USD Receives Unprecedented 1.5 million Gift to Expand the Work of its Humanities Center Including, Establishing a Directorship

SAN DIEGO – For the second time in just two years, local San Diego resident and parent to a University of San Diego alumna, Carol Vassiliadis, gifts The College of Arts and Sciences a generous contribution to continue the work of its Humanities Center.


The $1.5 million gifts establish a directorship at the Center.  USD Philosophy professor Brian Clack, PhD, the Center’s inaugural director, has been chosen by Noelle Norton, PhD, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, as the directorship’s inaugural recipient.


“The gift from Ms. Vassiliadis is a testament to the excellent and expansive programming our Humanities Center offers faculty, staff, students and the community.” Norton said.  ‘The Center only opened on October 13, 2016 and it is already a vital part of campus life.  This gift will ensure that the Center continues to operate in perpetuity.”


The Center, located at the heart of the USD campus has hosted hundreds of events since opening its doors.  The generous contribution says Clack, “is such an affirmation, a vote to confidence in what we’ve done.”


In addition to this year’s record-breaking contribution to the College of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Vassiliadis donated in 2016, the founding $500,000 gift to open the Center, demonstrating a dedication for the humanities rarely seen among donors, according to Clack.  “This just doesn’t happen, at least it doesn’t happen with the type of frequency that other academic units such as business or engineering schools.”


“I am a great believer in a classical approach.” Vassiliadis says.  “The humanities are the core of every fine university and round out the student experience, putting everything they’ve learned into perspective.”

                                                                                                                                                            Contact: Lissette Martinez

                                                                                                                                                                     Ph: (520) 203-3107

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Lissette Martinez
(619) 260-4659