Reverberating Impact

Collage of images of USD community members


At USD, we are committed to recognizing challenges as they arise, and finding opportunities to make a difference for the next generation of Toreros and the world we share. Following are just a few examples of ways that purposeful generosity and careful stewardship of resources have helped to create meaningful change.

Gathering Place

Gregg Warde, parent of Hannah ’16 (BA), made a $50,000 gift through his foundation to name and create the Warde Patio, adjacent to Aromas coffeehouse. The new space is meant for groups of students to study or enjoy coffee or lunch, and includes outdoor seating, special plantings and umbrellas. Seamlessly integrated into existing adjacent areas, the inviting area nicely complements other architecture on campus and enhances our outdoor space.

Hands holding "please help struggling college student" signStepping Up

The Torero Renaissance Scholars program provides support to USD students who identify as former foster youth, homeless (or at risk for homelessness), emancipated minors or in legal guardianships. For the past four years, the In-N-Out Burger Foundation has funded internships that fill a much-needed gap during summer months, matching students with programs that align with students’ interests and the needs of the community.


USD’s Humanities Center opened in Fall 2016, thanks to a leadership gift from parent Carol Vassiliadis and the generous support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. A home for students and faculty from across the university, the center is a place to exchange ideas, share scholarly work and engage in interdisciplinary, collaborative projects between the humanities and other areas of academic inquiry, including USD’s professional schools.

Blanca Hernandez

Empowered to Succeed

The current recipient of USD’s Comité México Scholarship, Blanca Hernández ’20 says she wants to “serve those who are marginalized and help empower them to succeed.” The scholarship was established in 2009 by a group of Mexican alumni, parents and friends; in 2015, the group endowed the fund, which supports students from Mexico and of Mexican descent. Hernández plans to honor their legacy by paying it forward.

Opportunities Rule

Every year, students like third-year law school student Erin Lupfer ’17, recipient of Max Gussie Gonick Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence in the First Year, are celebrated at the Scholarship Luncheon. Seven out of every 10 USD students rely on scholarships and other forms of financial aid to cover the cost of their education. She encourages her fellow students to support programs they care about, not just for themselves but for future students.

Academic Rigor

Professor Fendrick in GuadalajaraA scholarship in memory of John Fendrick, who taught Greek and Latin, was established in early 2018 to honor his 25-year-legacy at USD. Dr Fendrick is remembered as a compassionate man who showed incredible kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness toward students and colleagues. The scholarship will be awarded to students who are enrolled in Greek and Latin courses or who are pursuing a minor in Classical Studies.

Hands-On Experience

A gift from the Legler Benbough Foundation has allowed University Galleries to create a special acquisitions program. Students create proposals for works they feel should be purchased and added to the galleries’ permanent collection. Much like in an established art museum, these proposals go before an acquisitions committee, which selects the successful proposals. The Hoehn Family Galleries are dedicated to the display of prints and the graphic arts.

Mentoring Future Scientists

USD students in lab coatsA 10-year science partnership between USD and Mater Dei, a San Diego-based Catholic high school, was funded by the ALSAM Foundation. Hundreds of Mater Dei students have worked with USD professors and students in a summer camp, a one-on-one summer research experience, or campus visits. Past participants have a higher success rate when applying to prestigious schools, while students and faculty enjoy educating the next generation of scientists.

Creative Thinkers

An anonymous donor established the Gwendolyn Brooks Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial support to undergraduate students of color who have declared a major in the humanities. The first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize, Brooks was noted for both her extraordinary mastery of poetic technique and her activism. The scholarship will be available to humanities students, based on merit and financial need.









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