A Beacon for Others

Concerned about education and health, Mary and Richard Cooper give more than $2 million to the USC’s Rossier and Keck schools.

MARY CATHERINE AND Richard Cooper, two former educators who devoted their lives to the advancement of public schools, have given $1.5 million to the USC Rossier School of Education and $553,595 to the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
The Richard T. and Mary C. Cooper Chair in Public School Administration will provide financial support for teachers who are training to become assistant principals, principals and superintendents in public schools. The couple’s donation to the Keck School will fund a research grant in rheumatoid arthritis.
Their gifts express the Coopers’ “exemplary dedication to children and education,” said Karen S. Gallagher, dean of the USC Rossier School. “For more than 50 years, Dick and Mary Cooper have been extraordinarily committed to education. Their gift stands as a beacon for others to follow, and it will enable the Rossier School of Education to continue its leadership role in urban education.”
The Coopers believe the key to children’s success lies with well-qualified, committed teachers assisted by strong administrative leadership. “The public schools of America are in harm’s way, especially in urban centers of this great nation,” said Richard Cooper. “No time in the history of this nation have we been so desperate for public school administrators who are trained and prepared to provide leadership for students, teachers and parents.”
The Coopers’ donation to the Keck School of Medicine will establish a special research fund in rheumatoid arthritis. “We have a family member who has been seriously affected by this debilitating disease, and we hope future research will discover the cause and, hopefully, a cure for it,” said Mary Cooper.


Darling Legacy Enhances Law School Technology

With its recent $1 million gift to the USC Law School, the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation is facilitating a slate of technological enhancements at the school’s library. Pictured with a portrait of the Darlings is Richard L. Stack, the sole trustee of the foundation, which in the past has given more than $1 million to the Law School to support student scholarships. The new funds from the foundation will be used to install carrels, study tables and data network capabilities throughout the library and to redesign and upgrade the library’s computer and online research labs and video room. The gift also will help fund a major physical renovation of the library, including improvements to the library’s public service areas and student study areas, construction of new group-study rooms, and installation of additional high-volume shelving. A 1927 graduate of the USC Law School, Hugh Darling practiced law in Los Angeles for 58 years and was a nationally recognized expert on airline regulation. “Hugh was proud to be a lawyer,” says Stack, a partner in Darling’s firm. “He realized the importance of education, both in the formal sense and as a continuing, lifelong pursuit of knowledge.”


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Coopers photo by Don Milici / Stack photo by John Livzey

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