The gift to name the USC Kaufman School of Dance is Kaufman's largest to date. Her support of dance also includes gifts of $20 million to Dance at The Music Center in Los Angeles, $6 million to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and $3.5 million to The Juilliard School, among others.
Kaufman made the decision not to discuss the amount of her gift, saying: "I don't want people focusing on a number. I want them to think about what my gift will do for the students who will have wonderful opportunities because of it."
This transformational gift from Kaufman represents significant support for The Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort to secure $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC's academic priorities and expand the university's positive impact on the community and world.
In 1954, Kaufman married homebuilder Donald Bruce Kaufman and helped form what eventually would become Kaufman & Broad, a Fortune 500 building company. Following the untimely death of her husband in 1983, Kaufman focused even more of her energy on philanthropic ventures, forming a foundation to support dance, children's health programs and other health care initiatives."You know, life is difficult," she said. "I have always loved dance, ever since I was a child and I decided I wanted to do something that allows others to have the same experience I have had. [During a dance performance] I look around, and I see people smiling, and they're so into the moment. Everybody in that audience has problems, and for an hour and a half, they disappear." For Kaufman, it is important to invest in the future through dance education.