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A wedding results in Keck School gifts

by Amy Hamaker
John and Karen Reid requested that in lieu of traditional gifts for their wedding, guests consider donations to the Darlene Dufau Reid Endowed Scholarship Fund. (Photo/David Michael Photography)
John and Karen Reid requested that in lieu of traditional gifts for their wedding, guests consider donations to the Darlene Dufau Reid Endowed Scholarship Fund. (Photo/David Michael Photography)

When his wife, Darlene Dufau Reid ’67 MA ’69, passed away after a long illness in 2008, John Reid ’69, a Superior Court judge for 27 years who presently sits in the Santa Monica courthouse, was not sure love would ever find him again.

Then one day, he bumped into his future wife, Karen, by chance.

“Darlene had been gone a couple of years, and I was tired of eating my own cooking,” Reid recalled. “I wandered down to the pier in Malibu, and Karen was standing on the pier talking on the phone to her son. I looked at her, and she looked at me, and I couldn’t help myself — I asked her out to dinner. We stayed talking that evening until the restaurant closed.”

The couple married on April 6. In lieu of gifts, they requested donations in support of the Darlene Dufau Reid Endowed Scholarship Fund at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. The scholarship is presented annually to an outstanding medical student. To date, donations in honor of the ceremony have reached nearly $13,000.

Both Reid and his late wife had a deep connection to USC at the undergraduate level and at the Keck School. Both were former national directors of the USC Parents Association, past members of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors and parents of a 2005 graduate of the Keck School. Reid is also a current director of the Keck School of Medicine Parents Association.

Darlene Reid graduated from USC with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in education. She became a full-time university volunteer after practicing law and working as a TWA flight attendant for 25 years.

In 2004, she received the alumni association’s Alumni Service Award. In 2006, as president of the Keck Hospital of USC Guild, she created the 5K Walk for Keck, a fundraising event that still takes place each year. She also worked extensively with USC’s alumnae groups, most notably on behalf of the SCions program for USC legacy students.

Though Karen Reid did not attend USC, she has quickly become part of the Trojan Family. Both she and her husband felt that the suggestion of donations in lieu of wedding gifts was natural.

“We both have our own households and didn’t need the traditional wedding gifts — we have too many irons and toasters as it is,” John Reid explained. “Our first thought was to ask for no wedding gifts, but we’d like to try to add to Darlene’s scholarship to enable it to help more students.

“Karen is a wonderful woman,” he added. “She’s kind and giving, and we wanted to do our best to give back to USC students and their parents — and most importantly, help wonderful, highly educated people achieve their goals. As part of the Trojan Family, helping others reach their goals is just an ongoing thing you do.”

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