Community Outreach

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Throughout its 125-year history, USC has put high value on being a good neighbor—and on programs and projects that have a positive and visible impact on its neighborhoods. In his 1991 inaugural address, USC President Steven B. Sample spelled out his vision of the urban university, where traditional boundaries between university and community become blurred and permeable, and students have the opportunity to be active participants in the interchange.

As a result, USC has come together with local residents in one of the most ambitious social-outreach programs of any university in the nation. This culturally diverse, living laboratory of community collaboration reveals itself in more than 300 academic and professional programs that address educational, cultural, economic and safety issues in the local communities—and which earned USC the distinction of College of the Year 2000 from Time magazine and The Princeton Review.

To assist USC in its master planning process, a Master Plan Advisory Committee made up of representatives from various neighborhood organizations, churches, museums and other stakeholders was formed in 2006. Chaired by Jackie Dupont-Walker, president of the Ward Economic Development Corporation, the group was responsible for drafting a set of guiding principles for future development that were formally adopted by the university in 2007.