Wednesday, April 28, 2010

USC receives $10 million for learning disabilities center

From The LA Times:

A Northern California couple with family experience in learning disabilities is giving USC $10 million to help create a campus center to aid students with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other learning difficulties, the university announced Monday.

The gift from Walter and Marcia Kortschak to the new USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity will help provide tutoring, counseling, technological assistance and treatment to students and will also help fund academic research in those areas. Marcia Kortschak is dyslexic, and their two children -- one a USC sophomore and another who will enroll at USC in the fall -- both have had some learning challenges, said Walter Kortschak, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

Because his own family has experienced how much a tutor or mentor can help, Walter Kortschak said he hopes his donation will allow "all students to reach their highest academic and creative level." USC currently has excellent services in those areas, Kortschak said, but he wants to bring those up to "a world-class level."

The Kortschaks' $10-million commitment is among the largest gifts to USC from non-alumni parents in the university's history and is the largest ever to the Division of Student Affairs, USC officials said.