Wayne Hughes, the man who donated more money than anyone to USC athletics, died today. He was 87.
Hughes donated between $400-450 million to USC and he was usually involved in any significant project with athletics. He donated money, often when there were no other options. He made a significant donation to the construction of the McKay Center. He gave $5-10 million to name the basketball court “Jim Sterkel Court” at the Galen Center. He got Lynn Swann the athletic director’s job at USC.
Hughes’ inner circle of USC players was O.J. Simpson, Al Cowlings, Sam Cunningham and Swann.
Unlike other donors, Hughes never wanted credit for his donations. He endowed the track-and-field coaching position but put his friend’s name, Ted Banks, a long-time track and field coach at Riverside City College and UTEP among other places.
In 1972, Hughes founded Public Storage, the nation’s largest self-storage company.
If you think Hughes’ ties to USC will no longer exist, his daughter, Tamara Hughes Gustavson, is a lifetime member of the Board of Trustees at the university.