Celebrating Flora L. Thornton

Philanthropist Flora L. Thornton is the namesake of USC’s Thornton School of Music.

Image of a woman seated in a celebratory hall.

Flora Laney Thornton


Flora Laney Thornton was a philanthropist with a lifelong interest in higher education, the arts, preventive medicine and numerous charities. Thornton had already been involved in scholarship programs for USC music students in 1999 when she donated $25 million to the university’s School of Music, the largest donation to a school of music in the U.S. at the time. In recognition of her gift, the USC Board of Trustees voted to rename the school in her honor.

Flora’s Artistry

Thornton had many interests during her life, including painting.

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