Annenberg Foundation Commits $50 Million toward a New Building for the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Introducing a new era of innovation in the digital media revolution, University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias announced a leadership gift of $50 million from the Annenberg Foundation to the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The funds will be used to support a new state-of-the-art building on the USC University Park campus.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Annenberg Foundation, Wallis Annenberg, and the Annenberg family for providing such transformational and magnificent support for the USC Annenberg School, and especially its journalism program,” President Nikias said. “The continuing partnership between the foundation and the school highlights our shared commitment to ensuring that USC will play the leading role in shaping the future of journalism and communication for our world. We are confident that the Annenberg Foundation’s generous support for a new building will energize the entire USC community and be a source of pride for all.”

The USC Annenberg School is widely recognized as a world leader in the fields of journalism and communication. This gift will open up new frontiers and dramatically accelerate the school’s progress in the digital age.

Wallis Annenberg, chairman of the board of the Annenberg Foundation and the longest serving trustee on USC’s Board of Trustees, has been a lifelong advocate for the essential role journalism plays in enriching society and sustaining democracy. “As we move further into the 21st century, it is clear that the education of journalists will require a facility unlike any that now exists,” she said. “We need to give talented students and faculty the opportunity to experiment with emerging tools and invent the newsrooms, online media, and broadcast studios of the future. My hope is that this new building will spark a new era of creativity, ideas, and innovation. The future of journalism will be shaped at USC.”

Preliminary plans call for a landmark multi-story building of approximately 90,000 square feet to be constructed on McClintock Avenue and West 34th Street on the University Park campus. An overall construction estimate has yet to be determined, and a construction timeline has not yet been set. The new building will be named Wallis Annenberg Hall in recognition of Ms. Annenberg’s generous support and ongoing leadership.

This crucial support from the Annenberg Foundation enables USC to move forward with the planning and design of the new facility. Conceptual plans call for the construction of a learner-centered environment that will feature networked, media-saturated classrooms and laboratories configured in a flexible way to take advantage of future technologies and new approaches to teaching and learning.

The entire building will be filled with the latest technologies, equipment, and collaborative spaces to incubate new ideas, promote experimentation, and provide a home for cutting-edge concepts and the school’s entrepreneurial ideas. Once complete, USC will have a new building that infuses creativity and innovation into the very DNA of the school.

“USC Annenberg is uniquely qualified to provide the leadership in this radically changing world,” said Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of USC Annenberg. “We combine all the disciplines, professions and competencies necessary to help shape the future of journalism and communication. Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation are exemplary partners, and we are profoundly grateful for their extraordinary support.”

The building will serve the public interest as well with gathering spaces that encourage students, faculty, guest lecturers, and members of diverse local communities to convene to share ideas and socialize.

“In addition to being a strategic investment in the USC Annenberg School, this generous gift will benefit the greater Los Angeles community as well,” said Edward P. Roski, Jr., Chairman of the USC Board of Trustees. “We envision this new building will become one of many anchor sites at the southern end of the arts and education corridor that stretches from downtown Los Angeles to the University Park campus.”

With this gift, the Annenberg Foundation and Annenberg family have contributed a total of $350 million to the University of Southern California, beginning with generous support from Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg who founded the USC Annenberg School in 1971. Most recently, the Annenberg Foundation donated $10 million to establish the Wallis Annenberg Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

About the Annenberg Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation is a private family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In addition, the Foundation and its Board of Directors are directly involved in the community with several projects that expand and complement its grant support to nonprofits. Among them are innovative nonprofit capacity building initiatives, the Annenberg Space for Photography, Explore, and the Metabolic Studio. The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge.