—USC — University of Southern California —
USC's international roots are broad and deep, reaching back to its founding in 1880. Two
of the three original donors of land to the university were foreign-born, and almost from the start, its stewards were casting their eyes overseas.
Inducements should be held out to students in all lands," declared the keynote speaker at USC's First Annual Council in 1886, a sentiment that was quickly manifested on campus. Old photographs show foreign students as early as 1889, and by 1910, there were enough Japanese students alone to support a Japanese Student Association and a special Japanese edition of El Rodeo,
the USC yearbook, which they produced for three years running.
The following year, USC's fourth president, George Finley Bovard, approved a Department of Oriental Studies, one of the first of its kind west of Chicago. In 1914, the first of many student organizations celebrating USC's diversity was established. The
Cosmopolitan Club, as it was called, was devoted sole¬ly to the interests of foreign students those who wished to advance international relations.
These early efforts laid the foundation for USC's burgeoning role in international affairs under the leadership of its fifth president, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. In conjunction with Von KleinSmid's inau¬guration in April 1922, USC convened
Conference On Education, the first such conference ever called by an American university. Some 400 dele¬gates from 25 countries attended the conference and inauguration, and the proceedings generated more than 1000 reports in papers and journals. Two years later, Von KleinSmid organized the Los Angeles University of International Relations to train diplomats, business people and teachers in issues related to world affairs. This strong focus on international issues attracted growing numbers of foreign students, and in the decades that followed, the university's international enrollment grew steadily.
So did USC's international programs. By 1975, USC's Asian studies program had grown so large that the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences established the East Asian Studies Center to coordinate campus-wide activities on Asia. Today the center is widely
acknowledged as one of the nation's leading hubs for the development of East Asian area studies.
Recognizing the emerging importance of Pacific Rim business opportunities, USC's business school established the International Business Education and Research program (IBEAR) in 1978. Initially geared to Pacific Rim middle managers, IBEAR,
which focused on U.S. and international business administration, offered
the nation's only intensive one-year
MBA program emphasizing global and
Pacific Rim business studies. Today IBEAR serves as the international business center of the university, also administering non-degree executive programs, the IBEAR Research Program and the federally funded Center for International Business Education and Research.
When USC's Board of Trustees adopted a new strategic plan in 1993, it included a major initiative to capitalize on Southern California's role as the American gateway to the Pacific Rim. Within a few years, USC added four prominent Asian leaders to its Board of Trustees; the newly endowed Marshall School of Business became the first American business school to insist that every MBA stu¬dent complete an internship abroad; USC President Steven B. Sample spearheaded the formation of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of presidents of leading Pacific Rim research universities; the
university opened satellite offices in Jakarta, Taipei and
Hong Kong; and the Board of Trustees participated
in an unprecedented trip to Asia, where they visited
heads of state, business
leaders and alumni in
an effort to forge closer
ties between USC and
the peoples of the