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Dana and David Dornsife

"To see the results of your efforts improving someone’s life is something you won’t ever forget."

International philanthropists Dana and David Dornsife made the $10 million lead gift to establish the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. The couple is well-known for helping to solve the biggest problems facing today’s world through their talent, generosity, and time. Over the years, they have given generously to Drexel University, where Dana earned her bachelor’s degree in business, as well as to David’s alma mater, the University of Southern California. They believe in the power of higher education to tackle society’s major challenges and to help empower underserved communities.

“When President John Fry approached us about the possibility of an urban extension center, we thought it was a cutting-edge opportunity,” the couple says. “We’re excited about the potential for students to apply what they learn to help the community.”

In addition, Dana notes that they were motivated not only by the project's local impact on the Powelton Village and Mantua neighborhoods, but also its promise to have a wider impact as a model of civic engagement for other colleges and universities.

“Drexel’s project inspired us because of its potential to serve as a model for urban outreach by universities nationwide,” she says.

Dana Dornsife is also the founder, president, and CEO of the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, which assists terminally ill cancer patients with the funds needed to participate in clinical trials or access new treatments. David Dornsife, a University of Southern California trustee and 1965 alumnus, is chairman of the Herrick Corporation, the largest steel fabricator and contractor on the West Coast.