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The key roles that the University of Southern California’s professional schools have played in promoting public affairs are brought into sharp focus in this detailed history, edited by a group of academic experts intimately involved in the development of the school. Through its School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC has taken a distinctive approach in pushing forward community enterprise on a local and global basis. The school was forged through a merger of its School of Public Administration and School of Urban Planning and Development, both of which were pioneers in their fields. This compilation was created as part of the 2009 celebration of SPPD’s eighty years of widely shared academic inquiry, facilitation of learning, and advancement of civic and professional public practice. New generations seeking to sustain the school’s tradition of leadership now have a detailed history that tells how amazing developments in technologies and systems enabled the university to successfully promote its ideals. USC Emeritus Dean of Gerontology, James Birren, sums it up well when he states, “You can’t know where you are going until you know where you have been.” Recall the university’s history of core values, vital practices, and great contributions in Futures of the Past.

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