Philanthropist Wallis Annenberg announced a $10 million gift for the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the Academic Honors Convocation on Monday.
USC President C.L. Max Nikias posted the news on Instagram around 8 p.m. Monday. "In her speech this evening, Wallis congratulated Willow and surprised us all by announcing a new $10 million gift to @uscannenberg to mark her appointment as dean!" Nikias wrote, referring to Willow Bay.
"The gift was a surprise announcement," said an email by a public relations representative of USC Annenberg. "We learned about it, along with everyone else, at the event last night."
The current dean of Annenberg, Ernest J. Wilson III, said that he was surprised and excited by the gift.
"The announcement last night was just a joy to all of us," Wilson said. "Not only myself as the dean, but my colleagues at the school and also president Max Nikias."
Natasha Bhogal, Annenberg public relations major, said that she wanted the funds to be used to retrofit the older, inaugural USC Annenberg building.
"I feel like they should use the money to maybe upgrade the old building and add more cool features to it," Bhogal said. "Just like upgrade everything in there because it's pretty old."
Wallis Annenberg joined the Annenberg Foundation as chairwoman in 2009. The foundation's website said that Wallis Annenberg is the longest serving trustee at USC.
The USC Annenberg school is named after Wallis Annenberg's father, Walter Annenberg. Walter Annenberg was a successful publisher, who also, according to the New York Times donated a whopping $2 billion to various institutions, including USC.
The new building of the USC School for Communication and Journalism is named after Wallis Annenberg. The Wallis Annenberg Hall was completed in 2014 and is located on the corner of Childs and Watt Way.
Details on the allocation of funds will be released in the next couple of days.