New records for diversity and academic achievement among incoming undergrads. Potential health benefits of wine. The story behind a USC student’s popular song featured in Crazy Rich Asians. Those topics and more drew scores of readers to USC News this year.
So before you ponder your resolutions for the new year, take a curated trip through our most popular and sharable articles of 2018.
‣ More appealing than ever
Seeking a spot in the Trojan Family has never been more popular. USC received a record 64,000 applications for fall 2018, leading to the university’s most selective class ever. Test scores and average GPA of applicants continued to climb as the admission rate dropped to just 13 percent.
‣ Raise a glass
USC experts have a verdict on a long-debated topic: Drinking wine can support good health. But before popping the cork on a Cabernet, consider an important caveat. Mild or moderate alcohol consumption can decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease and other causes of death, so you should limit your intake to no more than a drink a day.
‣ Campus has a star turn, or two
Of all the Hollywood stars connected to USC, few if any have logged more screen time than the university itself. The shady brick paths and ivy-draped buildings of the University Park Campus have served as the backdrop to hundreds of films, television shows and commercials — from The Graduate to Scandal.
‣ Another top 20 ranking
Another year, another excellent ranking. USC earned top marks in a nationwide survey that considered important factors like whether students feel challenged, graduates find rewarding jobs and diversity is promoted on campus. The ranking places USC in the top three among all universities in the western U.S.
‣ New leadership
A new leader took the helm at USC in 2018. USC Trustee and alumna Wanda M. Austin became interim president of the university, bringing her leadership skills from nearly a decade as the top administrator at The Aerospace Corp. The engineering and aeronautics expert earned her doctorate in systems engineering from USC.
‣ An instant hit
A Mandarin take on Coldplay’s iconic tune “Yellow” became an instant hit among countless fans who streamed into movie theaters to see Crazy Rich Asians. All the attention came as a surprise to the voice behind the cover song, USC sophomore Katherine Ho, who auditioned for the gig without knowing what it was for.
‣ Facelift for an old friend
The Olympic cauldron rising above the peristyle at the eastern end of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is typically the highest point in the historic structure. But this year, construction cranes took over that status — temporarily — as USC embarked on a major privately funded renovation to update and preserve the longtime home of the Trojans.
‣ Celebrating diversity and achievement
More freshmen than ever accepted a spot in this year’s incoming class — 3,400 first-year students leapt at the chance to become Trojans, including the most Hispanic and African-American scholars in USC history. A quarter of new students enrolling this fall identify as an underrepresented minority, and 17 percent are among their family’s first generation to attend college.