JUMP-STARTING PLANS for the new 180,000-square-foot research tower at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation has provided a $15 million grant toward construction.
The new building which will accommodate both scientists and physicians and help consolidate research programs into a facility that will be solely dedicated to cancer research will be named for Harlyne J. Norris, widow of former USC trustee Kenneth T. Norris Jr. She became a trustee of the university herself last February and serves as a board member of the USC/Norris Cancer Center.
THE NORRIS FAMILY, through its foundation, has given more than $18 million to USC, naming the USC/Norris Comprehensive Can-cer Center, the Eileen L. Norris Cinema Theater and the Eileen and Kenneth T. Norris Dental Center. Kenneth T. Norris was also instrumental in funding the Dr. Norman Topping Tower at the cancer center.
Ronald Barnes, executive director of the foundation, calls funding construction of the new research tower a natural continuation of the support the Norris family has given the university over the years.
Barnes said the foundation needed little encouragement to provide the gift because the rewards of its past financial support have been so apparent.
More than anything else, one thing that tells us were doing the right thing in supporting the Norris is the telephone calls I receive from individuals saying, This place has saved my life.
The foundation director said he was pleased to learn that the new grant will help expand the centers lab space to help meet increasing demands for new research.
Barnes added he is also pleased that the new tower will bear the name of Harlyne Norris, an ardent and longtime supporter of the USC/Norris.
Its one more building where the Norris family can be proud of its association with the university, he said.
Harlyne Norris said that the Norris family and foundations continuing support for the cancer center stems from our belief in the brilliance of its researchers and the great respect we have for [director] Peter Jones.
She added, Im proud to be associated with the center, and just being part of the research is exciting. I feel very strongly that the recent breakthroughs in genetics are going to be responsible for finding the cure for cancer.
DURING A RECENT GALA commemorating the gift, President Steven B. Sample praised Harlyne Norris as a great benefactor and friend, whose generosity makes possible medical advancements that can change lives.
He recounted receiving a letter from a Norris patient who described how treatments there permitted him to walk down the aisle on his daughters wedding day.
This kind of life-saving and life-enhancing work is going on all the time
at the USC/Norris Cancer Center and Hospital, he said.
Peter Jones, director of the center, added: With construction of this new tower, we will be in a position to recruit the very best researchers in the world.
The USC/Norris will then be the place where substantial and exciting breakthroughs are made to rid ourselves of the burden of cancer.