University of Southern California

"We Say Yes …"
USC Marshall Launches $400 Million Fundraising Drive
May 9, 2013 • by News at Marshall

The USC Marshall School of Business kicked off the USC Marshall Initiative, its $400 million fundraising initiative with a gala on May 8 that drew some 300 donors, friends, faculty, administrators, and students to Warner Bros. Studio, where they were welcomed by Kevin Tsujihara ‘86, CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment and host of the event.

At the event, USC President C. L. Max Nikias spoke of Marshall’s legacy and its deep ties to the City of Los Angeles and the global business community.

"For more than 90 years, the Marshall School has been a dynamic cornerstone of USC. The roots of its entrepreneurial DNA can be traced back to USC’s chief founder, Robert Maclay Widney, who is also considered the chief architect of modern Los Angeles. Today that entrepreneurial spirit is carried on by the school’s students, faculty, and alumni, who take what is taught in the classrooms at USC into boardrooms and businesses around the world," Nikias said.

The school seeks to raise $400 million to fuel globally relevant programming and opportunities. Funds raised will support endowments for academic programming, student scholarships and faculty research and teaching, in addition to supporting capital projects and other critical priorities. The initiative is part of The Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort to secure $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC’s academic priorities and expand its positive impact on the community and world.

USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis set the tone of the evening speaking of Marshall’s mission and trajectory, “We are altering the business landscape across Southern California and beyond.” USC Trustee Frank J. Fertitta III ’84, the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas-based Fertitta Entertainment and Station Casinos, spoke to the crowd about the global franchise he and his brother, Lorenzo Fertitta, have built. He attributed his success to USC Marshall, saying his education gave him the tools to help their companies grow.

Fertitta noted, “We are now attracting the best and brightest from around the world and are creating the international business leaders of tomorrow.”

Attendees also heard a keynote speech by Thomas Barrack Jr., ’69, USC Trustee and CEO of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC, who recalled the moment when USC and Marshall changed his life—when he attended one of the school’s business communications classes. Barrack said, “My life would be totally different if I didn’t have a Trojan education.” Barrack discussed his career trajectory and marveled at the “magic” of the Trojan Family. Comparing the university to a piece made of rare and precious jewels, Barrack said, “The faculty are diamonds, the students—rubies, and the administration—emeralds, all held together by a seamless chain of global alumni.”

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.