A Gift for Leventhal

USC Alumnus and Business Leader donates $15 Million to Name MBT Program, Endow Chair

August 11, 2015
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Business leader and USC Leventhal alumnus James R. Parks ’72, MBT ’75 has donated $15 million to the USC Leventhal School of Accounting, to be used to support and name Leventhal’s signature Master of Business Taxation (MBT) degree program, endow and name a chair and help renovate the accounting building.

A member of the USC Marshall School of Business Board of Leaders, Parks is a CPA and Executive Director for the Los Angeles office of CBIZ MHM, LLC and a Shareholder of Mayer, Hoffman, McCann, P.C.. He has specialized in tax consulting, financial analysis and litigation consulting for business management professionals, entertainment, oil and gas, manufacturing and real estate companies for more than 40 years

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“The Parks family's generosity will enable the USC Leventhal School of Accounting to extend its already formidable reputation as a place where elite accounting education takes place,” said James G. Ellis, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business, in which the USC Leventhal School resides. "This is truly a meaningful and significant commitment, and we are deeply grateful for this transformative gift."

The majority of the gift will support USC Leventhal’s signature Master of Business Taxation degree program, which will be renamed the Jennifer and James R. Parks Master of Business Taxation Program. It will support, in perpetuity, a number of scholarships as well as other academic priorities of this elite program.

"This is a true milestone for the USC Leventhal School of Accounting," said William W. Holder, dean of Leventhal. "This extraordinary gift is second in size only to the original Elaine and Kenneth Leventhal naming gift made in 1996, and reflects the commitment of Jim Parks and his late wife, Jennifer, to making a real difference in the future of USC Leventhal.”

The gift will support additional key initiatives, including renovation of the accounting building and funding and naming an endowed chair. The Jennifer and James R. Parks Chair of Taxation, funded with $3 million of the gift, becomes the 10th endowed chair or professorship at USC Leventhal, said Holder.

“The education and preparation I received over my years at USC Leventhal was the foundation for much of my future success,” said Parks. “My late wife, Jennifer, and I felt strongly that it was our duty to give back one day. I am pleased to help ensure the same foundation for future professional and industry leaders.”

Parks is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Council on Economic Education, the Board of Trustees of Whittier College and the Board of Trustees of the Autry National Center of the American West. In 2011 he was awarded the USC Leventhal Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Parks’ gift supports the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC’s academic priorities and expand its positive impact on the community and world. Four years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $4.5 billion.