The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: Endowment will reap rewards for generations

Peter McCausland made headlines two weeks ago after his generous $10 million donation to USC’s largest school, the College of Arts and Sciences.

Since professional schools enjoy the lion’s share of high-profile gifts, McCausland’s gift was especially unique, because it aims to help liberal arts students and professors pursue their scholastic desires.

The endowment was established in order to keep promising young faculty on campus, launch a visiting scholars program and pay for new courses and research that are essential to keeping the liberal arts relevant.

The first four McCausland Faculty Fellows, who were profiled in a four-part series in The Daily Gamecock that concludes today, are a testament to the impact of the gift.

As a McCausland Faculty Fellow, the first four professors who won the award will receive a $10,000 stipend to help them with their teaching and research. History professor Joseph November, for example, plans to interview the last of the pioneers in biomedical computing, whose insight could be priceless.

The money should provide the professors the freedom to keep their classes on the cutting edge, and that’s important in order to keep the college’s lessons relevant and valuable.

McCausland’s gift will also pay to bring two visiting faculty members to USC each year and create an innovation fund that will award $10,000 to $50,000 each year to new programs, research endeavors or courses.

Money like this can go a long way in improving the quality of any college: business, science and math, or liberal arts. While it’s obvious that we’re here to receive an education, our professors’ continued education directly translates to the improvement of our own. Other colleges have seen big gifts in recent years that have created new fellowships and programs, but they have mostly been professional schools, like business and engineering, leaving out the College of Arts and Sciences.

Thankfully, USC has alumni like McCausland who recognize the value of scholastic and creative freedom. McCausland, like many benefactors, attributes some of the success that has enabled his generosity to the value of his education. His gift will provide students with the same foundation that he built his success on.
We hope other alumni will follow suit by making gifts that help today’s students enjoy similar success.