An anonymous gift to the University of Southern California (USC)’s Marshall School of Business will support scholarships for both undergraduate and MBA students, the school announced earlier this month. The Marshall School will receive $6 million, part of a $20 million gift to the university made by a married couple described as longtime USC supports but whose identities were not revealed.
The Marshall School portion of the gift will go to the James G. Ellis Endowed Scholarship Fund, a challenge fund established by Tyler Muse ’07 and his family and named for Marshall’s current dean.
“I am personally honored that the donors have chosen to generously contribute to this scholarship fund, which helps ensure that the best and brightest students have the opportunity to attend Marshall regardless of their financial situation,” Dean Ellis said in a statement. “This gift will pay dividends far into the future as USC Marshall graduates distinguish themselves as global leaders.”
As established, the fund provides tuition assistance for exemplary undergraduate students enrolled at Marshall, but Ellis told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that he expects to reserve a portion to help MBA students. The amount of aid individual students will receive as a result of the donation has not been determined and could be “$5,000 grant, full ride, or anything in between,” Ellis told Bloomberg BW. “We’ll use the money to make sure students coming through can afford to go to school,” he added.
The anonymous gift is one of the largest in the university’s history specifically directed toward student support. It is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort to secure $6 billion or more in private philanthropy for the school, including $1 billion for endowed student support. Last month, USC announced that it had raised $3 billion toward its total goal in just three years, including $196.3 million toward the student support portion of the goal.