$10 Million Gift Benefits Military Veteran Scholarships
A $10 million gift given to USC Tuesday on behalf of USC Trustee William J. Schoen and his wife Sharon will support military veteran scholarships.
In 1996, the Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans Endowment was established at USC, and this most recent gift will create new funding for veterans studying at the university. The gift also significantly increases the endowment for veterans in the Marshall School of Business as well as the Viterbi School of Engineering.
"I believe that our veterans deserve an excellent education at an outstanding university," said William Schoen, a U.S. Marine veteran and USC alumnus. "Our support for veterans goes back to when I went to USC. The reason that I was able to go to USC was that I applied for a scholastic scholarship and was awarded one."
For Schoen, who graduated with a B.S. in 1960 and an M.B.A. in 1963, this gift provides new opportunities for these returning veterans to study at USC. From 1953 to 1956, Schoen served in the U.S. Marines in Korea and went on to attend USC. Schoen also spoke Tuesday of the impact his USC education had on his career and life.
USC President C. L. Max Nikias said the impact of the Schoen's gift comes at a time when many military personnel are coming home.
"The Schoen's longstanding dedication to our nation's military veterans will always inspire the USC community," said President Nikias. "The Schoens understand that these brave service members have contributed so much to our country's collective security and deserve a world-class education--one that matches their world-class courage."
Recipients of the Schoen endowment like Aren Nazarians, a Marine veteran who earned his M.B.A. from Marshall in 2010, say the scholarship fund allowed them to pursue an education.
"My education at USC would not be possible without the generosity of my benefactor, William Schoen," said Nazarians. "The unique thing about a scholarship is the personal connection between the donor and the recipient. As students, we know that a scholarship is not a handout, and we owe it to our donors to make that investment count."