Alumnus Makes Multi-Year Pledge to School
Dwight Tate, MSW ’77, has made a five-year pledge to the USC School of Social Work to help train students to become agents of change in their communities.
Tate hopes his gift of $52,000 will help support students interested in the school’s Community Organization, Planning and Administration concentration, which he studied as a student.
“Social workers who become administrators can have a huge impact because they understand the various challenges people have and how communities can work best to support families,” said Tate, who now works as a financial advisor in Riverside, Calif. “The USC School of Social Work helps to bring more skilled professionals to organizations that can broaden their community outreach, and those skills are going to be critical for the survival of non-profit community organizations in economically perilous times.”
Tate has always wanted to help others. He started out as a school teacher and then moved on to join Pacific State Hospital in Pomona, Calif., where he worked with people with developmental disabilities and their families. That’s when he decided to get his Master of Social Work from the USC School of Social Work.
“At USC, I always had good professors and experienced a deep connection with the school both professionally and personally,” Tate said. “I was pretty stressed out, since I was taking classes and working at the same time, and I got a lot of support from the school. That’s a lot of the reason why I’m very committed to the School of Social Work.”
Tate worked as a licensed clinical social worker for 20 years before he transitioned into financial advising, which he sees as an extension of his desire to help people. He has continued to serve his community by volunteering at nonprofit organizations, including as chair of the board of directors for The Carolyn E. Wylie Center for Children, Youth & Families. He plans to retire from financial advising later this year to spend more time in community service.
“I’ve always admired USC because both the School of Social Work and the university share the same values, and that’s allegiance to the local community,” Tate said. “USC chose to stay near downtown even though it probably could have moved west at some point. The campus remains a vital resource for the community, and I love supporting that mission.”
Tate’s focus on community lines up nicely with the school’s objectives.
“Our mission includes improving the well-being of vulnerable populations and their communities, which is especially important in tough economic times,” said Marilyn Flynn, dean of the School of Social Work. “That’s why we educate our students in community organization and administration – to encourage them to lead the way in bettering communities. Dwight Tate is a prime example of how social workers can contribute in many ways. We are grateful that our alumni find value in what they learned as students and want to provide for the next generation.”
- Master of Social Work