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Former USC President Steven B. Sample, Credited With University’s Transformation, Dies at 75

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Steven B. Sample, who led USC from 1991 to 2010, died March 29, 2016, at 75. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Steven B. Sample, the former president of USC who oversaw a dramatic rise in the university’s academic and financial profile during nearly two decades at the helm, died Tuesday at 75.

In announcing Sample’s death, current USC President C. L. Max Nikias credited his predecessor as a skilled leader and a personal mentor whose legacy is one of transformation.

“So many of USC’s successes, so much of our university’s current stature can be traced back to Dr. Sample’s dynamic leadership, keen foresight, and extraordinary prudence,” Nikias said in a statement.

Sample served as the University of Southern California’s 10th president, beginning his tenure in 1991. An electrical engineer by training, he had previously headed the State University of New York at Buffalo before assuming USC’s top post. He retired in 2010 at the age of 69 but remained active at the university, serving on the board of trustees.

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