The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California announced today it has received a $15 million gift from USC trustee Thomas J. Barrack Jr. and his family that will significantly advance the school’s global mission.
The Barrack family’s gift will make possible extensive renovations of Bridge Hall, which was built in 1928 and has the special distinction of serving as the Marshall School’s first building.
While the structure will retain its Italian Romanesque exterior, the interior will be completely reimagined, signifying the beginning of a new era for the facility. The renovated and renamed Barrack Hall will serve as a state-of-the-art home for all of USC Marshall’s international business programs.
The Marshall School currently operates 15 international programs for undergraduate and graduate students, which include the innovative World Bachelor in Business degree program. Bringing these diverse initiatives together in one location will foster dynamic collaborations and inspire novel approaches and perspectives in teaching and research.
The building will be reconfigured with offices, classrooms, research centers and gathering areas that will encourage dialogue among students, faculty and guest lecturers. It will feature cutting-edge tools and digital technology, which will support distance learning and global communication.
“Education and the development of a cultural sixth sense are the keys to commerce, and commerce is the key to tolerance and understanding. As an alumnus, I feel privileged to supply stewardship for the bricks, while Marshall, its dean, administration and faculty supply the intellectual mortar,” says Barrack, the founder, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC, one of the world’s largest private equity real estate firms.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, Barrack grew up working in his parents’ grocery store in Los Angeles. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology from USC in 1969, he later attended the USC Gould School of Law and earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego in 1972.
“I am thrilled to be part of this exciting venture at Marshall and hope that the resources provided by the enhanced facility will help nurture the next generations of international business leaders,” Barrack says.
This gift provides a significant boost for Marshall’s $400 million fundraising initiative, which has already raised more than $200 million. Marshall’s fundraising drive is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance the university’s mission of academic excellence and to support research and scholarship that will address society’s most pressing challenges. Three years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $3 billion—an unprecedented achievement in higher education.
“A building stands as an enduring marker of the passion, generosity and vision of the person whose name it carries,” USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis says. “Barrack Hall is a fitting tribute to Tom, who has left an indelible impression on this university and on the global business community. We could not be prouder or more grateful for his support.”