Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USC to Open Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

An endowment will fund the new program, expected to open in 2015.

Glorya Kaufman (Image courtesy of USC)
Glorya Kaufman (Image courtesy of USC)

Famed arts and dance philanthropist Glorya Kaufman pledged to fund  new dance school at USC, university officials announced Friday.

Glorya Kaufman expressed her confidence in USC as a venue, saying that the university “provides an exceptional education across the board and will make sure this happens.”

By adopting Kaufmans “twofold wish,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias explained his plan “to make the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance the most elite on the west coast and in the Pacific Rim.”

The groundbreaking for the school is set to begin in spring 2014, and the first accepted class beginning that fall. Kaufman’s vision for the school is to keep the academics rigorous and the reputation prestigious.

The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will offer classes both in the technique of dance and in the business aspect.

The dance school aims to teach students how to prepare and prolong a dancer’s typically short-lived career.

Students of the new dance program will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance.

Robert Cutietta, current Dean of the Thornton School of Music, will also serve as deanship of the new school of dance.

Cutietta expressed his own enthusiasm for the new project, “One of the reasons this is so exciting is that we get to build this institution from scratch, and ask: ‘What does it mean to be a dancer in the 21st Century?’”

The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will be the 6th art school established at USC, joining the ranks of the School of Architecture, the School of Cinematic Arts, the Roski School of Fine Arts, the Thornton School of Music, and the School of the Dramatic Arts.

Kaufman refused to disclose the amount of the donation, preferring that the attention be focused on new dance school and the benefit it will bring rather than the number written on the check.

Kaufman, known in the art world as the “dancing philanthropist,” was never professionally trained as a dancer, though she has always cited the art form as a passion. She was involved in the formative stages of current Fortune 500 homebuilding company Kaufman and Broad.

Kaufman has channeled all her energies into philanthropy, specifically in the arts since her husband’s passing in 1983,

Kaufman’s donations have already been focused, in some part, in Los Angeles, with a 1999 gift of $18 million to UCLA to renovate their School of the Arts and Architecture’s dance building, and a $20 million to Dance at the Music Center of Los Angeles. 


Thank you, Mrs. Kaufman!

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.