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USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work receives naming gift; Fertitta Hall dedicated at USC Marshall; Currie Residence Hall opens

September 2016 Edition

At USC, our academic year is off to an extraordinary start, as our School of Social Work recently celebrated a transformational gift, bringing together more than 1,600 Trojans and supporters outside the school. Mrs. Suzanne Dworak-Peck—a visionary pioneer in the field of social work and a two-time USC alumna—has given $60 million to our university, and her gift will endow and name the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work… Earlier this month, the USC community came together to formally dedicate Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall, a new home for the undergraduates at our Marshall School of Business.


USC hosts Warrior-Scholar Project for military veterans; Viterbi faculty members praised for pioneering research; 44 Trojan athletes compete at Rio Olympics

August 2016 Edition

Earlier this month, Niki and I were thrilled to welcome students back to our campuses, and to start our seventh year as president and first lady of USC… While these extraordinary students began their classes, we were all cheering our 44 Trojan athletes at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro… In July, USC once again hosted the Warrior-Scholar Project, a weeklong “boot camp” that helps newly enrolled military veterans acclimate to an academic environment.


Larry Ellison inspires graduates at commencement; USC praised for its efforts to enroll transfer students; Commencement highlights

June 2016 Edition

As construction continues apace on our campuses this summer, I would like to return to last month’s 133rd commencement exercises. Our charismatic speaker that morning, the venerable tech entrepreneur and humanitarian, Larry Ellison, inspired our students with his extraordinary personal journey, while describing the unique opportunities and challenges he faced in founding the Oracle Corporation four decades ago. His words resonated deeply with our students, and Business Insider followed up with a wonderful story… On commencement day, among the 17,000 newly minted graduates was a very special individual: Mr. Alfonso Gonzales.


Larry Ellison gives $200 million to USC for cancer research; USC Professor wins Pulitzer Prize for fiction; USC supports veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program

May 2016 Edition

May 31, 2016

This year’s commencement was absolutely glorious, as USC conferred degrees on nearly 17,000 graduates—an extraordinary group of passionate, curious, and dedicated Trojans.  Niki and I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all of our graduates, their families, and the countless teachers and mentors who supported their academic journey to this achievement.  We hope our newest alumni return often to their alma mater in the coming years and decades.  To them, we say: Fight On!

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Lynn Swann named USC’s new athletic director; USC Roski Eye Institute receives naming gift; LAT Festival of Books returns to USC

April 2016 Edition

Athletics has long been the glue that binds USC’s worldwide Trojan Family, and as our university has risen so far and so fast academically, our student-athletes have given a particularly passionate voice to our pride, inspiring us to cheer with even more heart for our university and its community. For this reason, it gave me tremendous pleasure to announce Lynn Swann as USC’s next athletic director… This month I also announced that our trustee, Edward P. Roski Jr, and his wife, Gayle, have given $25 million to USC, and that their exceptionally generous gift endows and names the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute.


President Emeritus Steven B. Sample passes away; School of Cinematic Arts praised for diversity; USC Pacific Asia Museum presents rare exhibition

March 2016 Edition

Earlier this month, the USC Pacific Asia Museum celebrated the opening of its first major exhibition since the university announced its alliance with the venerable institution in Pasadena… In February, our Trojan Family cheered for USC Dornsife junior Sam Deutsch, as he earned top honors during the Jeopardy College Championship… Moving to a more somber subject, in addition to President Emeritus Steven B. Sample, we note the passing of two exceptionally distinguished members of our Trojan Family in recent weeks.


USC Village reaches halfway point in construction; USC ranked in the top 3 in university fundraising; Women outnumber men in video game design program

February 2016 Edition
USC Trustee Kathleen Leavey McCarthy – namesake of the McCarthy Honors College at USC Village – signs the ceremonial beam. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Last month, the USC community came together to celebrate a significant milestone in the construction of USC Village, as workers raised the project’s landmark spire to its new home atop Leavey Honors Hall… Also last month, the Los Angeles Times published an excellent story on USC’s top-ranked graduate program in video game design, pointing out that women now outnumber men in the program… I am pleased to share that USC once again retained its spot among our nation’s top fundraising universities.


UNICEF honors USC’s youth outreach and education programs; Mark Humayun awarded National Medal; Dana Gioia named California Poet Laureate

January 2016 Edition
USC President C. L. Max Nikias, UNICEF Chair Ghada Irani, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern and honoree David Beckham, from left, attend the Sixth Biennial UNICEF Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Jan. 12. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for U.S. Fund for UNICEF)

The spring semester always signals a time of beginnings and renewed energy at USC, as we induct hundreds of young scholars into our academic community. At this year’s spring convocation, we welcomed new students from 37 states and 23 different countries to the Trojan Family… As we celebrate our students, we also celebrate our faculty. And perhaps no announcement inspired more pride than the wonderful news that University Professor Mark Humayun received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama… Among other faculty accolades, Dana Gioia, who is the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC, was recently appointed California Poet Laureate… Earlier this month, I was deeply honored to receive UNICEF’s Spirit of Compassion Award, which I accepted on behalf of the entire USC community, as the award speaks to our commitment to educational access and our collective effort to encourage USC students to be philanthropic and globally minded.


USC praised for rapid ascent among top universities; Cinematic Arts and Annenberg School receive support for diversity; National Book Award for Poetry honors USC student

December 2015 Edition

This is always a very special time of year, when the warmth and compassion of the holiday spirit combines with the joy and optimism of the Trojan spirit… Two outstanding articles that focused on USC’s recent successes, including reporter Joe Matthews’ reflection on our university’s dramatic ascent… A separate story in Business Insider focused on the success of Trojan alumni, highlighting nine of USC’s most illustrious tech graduates… Furthering USC’s proud history of diversity, the George Lucas Family Foundation announced a $10 million gift to the university. This gift—directed to our School of Cinematic Arts by alumnus George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson—stands as the largest single donation for student support in the school’s history, and will provide scholarships for African-American and Latino students, evenly divided between male and female students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


L.A. Memorial Coliseum set for renovations; Global Conference in Shanghai draws record number of participants; USC International Academy dedicated

November 2015 Edition

Niki and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you’re enjoying the holiday season with your friends and family. For the sixth straight year, we hosted more than 400 USC students in our home on Thanksgiving. For us, this is always a special highlight of the fall semester, and an excellent opportunity to spend time with some of USC’s exceptionally talented students, including many international students who experience this uniquely American holiday for the first time… Just a few weeks before, we traveled to Shanghai for the 2015 USC Global Conference, which was a stellar success… The week before our Global Conference, we dedicated the USC International Academy in its new home in the renovated Davidson Conference Center.