Multi-Million Dollar Gift To Help Address Global Social Challenges

Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab Advances Field of Social Entrepreneurship

January 20, 2014

A $5 million gift from the Brittingham Family Foundation will name the USC Marshall School of Business’ Society and Business Lab and expand the reach of its programs, the University of Southern California and USC Marshall announced.

The newly named Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab will be at the forefront of pioneering education to train the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

The gift will enhance the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab’s capacity to leverage cutting-edge knowledge and professional expertise to solve some of the world’s most pressing social problems. It is the first major gift in a $15 million initiative to support the center.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Brittingham Family Foundation and its philanthropic board members, Scott and Ella Brittingham, we will be able to build new partnerships across the University, identifying opportunities to tackle critical social, environmental and health challenges from a business perspective,” said Adlai Wertman, founding director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and a professor with joint appointments at USC Marshall and USC’s Rossier School of Education. The Brittinghams are USC alumni, Scott earning his MBA in 1988 and Ella a bachelor’s degree in English in 1992.

Housed at USC Marshall, the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab serves students and faculty throughout USC, as well as alumni and practitioners from around the globe, with programs, events and career development focused on promoting social entrepreneurship.

“Since its establishment in 2008, the Society and Business Lab has enjoyed enormous popularity among our students, and its resources have been in high demand,” said USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis. “We look forward to empowering more students, both at Marshall and beyond, to use their USC education to have a long-term positive impact on the world.”

Scott Brittingham noted that multiple factors steered the foundation toward making the gift. “For us, it was win-win,” said Scott Brittingham, “a way to support Marshall and USC while also supporting students who share our mission of addressing social, educational, health, and environmental challenges."

The new gift deepens a longstanding relationship between USC and the Brittingham Family Foundation, which has generously funded several athletic programs as well as the prestigious Clinton-Orfalea-Brittingham Fellowship Program – an opportunity for recent USC law, business and public policy graduates to spend 12 months at the William J. Clinton Foundation in New York.

USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett said Scott and Ella Brittingham are models for other leading philanthropists to follow. “For generations, the Brittingham family has displayed a deep commitment to strengthening the fabric of our community,” she said. “We are delighted to be collaborating with Scott and Ella, and we are grateful for the visionary support of the Brittingham Family Foundation.”

The gift is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort to secure $6 billion or more in private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations. Reaching this lofty goal will require the most ambitious fundraising effort in USC’s history—one that will touch and transform every aspect of the university. At the time of its launch, the campaign had the largest fundraising goal ever announced in higher education. As of November 2013, the campaign had already raised $3 billion, or more than half its goal.

About the Brittingham Family Foundation
The Brittingham Family Foundation is a private foundation whose goal is to be an enlightened community partner by supporting education, arts, social services, youth, health and the environment.