USC Board of Trustees Chair Julie & John Mork with Nikias'
From left: USC Board of Trustees Chair John Mork and his wife, Julie Mork, with Niki C. Nikias and C. L. Max Nikias | PHOTO BY STEVE COHEN

On a quiet Monday morning in late March, our Trojan Family celebrated a very special milestone: Our historic fundraising campaign officially reached its ambitious goal of $6 billion—18 months ahead of schedule! This was a spectacular collective effort that speaks to the extraordinary spirit of our Trojan Family, with support coming from all over the world.

This same spirit and dedication—backed by a very real momentum—prompted another decision: to extend our campaign for an additional five years. In raising the bar, and in redoubling our efforts, we accelerate the important goals we have set for undergraduate scholarships, medical research, and faculty programs and research. We will also expand our ambitions in the sciences, engineering and medicine, as well as the arts and humanities, while working to increase access for lower- and middle-income students.

When officially launched six years ago, our campaignFas Regna Trojae, or The Destined Reign of Troy—was the largest in the history of American higher education, and its success has already allowed USC to create 100 new faculty chairs spanning every discipline, as well as 19 new research centers and institutions. Additionally, USC has more than doubled its university-funded financial aid pool to $320 million, a figure that currently stands as the largest in the United States. This makes a USC education more affordable to students from every background, and we are very proud that two-thirds of our students receive significant forms of financial aid.

It is also noteworthy that half of the money we have already raised has come from a diverse group of supporters—nearly 320,000 donations of every size— while 64 percent has come from non-alumni of USC.

This is what our Trojan Family has accomplished together. And your support—the continued dedication of our passionate alumni—has made a crucial difference. In annual giving, a remarkable 42 percent of our alumni are active donors. That number is exceptionally high, and higher than at any other premier university, public or private.

It is also noteworthy that half of the money we have already raised has come from a diverse group of supporters—nearly 320,000 donations of every size— while 64 percent has come from non-alumni of USC. And more than 70 percent of the money raised is already in the form of cash supporting our scholarly and creative work. To these efforts, our trustees have modeled magnificent generosity, providing nearly 30 percent of the total money raised.

And so our Trojan Family has much to celebrate, but we must not rest on our laurels! In extending our campaign to 2021, we make a commitment to future generations of Trojans. When Niki and I travel around the nation and the world, we meet passionate alumni who care deeply about USC and its success. We meet you! You want our university to continue to educate the next generation of leaders, to expand the reach of our work, and to contribute even more boldly and effectively to our society.

Together, we can do this, but our dreams have a deadline. Let’s move forward with even more determination and urgency. Let’s lay the foundation for even greater success for USC and our Trojan Family.

Fight On!

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