USC Trustee Jane Hoffman Popovich, 72, an accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist with a lifelong commitment to the university and the community, died Aug. 4 following a long battle with cancer.
“My wife, Niki, and I will miss Jane deeply,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “She was a close and caring friend, a good neighbor and, yes, a great Trojan. She has left all of us with so many wonderful memories at USC and in Sun Valley, that we will cherish them for the rest of our lives.”
Popovich and her husband, J. Kristoffer Popovich, have been longtime, generous volunteers and benefactors to USC, supporting many areas of the university, including the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Marshall School of Business, and USC Athletics. Their giving, which encompasses more than $20 million in gifts and pledges, most recently included $4 million in June toward cancer research at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Advancing the legacy of her parents, H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman, was of paramount importance to Jane Popovich. Her parents were avid supporters of higher education, which was a driving force for their decades-long support of USC — even though they didn’t attend the university. Several USC buildings bear the Hoffmans’ names, including H. Leslie Hoffman Hall of Business Administration, named for her father, a 17-year member of the USC Board of Trustees and national committee chair of the university’s 1961 Master Plan; and Elaine Stevely Hoffman Medical Research Center on the Health Sciences Campus, which honors her mother.
Cancer research also was a major focus of her family’s charitable giving and involvement. The Popoviches’ $4 million gift this year funded the Jane and Kris Popovich Chair in Cancer Research at USC Norris. The donation came a decade after the family’s gift to endow the H. Leslie Hoffman and Elaine S. Hoffman Chair in Cancer Research at the Keck School of Medicine.
Jane Popovich is survived by her husband, three daughters and sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren.
— Lynn Lipinski