The University of Southern California is a private research university founded in 1880 with its main campus in Los Angeles, California. As Californias oldest private university, USC has historically educated a large number of the regions business leaders. In recent decades, the university has also leveraged its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia, an engine for economic activity, USC contributes $8 billion annually to the economy of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and California. For the 2014–15 academic year, there were 18,740 students enrolled in undergraduate programs. USC also has 23,729 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, engineering, social work, and medicine. The university is one of the top fundraising institutions in the world, consistently ranking among the top 3 in external contributions, multiple academic rankings list the University of Southern California as being among the top 25 universities in the United States. With an acceptance rate of 16 percent, USC is also among the most selective academic institutions in the nation. USC maintains a tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship, with alumni having founded companies such as Lucasfilm, Myspace, Salesforce. com, Intuit, Qualcomm, Box, Tinder. As of 2014, the university has produced the fourth largest number of billionaire alumni out of all institutions in the world. USC is home to the world’s most powerful computer, which is presently housed in a super-cooled. The only other commercially available quantum computing system is operated jointly by NASA, USC was also one of the earliest nodes on ARPANET and is the birthplace of the Domain Name System. Other technologies invented at USC include DNA computing, dynamic programming, image compression, VoIP, USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Members of the teams, the Trojans, have won 102 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the nation. Trojan athletes have won 288 medals at the Olympic games, more than any university in the United States. If USC were a country, its athletes would have received the 12th-most Olympic gold medals in history. In 1969, it joined the Association of American Universities, the University of Southern California was founded following the efforts of Judge Robert M. Hellman. The three donated 308 lots of land to establish the campus and provided the seed money for the construction of the first buildings. Originally operated in affiliation with the Methodist Church, the school mandated from the start that no student would be denied admission because of race, the university is no longer affiliated with any church, having severed formal ties in 1952
The Widney Alumni House, the campus's first building
"Tommy Trojan" is a major symbol of the university, though he is not the mascot.