Eight prominent Trojans will be honored for their achievements and contributions to USC at the 81st Annual USC Alumni Awards on April 26 at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
USC Trustee Daniel J. Epstein ’62, the founder and executive chairman of the ConAm Group of Companies, will receive the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award, the university’s highest alumni honor. Under his direction, ConAm has grown to be one of the nation’s top privately owned apartment management/ownership firms, with a portfolio of approximately 50,000 fee-managed and company-owned apartments. In 1999, Ernst & Young named him San Diego’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Real Estate Industry.
Epstein has contributed naming gifts to the university’s Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Epstein Family Alumni Center. He currently serves on the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Board of Councilors and the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate Development executive committee. Named USC Viterbi’s Alumnus of the Year in 1994, he later received an Alumni Service Award in 2008.
“Daniel J. Epstein is the epitome of a dedicated Trojan,” said Ramona Cappello ’81, president of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. “We are honored to present him with the 2014 Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award.”
In addition to Epstein, the USC Alumni Association will recognize seven other Trojans. Ronnie Lott ’81, Bob Osher ’81 and Gail Samuel ’88, MBA ’02 will receive Alumni Merit Awards. Lott is an NFL Hall of Fame member who led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories in the 1980s. Osher is president of Sony Pictures Digital Productions and former chief operating officer of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group. Samuel is the chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, overseeing Hollywood Bowl operations, Philharmonic orchestra management, Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall programming, concert production, public relations and community affairs.
The youngest mayor in the history of Compton, Calif., Aja Brown ’04, MPL ’05 will receive the 2014 Young Alumni Merit Award. Since her induction last June, Brown has launched several community initiatives, promoting public safety, beautification, transparency and health, and introduced a first-source hiring agreement to boost employment and provide development incentives.
Alumni Service Awards, which recognize volunteer efforts on behalf of USC, will go to Michael Felix ’83, Jana Waring Greer ’73 and Christine Marie Ofiesh ’74. Felix is a member of the USC Latino Alumni Association Corporate Advisory Council, the President’s Leadership Council and the USC Associates Board of Directors. Greer is chair of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Board of Councilors and a chairman level member of USC Associates. Ofiesh is an executive board member of Town and Gown of USC, the university’s oldest and largest women’s organization, a member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors and the scholarship chair of the Keck Hospital Guild of USC.
“Through their many accomplishments and acts of service, these eight alumni have proven themselves to be exemplary members of the Trojan Family,” said Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations Patrick Auerbach EdD ’08. “We look forward to welcoming them, and our guests, to the 81st Annual USC Alumni Awards.
Every year since 1932, the USC Alumni Association has paid tribute to distinguished members of the Trojan Family. The annual Alumni Awards gala is the premier event sponsored by the USC Alumni Association. Past honorees include architect Frank Gehry ’54, opera great Marilyn Horne ’53 and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis ’73. All proceeds from the event support the association’s programs and services.