“Of all the entities that carry my name at the university today,
I am most proud of the Topping Student Aid Fund.”  

Norman Hawkins Topping was born on January 12, 1908 in Flat River, Missouri. He attended high school in Los Angeles, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at USC in 1933, and a Doctor of Medicine degree at the USC School of Medicine in 1936. In 1930, he married Helen Rummens.

Dr. Topping had a distinguished 16 year career as a researcher in viral and rickettsial diseases within the U.S. Public Health Service. He also developed the typhus vaccine used in World War II by more than fifteen million United States, Canadian, and British soldiers, a treatment still in use today. Dr. Topping served as the seventh President of USC from 1958 to 1970 and held the post of university chancellor from 1971 until his retirement in 1980.


“We are a large university in the heart of a vast urban area. We are completely aware that urban problems are major problems that must be solved and that a university can’t be an ostrich and stick its head in the sand.”