USC honors Mark and Mary Stevens at 2016 Commencement ceremonies

Mark and Mary Stevens, long-time donors and supporters of USC, received honorary degrees from USC at the university commencement ceremony on May 13, 2016.

The Stevens couple is the namesake behind the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, which Mark and Mary Stevens established in 2004 by donating $22 million to create a university-wide resource supporting USC faculty, inventors and students to translate their research and innovations to the market.

The honorary degrees recognized Mark and Mary Stevens for their contributions to the USC community. In addition to endowing USC Stevens, they donated $50 million last year to establish the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute to accelerate new therapies and cures for brain injuries and neurodegenerative disease. The couple also supported the formation of the Stevens Student-Athlete Academic Services floor in the new John McKay Center sports facility and made a significant gift to the USC Caruso Catholic Center, as reported by USC News.

Honorary degrees were also presented to Oracle founder Larry Ellison, film director Alejandro G. Inarritu, Jackie Lacey, the first African-American and woman to be elected and sworn in as Los Angeles County District Attorney, and Selim Zilkha, the co-owner of Zilkha Biomass Energy and the namesake of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. For full commencement coverage, read the USC News story.

“As a group, they represent excellence in a broad variety of endeavors, but they share a passionate commitment to bettering the lives of others through their work,” said USC President C.L. Max Nikias in presenting the honorary degree recipients, as reported by USC News. “Their collective contributions stand as an inspiration to us all.”

Mark Stevens, a USC trustee since 2001, is a well-known venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, where he is a leader at S-Cubed Capital and Sequoia Capital. Mary Stevens, who worked in the commercial real estate brokerage business for 13 years, has served as a member of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees since 2012.

–By USC Stevens staff, published May 20, 2016, USC photos by Steve Cohn and Gus Ruelas


Top photo: USC President C.L. Max Nikias presents Mark Stevens with his honorary degree (photo by Steve Cohn). Ribbon photos, left to right: President Nikias presents Mary Stevens with her honorary degree (photo by Steve Cohn); overhead view of USC’s commencement ceremony at Alumni Park on University Park Campus (photo by Gus Ruelas); Mark Stevens at the commencement ceremony (photo by Gus Ruelas).