• USC Professor Commits to Giving $10 Million


    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A USC professor who already had pledged $3 million to the USC Thornton School of Music has increased her commitment to $10 million, the university announced today.

    The $7 million newly pledged by violin professor Alice Schoenfeld will serve to establish the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Endowed Scholarship Fund for Strings Students, a statement said.

    The new commitment follows a $3 million promise Schoenfeld made in October 2012 to renovate the school’s main symphonic rehearsal space for student-musicians. Her total gift is the largest to USC by a faculty member, according to the USC statement.

    It said that Schoenfeld, holder of the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Endowed Chair in String Instruction at USC, has directed that the new gift be used for scholarships in her name and that of her sister, Eleonore, a longtime USC Thornton professor of cello who died in 2007.

    As the Schoenfeld Duo, the sisters were internationally renowned classical performers for decades. Between them, they also taught for more than a combined century at USC Thornton, where Alice Schoenfeld continues to instruct violin students.

    Alice Schoenfeld’s $10 million donation is second in size only to the school’s naming gift in 1999 from philanthropist Flora Thornton, according to the USC statement.

    USC described the $7 million from Alice Schoenfeld as the lead gift in the Thornton school’s $75 million fundraising initiative, which kicked off Thursday night. The initiative is part of the so-called Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort to secure at least $6 billion in donations to support its academic programs.

    “Alice Schoenfeld’s new commitment to establish a scholarship fund for string musicians at USC Thornton reflects her profound dedication to her students,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias said.

    “Her students have gone on to brilliant careers in orchestras around the world, creating a legacy of excellence that will grow in perpetuity thanks to her generous gift.”

    Nikias said the Schoenfeld scholarship fund would strengthen USC Thornton’s ability to attract the best students, “regardless of their financial circumstances.”

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