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Transformative Gift Creates USC Glorya Kaufman School Of Dance

Gift, one of the largest in the history of American dance, will create the first new school established through an endowment at USC in nearly 40 years

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Glorya Kaufman, a visionary Los Angeles philanthropist whose commitment to dance is celebrated nationwide, has made a transformational gift to establish the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121110/DC10099)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120802/DC50841LOGO)

Kaufman's gift creates an endowment to support the school's programs in contemporary and classical dance, the recruitment of world-renowned faculty and student scholarships for aspiring dancers. It will also fund construction of the new school's instructional building, the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center.

The USC Kaufman School of Dance is the first school to be established through an endowment at USC in nearly 40 years. It joins USC's five preeminent arts schools — in architecture, cinematic arts, dramatic arts, fine arts and music — which comprise one of the strongest arts offerings in the United States. The university has nearly 6,000 graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the fine and performing arts.

One of the world's top private research universities, USC also offers students a strategic location in Los Angeles, the creative capital of the Pacific Rim. USC has for many years enrolled more international students than any other university in the United States, thus providing unparalleled opportunities for its students to experience other cultures through artistic expression.

"Glorya Kaufman's generosity will have a profound impact on the art of dance —not only at USC, but throughout the world," said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. "The university's ambition is to make the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance the most elite on the West Coast and in the Pacific Rim."

Elizabeth Garrett, USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said that with her gift: "Ms. Kaufman adds the beauty of dance to USC's expressive range. Ms. Kaufman's name is synonymous throughout the world with dance. Joining the Glorya Kaufman name to a new USC school of dance greatly enhances USC's unique signature as the nation's premier research university with a deep commitment to the arts in all their manifestations. We could not be more proud to begin this historic journey with arts philanthropist, and now Trojan Family member, Glorya Kaufman."

By creating the school, Kaufman said she hopes to transform the lives of generations of students as well as the future of dance in Los Angeles and around the world.

"I want the school to prepare dancers to be extraordinary performers, to take care of themselves physically and also to have the knowledge to advocate for themselves from a business perspective," she said. " USC provides an exceptional education across the board and will make sure this happens."

"Glorya understands the importance and power of dance and dance education more than anyone I know," said Robert Cutietta, dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, who will take on the additional role of inaugural dean of the USC Kaufman School of Dance. "She has an amazing passion for the art form and with her gift she is inspiring generations of dancers who will benefit from her support.

"One of the reasons this 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?"

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