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Wall of Scholars Recognizes Academic Achievements

Wall of Scholars Recognizes Academic Achievements
USC president C. L. Max Nikias with valedictorian Sarrah Shahawy and salutatorians Craig Western and Samantha Ancona

The names of nearly five dozen exceptional students will be added to the USC Wall of Scholars housed in the Weingart Reading Room of Leavey Library. An afternoon ceremony honoring the inductees’ achievements was held on May 12.

Created in 1994 by USC’s oldest honor society, the Skull and Dagger Society, the Wall of Scholars recognizes students who have been awarded a national or international scholarship, or who have earned certain USC awards and scholarships.

The honorees will have their names etched on glass plaques and permanently mounted on the library walls.

“Prior to 1994 [when Leavey Library first opened], there was no central place on campus where these students could be honored,” said Jerry Papazian, ’77, past president of the USC Alumni Association, who works on the Wall of Scholars project each year. “Over the years, this ceremony, held the day before Commencement, has become an important event where the university president personally congratulates the graduating student honorees and their friends and family.

“As for me,” he added, “it is a great time for me as an alumnus to come back to USC and help celebrate the academic excellence of our students.”

On hand to congratulate the honorees and their families were USC president C. L. Max and and first lady Niki Nikias, USC Libraries dean Catherine Quinlan and associate dean Kevin Starr, USC associate provost for academic affairs Mark Todd and USC chief of staff Dennis Cornell, as well as USC faculty and staff members.

“It’s a great pleasure to acknowledge your extraordinary accomplishments by adding your name to the prestigious Wall of Scholars,” Nikias said. “This recognition is a tremendous tribute to your exceptional talents, your passion for knowledge and your dedication to scholarship. With your many achievements, you have contributed to USC’s academic prestige, and you have made all of us very proud.

“Your journey as students may be coming to an end, but you will always be a part of the Trojan Family,” he told the graduates.

Quinlan welcomed the guests to Leavey Library and congratulated the scholars on their achievements.

“It is fitting that these walls of the Weingart Reading Room should honor those of you who have distinguished yourselves among members of an extraordinarily talented student body … so that your achievements at USC will inspire the countless generations of Trojans who will follow,” Quinlan said. “Perhaps many of you receiving this honor have studied in this room, surrounded by the names of your predecessors who earned a place on the Wall of Scholars.”

“Now, the thousands of students who seek discoveries in this library every year will find your names here on this wall that is the very embodiment of intellectual accomplishment,” she added.

This year’s inductees to the USC Wall of Scholars are:

• 2011 USC valedictorian Sarrah Shahawy and salutatorians Samantha Ancona and Craig Western
• University Trustees Award recipients Jack M. Peace and Daniel Wu
• Luce Scholarship recipient Craig Western
• Churchill Scholarship recipient Daniel Strouse
• Fulbright Graduate Study and Research Abroad Grant recipients Michelle Damian, Lyndsey Hoh, Emily Kamen, Debory Y. Li, Cara R. W. Magnabosco, Amanda Tasse and Tiffany Yang
• Andrew W. Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship recipients Jacob Lewis Bongers, Matthew E. Broaddus, Silvia C. Merlos Green, Jorge R. Rodriguez and Decarlis Wilson
• Emma Josephine Bradley Bovard Award recipients Samantha Ancona, Sarrah Shahawy and Catherine Sullivan
• Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award recipient Johann D’Agostino
• Sample Renaissance Scholar Program Prize recipients Ancona, Cara Bickers, Ava T. Casados, Morgan E. Dameron, Alicia L. Lu, Zara Lukens, Kevin Platt, Sarrah Shahawy, Jeremy Tanner and Monish S. Ullal
• Global Scholar Prize recipients Jacob Lewis Bongers, Nicole F. Broom, Catherine Dolan, Grace P. Hwang, Brandon J. Miliate, Mei (Carolyn) Ng, Daniel Reckard and Dayton Thorpe
• Discovery Scholar Prize recipients Alexis Kaneshiro, Laura Lamansky, Stephen Lamb, Cara R. W. Magnabosco, Bernice Ngo, Daniel Eli Paris, Chris Rollins, Imran Shafi, Marissa K. Srour and Daniel Wu
• Dean Joan Metcalf Schaefer Scholarship recipients Hasan Abbas, Michael Carlson, Negar Kahen, Ana Paulina Lee, Tori Metcalf, Thien-Huong Ninh, Abhinav Prem, Jennifer L. Reynolds, Erika J. Schnaps, Jacqueline Siegle and Esther Singer
• J. Wesley Robb Endowed Scholarship in Human Values recipients Kevin Liu and Lindsey Patin; and
• Arnold S. Dunn Renaissance Scholarship for the Sciences, Arts and Humanities recipient Cassandra Seubert

The names also have been added to the USC Libraries’ virtual Wall of Scholars at The site provides location information for all of the wall’s scholars.

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