New Student Scholarship Aimed to Increase Diversity at USC Viterbi
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New Student Scholarship Aimed to Increase Diversity at USC Viterbi

A newly established scholarship program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the Doug Peacock Scholarship Fund, will provide financial support to first-year USC Viterbi students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM. The scholarship was created thanks to a generous gift from TransDigm Group, Inc., a global aerospace company, in honor of their founding CEO Doug Peacock, who passed away in 2020.

“We are honored to receive this gift celebrating TransDigm co-founder Doug Peacock’s legacy in engineering,” said USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. “USC Viterbi prides itself on changing the conversation about engineers – who we are, what we do and what we look like – so we are grateful for TransDigm’s support and efforts to create educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.”

TransDigm has pledged that by 2024 the Doug Peacock Scholarship Fund will provide 75 student awards in total and will have created an exciting cohort of Peacock Scholars at USC.

The need-based scholarship is for students in business and engineering. The fund is intended to support students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields and for whom affordability may be an obstacle. TransDigm plans to award multiple scholarships each year for five years. Student recipients will be awarded the scholarship as part of their first-year financial aid package, and each is meant to follow the recipient through their four years of undergraduate studies. The amount awarded isn’t fixed and will vary depending on need for each student.

TransDigm Group Inc. is a leading global producer, designer, and supplier of highly engineered aerospace components, systems, and subsystems that are used on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. In addition to the fund at USC, TransDigm also established scholarships paying homage to Peacock at Clemson UniversityCleveland State UniversityDrexel UniversityRochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Washington. The Cleveland-based company also established scholarships at two local high schools in Ohio, Benedictine High School and St. Martin De Porres High School.

“USC and TransDigm are aligned in our commitment to developing and promoting a talented and diverse future workforce. With an increasingly global economy, the development of a diverse workforce leads to better innovation, decisions, and outcomes for everyone,” said Kevin Stein, TransDigm Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Assisting students who might not otherwise have the resources to continue developing their skillsets through postsecondary educational opportunities is an important initiative for TransDigm. We are honored to contribute through the Doug Peacock Scholarship Program.”

This past spring, 10 USC Viterbi students were selected to receive the scholarship. Although USC Viterbi doesn’t typically provide aid awards mid-year, it made an exception for TransDigm in hopes of easing the financial difficulties many students have faced as a result of the pandemic.

“This scholarship program will help students who would not be able to attend college without financial assistance,” Yortsos said. “The program is designed specifically to assist students who are traditionally not strongly represented in engineering: women and students from historically underrepresented racial groups. Engineers from different backgrounds bring different life experiences to their academic work, which can lead to unexpected scientific breakthroughs.”