USC Ambassadors: a special community of supporters

USC Dornsife celebrates fifth anniversary of naming gift; Music icon Jimmy Iovine describes the vision for USC’s Iovine and Young Academy; USC ranked number one for public relations

November 2016 Edition

Niki and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We continued our tradition of spending the afternoon with USC students… Earlier this month, friends and supporters of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences came together for a special evening to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the naming gift from humanitarians David and Dana Dornsife… The Wall Street Journal recently published an insightful interview with music industry icon Jimmy Iovine, in which he discussed the vision behind the USC Iovine Young Academy.


USC ranks fifteenth on national list of universities; USC Kaufman dedicates new building; USC professor named MacArthur “genius”

October 2016 Edition

Everyone at USC is still thrilled by the outstanding news we received earlier this semester: The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education released a comprehensive ranking of top colleges and universities in the United States, and USC ranked fifteenth on their national list of public and private universities… Earlier this month, the USC community came together to formally dedicate the majestic, new home for our Kaufman School of Dance… The MacArthur Foundation recently announced the recipients of its coveted “genius” grants, and this year’s list included our longtime faculty member Josh Kun of the USC Annenberg School.


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.