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Somerville Place Residential Floor


Somerville Place is a residential community established in 1995. John Somerville and his wife Vada Watson Somerville, were both graduates of the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry. Graduating with honors in 1907, he was the first Black graduate, and his wife was later the first Black woman graduate. In 1914, only three years after its founding in New York City, the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP was created at the home of John and Vada Somerville.

This special interest residential community creates an environment where academic success, leadership, self-direction and personal growth are nurtured. The five goals that all residents strive to achieve are: spirituality, respect, retention, successful transitions, and an understanding and display of positive social values. The goals of Somerville Place aim to foster an understanding of and respect for Black culture, while cultivating a sense of family and community.

Somerville Place has been home to several well known alumni – from recording artist Aloe Blacc, to Marque Richardson and Brandon Bell (“Dear White People”), and others in a variety professions and industries.


Applying to live on the Somerville Place special interest floor is simple and easy!

• When applying online for USC housing at, be sure to first specify the Residential Hall (Fluor Tower) and then specify the Special Interest Community located within it (use code: SMRV).

• Once you have select SMRV, you will be directed to fill out the supplemental application for living on the Somerville Place Special Interest Community.

We’ll reach out to you to confirm your selection on Somerville Place in June!