Elizabeth Van Hunnick’s endowment gift, one of the largest to a university history department, is intended to support the development of more informed leaders.
A USC alumna has donated $15 million in her family’s name to the Department of History at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the single largest gift to a USC humanities department.
The landmark gift from Elizabeth Van Hunnick follows her donation in 2016 to establish the Garrett and Anne Van Hunnick Chair in European History. Combined, Van Hunnick’s gifts to the department represent one of the largest endowment contributions to any U.S. university history department.
“Elizabeth Van Hunnick’s generosity to our history department speaks to her passion for the humanities and history scholarship, as well as their importance at a research university like USC,” said USC President Carol L. Folt. “With this gift, she is ensuring new opportunities for both faculty and students whose scholarship rigorously examines and illuminates the history that shapes our communities and our world.”
The previously established Garrett and Anne Van Hunnick Endowed Chair in European History was named in honor of Elizabeth Van Hunnick’s late parents. It is held by Professor Anne Goldgar, an expert on the social and cultural history of early modern Europe.
“This landmark gift will not only provide essential support for our researchers to pursue cutting-edge scholarship, it will help the department become a magnet for outstanding new faculty, propelling this already strong department to a position of national pre-eminence,” said USC Dornsife Dean Amber D. Miller. “It will enable our history department to broaden and deepen our understanding of the past, helping our students and society better address today’s most pressing problems. I’m incredibly grateful to Elizabeth for this extraordinary, transformative gift.”