USC Ambassadors: a special community of supporters

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.


Former British Prime Minister speaks at USC; USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative praised; Strong USC presence at World Economic Forum

February 2017 Edition

Earlier this month, we welcomed former British Prime Minister David Cameron to our campus, as part of the USC President’s Distinguished Lecture Series… The Chronicle of Higher Education recently highlighted our award-winning Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) among the four college-access programs that include a parent-education component, and which stand as role models for other community programs around the nation… USC was proud to host a Stem Cell Day of Discovery on our Health Sciences Campus earlier this month, drawing 500 local middle and high school students.


USC celebrates Rose Bowl championship; USC Shoah Foundation honors George Lucas and Mellody Hobson; USC boasts two Rhodes Scholars this year

January 2017 Edition

One month in to the new year, and at USC, we’re still smelling roses! Our last-second win against Penn State at the Rose Bowl will no doubt go into the history books as one of college football’s greatest games… In December, the USC Shoah Foundation honored humanitarians Mellody Hobson and George Lucas for their longstanding dedication to the foundation’s mission of education and tolerance, as well as their continued support of USC.


USC Stevens Hall opens; USC Village workers ring the Victory Bell; USC Thornton School of Music ranked among best in the nation

December 2016 Edition

Niki and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, and send you our very best wishes for a happy new year… Last month, we formally dedicated the new USC Stevens Hall for Neuroimaging, and our local NPR station marked its opening with an excellent story on the pioneering research of Professor Arthur Toga of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute… As construction on the new USC Village continues apace, we recently brought an old Trojan tradition to what-will-soon-be the newest addition to our campuses. The USC Village construction workers rang the Victory Bell, which USC has in its possession for the coming year—a special honor following our football win over UCLA.


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.