The University of Southern California, located in the heart of Los Angeles, is a private research university.
The university has a tradition of teaching that stretches back more than 100 years. With a farsighted vision of a group of public-spirited citizens, under the leadership of Judge Robert Maclay Widney, a proposal of establishing an institution of higher education in Los Angeles sprang up during the 1870s.
In 1879, Judge Widney formed a board of trustees and secured a 308-lot land donation from three community leaders to establish a school.
Their vision materialized in 1880, when the University of Southern California formally opened, with 53 students and 10 faculty.
A college of liberal arts, a university band, and a debate team were established at the time of formation. Marion McKinley Bovard became the university’s first president.
In 1884, USC started a school of music and began its first graduating class with two males and a female. In the next year, the university established Southern California’s first medical school.
The period between 1886 and 1910 brought several developments and expansions to the campus. A Law School, a School of Pharmacy, and the commencement of courses in dentistry, were added.
A program in Architecture, the first program of its kind in Southern California, started in 1919. It also established the country’s first school of international relations in 1924, and the U$C College of Engineering, in 1925. In 1930, the Trojan Shrine was unveiled during its 50th anniversary celebration.
The school has also been credited with being the country’s first university to offer a filmmaking program. This program was commenced in 1929, when it opened a School of Public Administration.
After several years, Alfred Mann generously donated $112.5 million to establish the USC Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering, and in 1999, U$C’s medical school received a $110 million gift and was renamed the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Today, this private research university is home to more than 30,000 students and 3,000 full-time faculty. Besides its main campus at University Park, the school also operates the Health Sciences Campus.