Alumna Suzanne Dworak-Peck Names the School of Social Work

“I hope my contribution to social work has been, and will continue to be, to broaden our views of ourselves as active players in the power arenas on behalf of our clients, our profession and our society.”
- Suzanne Dworak-Peck

On September 14, 2016, Suzanne Dworak-Peck, BA ’65, MSW ’67, made a historic $60 million gift to endow and name the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work that will allow the school to broaden its vision and mission.

We are tremendously proud and humbled to have one of our most prominent alumnae provide this endowment. Dworak-Peck’s indelible mark on the profession will be an inspirational force for generations of future students.

Dworak-Peck never shies away from presenting herself as a professional social work practitioner, and a great deal of her pride stems from her education at USC.

Suzanne Dvorak-Peck video

Affectionately known to colleagues as “the social worker’s social worker,” Dworak-Peck has been dedicated to expanding the scope and scale of the profession – a true hallmark of her career. Prestigious posts and accolades aside, her status as an internationally respected social worker is the result of a 30-year career devoted to advocacy for those who would otherwise be overlooked by mainstream society.

Her passion has always been to create a better society, to carve out a new path for collaboration and communication, and to effectively change the lens through which the social work profession is viewed. 

View photos from the school naming celebration.


In the Media

Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2016
Inside Higher Ed, September 15, 2016
The Chronicle of Social Change, September 14, 2016
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, September 15, 2016
The Morning Call, September 15, 2016
City News Service – published in 4 outlets, including:
      NBC 4 Los Angeles, September 14, 2016
      Beverly Hills Courier
Associated Press – published in 58 outlets, including:
      CBS 2 Los Angeles, September 15, 2016
      San Francisco Chronicle
      The Sacramento Bee
      The Washington Times
      Houston Chronicle
      San Antonio Express News
      Seattle Post-Intelligencer
      Santa Cruz Sentinel
      ABC News San Luis Obispo
      CBS News San Diego
      Tulsa World
      The Times-Herald
      Stamford Advocate

A full page advertisement in honor of Suzanne Dworak-Peck and her gift to the school of social work was featured in the following newspapers on September 19, 2016: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Orange County Register, Bay Area News Group, San Diego Union Tribune, Sacramento Bee, Wall Street Journal.

Career Timeline

Below are just a few examples of Suzanne Dworak-Peck’s impressive resume of leadership positions and honors as a social work practitioner.

1965 Receives BA in Psychology from the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
1967 Receives Master of Social Work from the USC School of Social Work
1987 Elected president of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
1992 Elected president of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
1993 Receives the first International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award for advancing the public image of social
1993 Appointed first – and only – ambassador to the International Federation of Social Workers
2011 Appointed to the board of the NASW Assurance Services (ASI). Receives the Nickel Award for Outstanding Professional Services by a Social Worker from USC
2011 Elected president and chair of the NASW Assurance Services (ASI)
2016 Receives the USC Alumni Merit Award. Appointed chair of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Board of Councilors. Receives International Federation of Social Workers Medal in memory of Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol for an Outstanding Contribution to International Social Work.