The University of San Diego has announced a $20 million gift from board chair Donald R. Knauss and his wife, Ellie, in support of a planned business school complex.
The gift will help fund a $67 million project that includes construction of a new facility and renovation of the adjacent Olin Hall — the current home of the university's School of Business — creating a consolidated 120,000-square-foot complex. In recognition of the gift, the new building will be named for the Knausses.
"The generosity that Mr. and Mrs. Knauss share with us today enriches and enhances our education with purpose, and it takes our school to the next level in our capacity to serve," said business school dean Jaime Alonso Gomez. "Our students, faculty, and staff will enjoy an educational home that will make learning an intellectual delight. Our faculty and staff will work hand in hand to prepare twenty-first century career-ready graduates. The collaborative spaces in the complex will assure an education that is innovative, international, and integrity-based."
Knauss, the retired chair and CEO of the Clorox Corporation, has served on the USD board since 2008 and said he thought of the gift "as more of an investment" that he was making for three reasons: "A strong belief in USD's mission of developing leaders who are dedicated to ethical behavior and compassionate service to others, most notably the people at USD who are committed to fulfilling the mission. Second, a belief in a free enterprise system that requires a creation of wealth and that it is done on an equitable and fair playing field so that everyone, regardless of background, has an opportunity to maximize their God-given talents and to create that kind of path forward in business and for business leaders. And third, a belief that the School of Business, with Dean Gomez' leadership, a world-class faculty, and staff can really create the kind of servant business leaders that will ensure that the system works for everybody."