University of Southern California

Office of the President

C. L. Max Nikias

USC’s 11th president, C. L. Max Nikias is an accomplished scholar and innovator whose 21 years at USC have been characterized by vision and a talent for seeing and seizing opportunities. From his creation of a multimedia research center and his energetic tenure as dean of engineering, to the pacesetting initiatives he set in motion as USC’s provost, he has helped propel USC toward its goal of becoming one of the most productive and influential research universities in the world.
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Mrs. Niki C. Nikias, center, accompanied by USC Alumni Association President Ramona Capello, center left.
USC Trustee Edward P. Roski, Jr.; Gayle Garner Roski; Julie Mork; USC Trustee John Mork (chairman); Niki C. Nikias; USC President C. L. Max Nikias.

From the Office of the President

Baccalaureate Ceremony Address 2014

Topics: News

Rainn Wilson at USC baccalaureate ceremony

Speaker Rainn Wilson delivers the baccalaureate address to the Class of 2014, with USC President C. L. Max Nikias, USC Board of Trustees chair John Mork ’70 MS ’12, and commencement speaker Marc Benioff ’86 and other honored guests in attendance.

On the eve of commencement day, USC welcomed actor and writer Rainn Wilson as the main speaker at the 2014 baccalaureate ceremony. Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, inter-faith celebration open to all students and their guests, and includes participation by numerous university dignitaries, as well as the diverse religious directors who work with  student groups. The service itself features music and readings from a wide range of religious traditions, and concludes with a benediction over the graduating students.

Ambassadors for Humanity Gala salutes President Barack Obama

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Nikias, Garrett, and Obama

USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett greet President Barack Obama during the USC Shoah Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 7, 2014 in Century City, California.

In recognition of his efforts to protect human rights, his commitment to education and his work advancing opportunities for all people, President Barack Obama was presented May 7 with the Ambassador for Humanity Award by Steven Spielberg, USC Trustee and founder of USC Shoah Foundation’s Institute for Visual History and Education.

Spielberg presented Obama with the foundation’s prestigious Ambassador for Humanity Award, noting that the president has created an Atrocities Prevention Board, declared the prevention of mass atrocities and genocide a core national security interest, and has directed the intelligence community to institutionalize a focus on stopping genocide. He also recently appointed the first-ever special envoy to U.S. Holocaust survivors.

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Trojan Family gathers in Dallas; Visit with the Bush Presidential Library

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Margeret Spellings, C. L. Max Nikias, Niki C. Nikias.

Niki C. Nikias, C. L. Max Nikias, Margaret Spellings.

During a recent visit to Dallas, TX, USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Mrs. Niki C. Nikias hosted a standing-room only Trojan Family Reception as they met with alumni, parents, and supporters of the university in the Dallas metropolitan area. Their itinerary during the visit to the Lone Star State included a private tour of  The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at the personal invitation of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush. The visit was hosted by the honorable Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education (2005 – 2009) and current president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Presidential priorities

  • Transforming USC into a major hub of the emerging Age of the Pacific—by creating trans-Pacific alliances, by fully utilizing Los Angeles as a laboratory for trans-Pacific research, education and culture, and by building the foremost network of Pacific leaders.

  • Ensuring that the USC academic community serves as a key engine of intellectual, economic and cultural progress for the nation, and allowing its vast array of disciplines to be combined creatively in order to catalyze new knowledge and innovation.

  • Ensuring that USC promotes imagination and invention by creating a living and learning environment in which the university’s undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty are fluent in a wide variety of intellectual areas, ranging from classical literary works to the latest digital technologies.

  • Serving the neighborhoods around our two campuses through job creation and quality k-12 education. Further strengthening the legendary traditions of the Trojan Family.

  • Leading USC during the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever announced by an American university. This historic endeavor will raise $6 billion to support USC's faculty and students, as well as its academic priorities, capital projects, and essential infrastructure.