On Wednesday USC unveiled its renamed Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work after receiving $60 million aimed at widening the profession's reach. The gift is the largest donation from an individual to a social work school, according to USC.
"Social work literally touches everyone's life at some point in some way," said USC alumna and donor Suzanne Dworak-Peck.
Dworak-Peck received her bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in social work from USC, and joined the school's Social Work Board of Councilors in 2015.
She has worked in social work for several years. Before she turned 40 Dworak-Peck was named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers's California chapter, and she went on to become president of the association.
"Endowing our School of Social Work is my expression of how much my profession and USC mean to me," said Dworak-Peck at the unveiling.
The university plans to use the gift to further USC's involvement in helping groups in poverty, military personnel suffering with PTSD and other groups that require social work services.
"Social workers do not serve; they empower," said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. Students in the School of Social Work were excited to hear how the gift would impact their studies.
"I think it's fantastic for social work around the world," M.S.W. student Jonathan La Rosa said of the gift. "Social work touches so many industries and facets. It's going to be amazing. We can offer so much more now."