Folt, faculty celebrate school of pharmacy’s new name

The USC School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has a new name.

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USC President Carol Folt and Dean Vassilios Papadopoulos gathered with USC faculty and students Wednesday to celebrate the renaming of the pharmaceutical school after biomedical entrepreneur Alfred E. Mann.

With Mann’s family in the audience, the school made its new name official. The USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, a school that trains more than half of the pharmacists in Southern California, is one of the first pharmacy schools established in the United States and the first to offer a doctor of pharmacy degree.

Mann, who died in 2016, donated $100 million to USC in 1998, a donation that has amassed to more than $230 million in support of the innovation and commercialization of biomedical engineering at USC. Additionally, his donations support the expansion of USC’s academic and research activities for health sciences and engineering, according to a statement from Folt.

“It was designed to bridge the gap between biomedical innovation and the creation of medical products to better our lives and often save them,” Folt said at the ceremony. “And as the endowment continued to grow over that time, so did the possibilities for how to use that incredible gift.”

In November 2022, Folt sent a digital letter to all members of the university announcing the news and providing some details as to where the money will go.

According to the letter, $50 million of the total amount was used to name and endow the USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, “which is the largest naming donation for the School of Pharmacy of California,” Folt said.

Another $80 million will be used to support the USC Alfred E. Mann Institute as it accelerates biomedical technology and creates commercially successful medical products, according to the letter.

This endowment will further enable the School of Pharmacy to continue its tradition of innovative research, programming, collaboration and to support pharmaceutical students’ growth.

“USC had given me countless opportunities that exceeded all of my expectations as a first-generation college student and as a first-generation immigrant,” Renita Moradian, a fourth-year doctor of pharmacy candidate, said at the ceremony. “What I didn’t know at the time is the extent to which I would continue to change and grow.”

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Folt told the crowd about Mann’s belief in USC and how the school has rewarded that faith with years of success.

“These are very special moments,” Folt said. “What stands out to me is that we had a gift from an amazing innovator. [Mann was] probably the leading person in Southern California way ahead of his time. And he bet on USC and we’re able to take that amazing bet and make it even more relevant for today.”

The renaming of the now USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences marks a new stage to keep innovating and creating new opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry that helps so many people in the world.

“Our new name, I think, opens up the next chapter for us, and I’m sure we’ll be able to do even more than what we’ve already been doing for our students,” Moradian said. “I’m just really excited to see the future of the school just because they’ve already done so much.”