Major Gift to Establish USC Marshall School of Business Global Real Estate Program

April 8, 2014

International real estate executive endows and names bold new program

Contact: Amy Blumenthal at (213) 740-5552 or

A substantial gift from international real estate executive William J. McMorrow will establish and endow a sophisticated program in global real estate, the University of Southern California and USC Marshall announced.

The new William J. McMorrow Global Real Estate Program will represent the vanguard of cutting-edge scholarship, preparing students for leadership in an interconnected global marketplace.

McMorrow is chairman and CEO of the successful international real estate investment and services firm Kennedy Wilson. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, the company has 24 offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Japan with 400 corporate employees and 2000 operating employees. McMorrow purchased Kennedy Wilson in 1988 as a real estate auction company and has expanded it into a publicly traded firm with more than $17 billion in assets under management worldwide, including 68 million sq. ft. of office, retail and industrial properties and 18,000 multifamily units. Since 2010, Kennedy Wilson has been one of the most active global investors in real estate with approximately $12 billion of purchases.

“We are profoundly grateful that someone with William McMorrow’s stature and expertise in real estate has chosen to put his name on this endeavor,” said USC Senior Vice President for University Advancement Al Checcio. “We are thrilled to call Bill a partner and a friend, and we know his involvement augurs a world-class program.”

McMorrow received both his Bachelor of Science degree in business and his MBA from USC. He serves on the Executive Board of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, which advances real estate knowledge and addresses timely issues that affect the industry.

“The William J. McMorrow Global Real Estate Program will be a vital forum for thought leadership that attracts prominent faculty and trains the next generation of visionaries in the field,” said USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis. “The gift is a natural fit for a university so rooted in Southern California, which has always been a hub of real estate innovation.”

The Southern California real estate market has enjoyed a wild and varied history since the gold rush lured settlers in the mid-19th century. Today, Los Angeles sits at a global crossroads and remains a beacon for residents and investors seeking new opportunities. “This program is ideally positioned to influence the real estate industry here at home and around the world,” said Ellis.

The gift is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort to secure $6 billion or more in private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations.

Reaching this lofty goal will require the most ambitious fundraising effort in USC’s history—one that will touch and transform every aspect of the university. At the time of its launch, the campaign had the largest fundraising goal ever announced in higher education. As of November 2013, the campaign had already raised $3 billion, or more than half its goal.

About the USC Marshall School of Business

Consistently ranked among the nation’s premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world’s leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.