Alumnus Establishes Scholarship for Students Committed to LGBT Issues

June 13, 2012
Mark Spratt

Mark Spratt, a member of the USC School of Social Work Board of Councilors, has established a scholarship to aid students who support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

The $50,000 gift created the Matthew Holland Scholarship in Social Work, in honor of Spratt’s partner, for students who have demonstrated a commitment to LGBT matters through academic work, community involvement or other personal contributions.

Spratt, MSW/MPA ‘03, is also a member of the USC Alumni Association’s Board of Governors and sits on the board of directors of the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association. With this new scholarship, he wanted to bridge the mission of USC Lambda with the School of Social Work by creating opportunities for students devoted to the LGBT community.

"I received so much during my time at USC and wanted to give back in a meaningful way to the next generation of social work leaders," Spratt said.

Spratt’s path as a social worker has been a nontraditional one. While he was a Master of Social Work student at the School of Social Work, Spratt interned at the Department of Mental Health Center on Crisis and Disaster Relief, where he learned first-hand how the United States responds to national disasters, including the events of September 11, 2001. Spratt found the systems in place lacking in terms of technological advancement, so he elicited the support of fellow USC students to streamline the deployment of mental health counselors during a man-made or natural disaster. Since graduating, Spratt has worked as a senior manager in Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice, where he supports Fortune 100 companies with their global business transformations and process improvements.

The establishment of the Matthew Holland Scholarship in Social Work is directly in line with the school’s mission of improving the well-being of vulnerable individuals and communities, advancing social and economic justice, and eradicating pressing societal problems in complex and culturally diverse urban environments.

"Mark Spratt is an example of an ideal alumnus from our school, combining a rapidly ascending professional career with commitment to USC and a deep spirit of generosity in all that he does," said Dean Marilyn Flynn. "He is an extraordinary social worker in every sense of the words."