Mrs. Niki C. Nikias with USC students at the presidential residence during Thanksgiving.
Every year on Thanksgiving, USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Mrs. Niki C. Nikias open their home to students to share Thanksgiving dinner at the official presidential residence. In what the Nikiases have established as an ongoing Trojan Family tradition, students who are too far from families to make it home for the holiday weekend have an opportunity to spend the special day with fellow Trojans. A reminder of home for students from the U.S., and an introduction to American cultural traditions for international students, this occasion brings together many students to share friendship over a festive holiday meal.
Mrs. Niki C. Nikias presented the Trojan Knights with her homemade baklava, a special treat as they guard Tommy Trojan from vandals in the week leading up to the USC-UCLA game.
For Niki C. Nikias, the young men and women of USC are never far from mind, even when she’s attending to her off-campus activities like holiday baking. While preparing baklava, a traditional Greek baked dessert, she decided to share the holiday bounty with the young students guarding Tommy Trojan from vandals.
In preparation for this week’s USC Trojan football game against crosstown rivals UCLA Bruins, the society of Trojan Knights, a service organization on campus, are standing guard at the base of the statue of Tommy Trojan. An annual ritual where the stalwarts eat, sleep, and protect Tommy from pranksters, the young men are rewarded by cheers and “Fight On” remarks throughout the days and long nights.
Sophomore David Choi, who plans to stay on guard through Thanksgiving, is in his second year of duty, and with crewmates including Gabe Glasser, a sophomore at Viterbi, are part of the crew that outfitted the site with folding lounge chairs, sleeping bags, and other creature comforts like Wifi and stereo speakers.
“It gets really cold at night,” says Choi, “but as long as you keep your face warm, it’s bearable.”
Inspired by their vigil, Mrs. Niki C. Nikias stopped by the makeshift campsite with a tray of homemade baklava this morning.
“I see them every year on campus, and they are putting themselves through so much for USC,” said Mrs. Nikias, “They deserve a treat for their service.”
USC President C. L. Max Nikias, former First Lady Laura Bush, 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush, USC Marshall School of Business Dean James Ellis.
President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush addressed USC guests, students, faculty and Widney Society members in a packed Bovard Auditorium on Nov. 19. USC was honored to host the 43rd President and former First Lady through the President’s Distinguished Lecture series.
Sponsored by the University of Southern California’s President’s Distinguished Lecture series, the event featured a conversation between President and Mrs. Bush facilitated by James G. Ellis, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business.
USC President C. L. Max Nikias welcomed the audience and introduced the first couple.
“It is a rare opportunity to spend this evening in the company of two people who have practiced leadership on such a global stage, at such pivotal moments in human history,” Nikias said. “Few people have carried the cosmic sense of pressure and responsibility on their shoulders that our former President and First Lady have.”
Read the complete article on USC News.