C. L. Max Nikias, Verna Dauterive, Elizabeth Garrett and Leonard Schaeffer officially open the new Dauterive Hall on Sept. 3. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Policy/Law

Dauterive Hall opens new era for social sciences research

Building will house researchers in health, economics, human behavior and policy

September 03, 2014 Jessica Raymond

At the grand opening ceremony for Dr. Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall on Sept. 3, USC Trustee Verna B. Dauterive MEd ’49, EdD ’66 was overflowing with gratitude.

Quipping that she had “about 200 pages of thanks to read,” Dauterive recognized the architects, construction workers and USC faculty, administrators and staff who helped make the university’s first interdisciplinary social sciences building a reality.

Located near the main entrance of the University Park Campus, the six-level, 98,000-square-foot building houses several multidisciplinary centers focused on developing solutions to pressing social challenges. Dauterive committed the landmark $30 million gift for the building in memory of her late husband, Peter W. Dauterive, a 1949 graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business. The couple met in Doheny Memorial Library as students at USC.

Alumni legacy

USC President C. L. Max Nikias noted that the Dauterives had been part of several USC firsts. Verna Dauterive helped found what became the USC Black Alumni Association, and Peter was the group’s first major donor. Together, they created the USC Rossier School of Education’s first major endowed scholarship to support minority doctoral students.

Verna Dauterive at Dauterive Hall opening
Trustee Verna Dauterive has a long relationship with USC, where she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

“Fittingly, Dauterive Hall will also be a place of many firsts, where discoveries and breakthroughs in health, economics, human behavior and policy will improve the human condition,” Nikias said. “The creation of this new hall shows how the Dauterives’ dedication to each other and the university is truly timeless.”

“There is no other building like it on campus,” said Elizabeth Garrett, USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, at a luncheon after the Sept 3. opening. “The building is not reserved for researchers in any single school. It is for collaborative and interdisciplinary research in the social sciences that requires expertise across many fields and connections to translate the work into society.”

Research that makes a difference

Overseen by the president’s and provost’s offices, Dauterive Hall will house programs and researchers from across the university. The building contains research laboratories, classrooms and a five-story atrium, which serves as the centerpiece of the collaborative workspace.

Four centers have already moved in to Dauterive Hall:

  • The USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, which promotes health and value in health care delivery
  • The Center for Economic and Social Research, which conducts research in behavioral and social sciences
  • The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, which seeks approaches that unite people across partisan lines
  • The USC Dornsife Mind and Society Center, which addresses basic questions about the human experience

USC Trustee Leonard D. Schaeffer, who founded the USC Schaeffer Center in 2009 and is a longtime friend of the Dauterives, also participated in the celebration.

There is no other building like it on campus.

Elizabeth Garrett

“It’s a great pleasure to be at the dedication of this great building that honors Peter and Verna and is also the new home of the USC Schaeffer Center,” Schaeffer said. “Previously, we were located off campus, and it’s very special for us to be back on campus and to have offices, teaching spaces and snack bars all in the same building.”

Dauterive could hardly contain her enthusiasm about the research underway.

“I am deeply humbled and very excited about the building, but I am even more excited about what will happen inside — gifted bright stars working together to change the world in wonderful ways that will create brighter futures for all societies.”