Founded in 1880 by three wealthy Los Angeles residents as a Methodist University, it has grown to international prominence. The university has attracted more international students over the years than any other American university. Currently, 16 percent of USC's students represent over 115 countries, with a present total enrollment of about 30,000 students. The university offers degrees through its College of Letters, Arts,and Sciences, Graduate School and 16 professional schools. The staff includes novelist T.C. Boyle, and Nobel Laureate George Olah. USC was named "College of the Year 2000" by the editors of Time magazine and the Princeton Review for its outstanding community service. Roughly half of the university's students volunteer in community-service programs in neighborhoods around campus and throughout Los Angeles.
Besides its main campus ("University Park Campus", about 2 miles southwest of downtown LA), the university includes the Health Sciences Campus about 2 miles northeast of downtown and the Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey. The School of Public Policy and Development runs a satellite campus in Sacramento, California. Another satellite campus in Washington, D.C was closed down in 2002.
The school's sports teams are called the Trojans. Their traditional rival is UCLA. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Pacific Ten Conference. There have been more Trojans in the Olympics than any other American university. The USC football team is the 2003 co-champion of Division 1-A, along with Louisiana State University. The head coach of the football team is Pete Carroll. The USC Alumni Association has over 200,000 current members. Famous alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, astronaut Neil Armstrong, architect Frank Gehry, opera singer Marilyn Horne, symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, film director George Lucas, football running back\\notorious popular icon O.J. Simpson and baseball legend Mark McGwire.