USC Ambassadors: a special community of supporters

USC Norris Healthcare Center opens; Mayor Eric Garcetti visits USC Village; Clay Helton’s inspiring connection to a USC alumna and cancer survivor

January 2018 Edition

At USC, the year is off to a wonderful start, as our students settle in to the spring semester.  We were so thrilled to begin the year with an extraordinary addition to our campuses: the USC Norris Healthcare Center, which opened on our Health Sciences Campus. On our University Park Campus, our students and the local community continue to embrace the USC Village, which increased our campus’ footprint by one-third. Los Angeles’ mayor, Eric Garcetti, visited the USC Village, and I gave him a personal tour, pointing out the additions since he spoke at the opening gala last fall. 


USC Kaufman student dancer chooses USC over Juilliard; Former USC undergraduate president named Schwarzman Scholar; Hecuba statue praised by UCLA student body president

December 2017 Edition

Niki and I hope you have been enjoying the holiday season!  There were many notable milestones that marked the year, the highlight of course being the opening of the USC Village—and its warm embrace by our students and the local community… Our students, meanwhile, continue to inspire us with their remarkable intellect, creativity, and leadership.  With this letter, I would like to focus on three students who recently received special attention.  The first is Paulo Hernandez-Farella, an undergraduate at the USC Kaufman School of Dance… Another student who deserves recognition is Edwin Saucedo, the former president of USC’s Undergraduate Student Government.  Edwin was selected to be a Schwarzman Scholar… Ironically, the third student I will mention is from UCLA!  A Bruin undergraduate, Arielle Yael Mokhtarzadeh, recently wrote to USC’s student newspaper, the Daily Trojan, regarding the powerful symbolism of our new Hecuba statue.


USC Michelson Center dedicates new building; President and Mrs. Nikias host USC students on Thanksgiving; USC student featured in People; former president of Taiwan speaks at USC

November 2017 Edition

Last week, Niki and I were delighted to continue our tradition of spending Thanksgiving day with USC students.  We welcomed more than 350 students to our home for a traditional Thanksgiving meal… We began November with the dedication of the new, cutting-edge home for the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, a gorgeous structure that now stands as the single largest academic building on either of USC’s campuses… As part of the USC President’s Distinguished Lecture series, the former president of Taiwan, Dr. Ma Ying-jeou, visited our University Park Campus earlier this month to deliver a highly engaging and informative talk for our community.


Iovine and Young Academy groundbreaking; Global Conference in Tokyo; USC Professor Viet Thanh Nguyen named MacArthur “genius”

October 2017 Edition

Earlier this month, Niki and I were thrilled to welcome so many parents, alumni, and friends back to campus for Trojan Family Weekend… In a much-anticipated event, we officially broke ground on the new home for the USC Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, a 40,000-square-foot, state of the art building that will rise at the corner of Watt Way and Exposition Boulevard… Earlier in the semester, more than 500 members and guests of the Trojan Family came together in Tokyo for the USC Global Conference. 


USC Village praised for its design; Blind student-athlete Jake Olson completes perfect snap; President Nikias urges congressional action on DACA

September 2017 Edition

This fall semester, we have been so gratified to see how quickly and enthusiastically our new USC Village has been embraced—not only by our students, faculty, and staff, but by our local community, alumni, and friends… This project was seven years in the making, so it’s wonderful to see so many enjoying the buildings and patios, dining hall, fitness center, green spaces, and shops. Without question, it has profoundly transformed the experience USC offers its students.


USC Village celebrates grand opening; Hecuba, Queen of Troy unveiled; Bovard Scholars program

August 2017 Edition

As our 137th class of students begins a new academic year, it arrives at a milestone moment in our university’s history, as together we celebrate a transformative addition to our University Park Campus: the USC Village…  USC’s campuses have transformed in recent years, and alumni and friends always marvel at the breadth of new facilities.  But this project—the largest in USC’s history and the largest in the history of south Los Angeles—inspires special pride for our Trojan Family, as just a generation ago, USC was viewed primarily as a commuter campus… At the heart of the USC Village is a proud new monument for our university.


Trojans celebrate commencement; USC recognized as a leader in accepting transfer students; Biotech Park plans advance

June 2017 Edition

As we enjoy summer on campus, I would like to return to last month’s glorious commencement, and once again offer my congratulations to USC’s newest alumni and their families… Edwin Saucedo, USC’s graduating student body president, sat down with the Los Angeles Times… Jorge Campos, a USC TRiO student who was previously homeless, was interviewed by our local ABC News affiliate, as he prepares to attend Harvard University this fall on a full scholarship.


USC alumnus Will Ferrell inspires graduates; Trustee Wallis Annenberg receives University Medallion; USC’s NAI praised by The New York Times

May 2017 Edition

I would like to begin this month’s letter by offering my heartfelt congratulations to USC’s newest class of graduates and their families. This year, the university awarded more than 15,000 degrees to extraordinarily talented individuals from all 50 states and more than 100 different nations… Our commencement speaker, actor Will Ferrell, drew international attention and an enthusiastic response from our graduates and families for his magnificently light-hearted speech… At last month’s Academic Honors Convocation, Wallis Annenberg—USC’s longest serving trustee—received the rarely awarded University Medallion.


Veterans Appreciation Dinner celebrates centennial anniversary of ROTC; Dean of Religious Life reflects USC’s spirit of inclusion

April 2017 Edition

I would like to begin this month’s letter by returning to a deeply moving evening from late March, when the USC community came together—for the seventh straight year—to honor our military service members and their families. This year’s gathering, an event we call the Veterans Appreciation Dinner, coincided with the centennial anniversary of USC’s ROTC program, and was made all the more special by the presence of a number of World War II veterans… Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times published an excellent profile of USC’s dean of religious life, Varun Soni.


USC exceeds $6 billion fundraising goal 18 months ahead of schedule; USC generates $8 billion each year for California economy; USC delegation visits Taiwan

March 2017 Edition

As this month’s letter reaches you, the USC community is celebrating a very special milestone: the wonderful news that we have exceeded the original $6 billion goal for our fundraising campaign—18 months ahead of schedule! We have generated so much optimism, and so much momentum surrounding the work that we’re accomplishing, as well as for the important goals we have set for undergraduate scholarships, medical research, faculty programs and research, and other areas… The Los Angeles Business Journal recently reported on a study that found that every year USC generates $8 billion in economic activity… Last month, I led a delegation of USC trustees, deans, faculty, and senior academic leaders to Taiwan.