The University of Southern California and its Marshall School of Business announced Tuesday that local real estate executive William J. McMorrow made a substantial gift to the school to establish a global real estate program.

McMorrow is chairman and chief executive of Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc., a publicly traded real estate and investment services company based in Beverly Hills. He purchased the company in 1988, and today it has more than $17 billion in assets under management and 24 offices around the world.

The university declined to disclose how much McMorrow donated, other than to say that the gift is part of a multi-year campaign it has undertaken to raise $6 billion or more from private donors, foundations and corporations.

McMorrow attended USC, where he received both his Bachelor of Science in business and his MBA. He also sits on the executive board of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.

James G. Ellis, dean of the Marshall school, said the McMorrow real estate program will be a forum for thought leadership that will attract prominent faculty and train the next real estate visionaries.

“The gift is a natural fit for a university so rooted in Southern California, which has always been a hub of real estate innovation," he said in a statement.