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An Investment Strategy

In short, endowed gifts to the School of Cinematic Arts are never exhausted; rather, they are wisely invested. A portion of the yield is used by the school to hire additional faculty and staff, as well as to support scholarships, research, programmatic enhancements, construction projects and other vital initiatives.

The beauty of endowment is its growth and potential to be worth more than today's dollar, meeting the inflation rate and other vagaries of our economy. USC, like most major universities, employs a spending rule that limits the amount of investment earnings that may be used in a given year. By protecting the purchasing power of the university's assets, this budgeting policy serves the interest of both the donor and the institution. The spending rule provides USC with stabilized yield distribution and allows the university to plan for expenditure without substantial concern about economic uncertainties.

With a strong endowment so crucial to securing the future of the School of Cinematic Arts, today we have an incredible opportunity before us to ensure that generations of women and men receive the preeminent education in film, television and interactive media at USC. The school has announced a campaign to raise its endowment to at least $200 million, and with Lucasfilm's lead pledge of $100 million - added to some $50 million already donated by our friends and supporters - that goal is in sight.

Endowment funds will support four core areas:

  • Students - includes such items as scholarships, fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, as well as production funds and support for festival distribution of student projects.
  • Faculty and staff - includes critical instruction and financial support for all the school's academic activities, from classroom instruction to the operation of post-production labs, and screening rooms.
  • Facilities, equipment and technology - includes hardware and software applications ranging from screening rooms to cameras, lights, editing equipment, performance capture, and green screen programs.
  • Alumni - includes sponsored internships, mentorships, career seminars, and extended career support services.