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Category Archives: Timeline


USC hires Christopher Manning as its first chief inclusion and diversity officer. The new leadership role will build a framework that reinforces USC’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging and to address ongoing challenges of discrimination and bias.


USC shifted all its classes online in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic — a monumental behind-the-scenes effort taken up by teaching experts, administrators and information technology specialists to make the transition as smooth as possible.


Amid unprecedented circumstances, more than 19,000 graduates were recognized at USC’s first virtual conferring of degrees. USC students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends joined the celebration online to send off the Class of 2020.


In recognition of her examinations of race, citizenship and belonging among immigrant groups in the United States, USC Dornsife Professor Natalia Molina was named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.


President Carol L. Folt announced a major financial aid expansion to benefit low- and middle-income families, extending USC’s long-time commitment to need-based funding by pledging more than $30 million in additional aid annually to expand the current pool.


For the first time in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s history, more than 50% of its incoming undergraduate class are women.


The Lord Foundation of California, which supports faculty research and teaching at USC, receives $260 million from the sale of LORD Corp. The foundation is expected to distribute proceeds to USC in 2020, making it USC’s largest-ever gift from a named donor. The gift would be used to bolster research and studies in areas including artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, and environmental sustainability


Charles F. Zukoski is installed as USC’s seventh provost.


USC’s newest academic building, Iovine and Young Hall, officially opens. The 40,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility includes a dedicated “incubator” space for Trojan alumni.


On September 20, 2019, the USC community celebrated Carol L. Folt’s inauguration as the university’s 12th president.


The USC Marshall of School of Business announces that more than 50 percent of its full-time MBA Class of 2020 are women — this gender parity is a first for top-tier U.S. business schools.


USC alumna and trustee, Wanda M. Austin was appointed Interim President on August 7, 2018 by the USC Board of Trustees. Dr. Austin is the first woman and African-American to lead the university.


The USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience opens. Officially the largest building on USC’s campus, the Michelson Center brings together engineers and scientists in shared spaces designed to encourage collaborative research.


USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences professor Viet Thanh Nguyen receives a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.


USC Village opens its doors to over to the campus and community. The largest development project in the history of South Los Angeles will be home to 2,500 students, and several restaurants and retailers. 


USC researchers provide key analysis of the data gathered annually by the county and city of Los Angeles, as part of the university’s Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness.


The George Lucas Family Foundation has expanded its support of student diversity with a second $10 million endowment to the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The gift will provide scholarships for African-American and Hispanic students in undergraduate and graduate programs.


An independent economic impact study on USC showed that the university is one of California’s strongest economic engines. The study found that USC spurs $8 billion annually in economic activity in the Los Angeles region and California.


The Campaign for USC reached its $6 billion goal 18 months earlier than anticipated, securing its place among the most successful campaigns in higher education. The university extends its fundraising through 2021 to support high ambitions and access for students.


Alumnus Joseph Medicine Crow, Native American historian and the last war chief of the Crow Tribe of Montana, was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters during the 2003 Commencement ceremony.