New Designs on Education

Alumni MacDonald and Diane Becket fund professorships to advance studies in school design and educational governance.

Diane and MacDonald Becket

MACDONALD AND DIANE Becket have endowed two professorships – one in the School of Architecture, devoted to community design and educational facilities, and one in the USC Rossier School of Education, devoted to governance and professional practice in public schools.
The gift is intended to facilitate interdisciplinary research in architecture and edu-cation, and the professors will hold joint appointments in both schools.
“With this gift, the Beckets have demonstrated incredible vis-ion,” said USC president Steven B. Sample. “Public schools are in the midst of tremendous change, and we need to rethink both the physical design of schools and how they are run. This gift will put USC, the School of Architecture and the USC Rossier School in the forefront of creating new models for public education.”
The first holder of the Diane and MacDonald Becket Professorship in Edu-cational Governance is Priscilla “Penny” Wohlstetter, founding director of USC’s Center on Educational Governance and a professor of educational policy, planning and administration.
Charles “Chuck” Lagreco, associate dean of the School of Architecture and founding principal of the Venice, Calif.-based Archi-tectural Collective, is the first to hold the Diane and MacDonald Becket Professor-ship in Community Design.

MACDONALD BECKET '52, former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Welton Becket and Associates, is an alumnus of the School of Architecture. A fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he merged Welton Becket and Associates with Ellerbe Inc., forming Ellerbe Becket in 1987. Today, Ellerbe Becket is one of the nation’s largest architecture firms.
At USC, he served as founding chairman of the School of Architecture’s dean’s advisory board for 15 years. A project he led to improve the school’s physical plant culminated in 1987 with funding of the MacDonald Becket Center. Now semi-re-tired, Becket is devel-oping ranch land in Colorado.

DIANE RUSLING BECKET ’74, Ph.D.’76, is a former elementary educator who now does re-search on a variety of school-reform issues. She is a graduate of the USC Rossier School of Education.
She is a senior research fellow with the Los Angeles Compact for Evaluation and a research fellow with the USC Center on Educational Governance. She previously served as a research associate with the New York consulting firm of Policy Studies in Education and is currently a trustee of that organization. She has been a consultant to the College Board, a New York-based educational non-profit; and has conducted evaluations of charter schools in Colorado and California.
At USC, she sits on the board of Town and Gown. She is a member of the Trojan League and a longtime member of the Rossier School’s Board of Councilors.
“Both of us are such fans of the university and devoted to our schools that we’re pleased to be able to help,” she said. “We consider our gift to be an investment in our professions.”



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