University of Southern California

Office of the President

C. L. Max Nikias

A special visit for Trojan Knights from Mrs. Nikias

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.

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.”

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