in the water to see if it’s the right temperature for you?” 

Elizabeth Chen, a sophomore majoring in public policy, said she was incredibly excited for the Capital Campus to open because it’s a way to bring her college life to the East Coast, from which she hails, and closer to national politics. 

“I want to go into politics and I was scared going to USC that I would be on the West Coast and I wouldn’t be close to politics or I would be only accessible to California politics,” she said. “Now that we have this new school, I’m so excited to see what innovations, what programs, studies that USC is able to do over here.”