Alumni volunteers recently assembled on campus for the eighth annual USC Alumni Leadership Conference, the most ambitious to date.
The conference turned two days in September into a celebration of Trojan Family volunteers, the lifeblood of the USC alumni network.
Approximately 300 alumni leaders from across the nation and around the world met on the University Park campus to fortify their leadership skills and exchange ideas. Attendees included leaders and members of alumni clubs, alumnae groups, multicultural organizations, the Alumni Association Board of Governors, USC school alumni associations and USC Athletics support groups.
“At the conference, we strengthen the ties we share, both as alumni leaders and ambassadors of USC,” said Scott M. Mory, associate senior vice president for alumni relations.
Participants were welcomed to the Sept. 24 conference by Mory, USC Alumni Association president Robert Padgett ’68 and Martha Harris, senior vice president, university relations, who brought greetings from USC President Steven B. Sample.
Afterward, volunteers experienced the high caliber of research at USC during the second annual “Best of USC” panel. This year’s panelists included University Professor Caleb Finch; Geneva Overholser, director of the School of Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism; Anthony Hassan, inaugural director of the Center for Research and Innovation on Veterans and Military Families; and Ian Whittinghill ’08, student founder of the USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory.
Rounding out the first day was an opportunity for participants to network while watching a USC football practice session. This was followed by an excursion to a USC Thornton School of Music Chamber Orchestra concert, part of the school’s 125th anniversary celebration.
The next day, USC Executive Vice President and Provost C. L. Max Nikias hosted a breakfast at the USC Davidson Continuing Education Center.
Mitchell R. Creem, CEO for USC University and USC Norris Cancer hospitals; Katharine Harrington, dean of admission and financial aid; and Thomas S. Sayles, USC vice president for government and community relations, briefed volunteers about the latest developments at the university.
Following a networking lunch at USC Town & Gown, conference participants enjoyed the second annual “Lessons in Leadership” panel moderated by Classical KUSC program director Gail Eichenthal at the Norris Cinema Theatre.
For many, the conference highlight came when volunteers donned hardhats for tours of the new Epstein Family Alumni Center and the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, scheduled to open next fall.
In the evening, exceptional alumni volunteers were honored for their dedication and hard work at the USC Alumni Association Volunteer Recognition Dinner.
Carmy Peters of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the USC Alumni Association’s Grace Shiba were named Alumni Volunteer friends of the year, while the Alumni Volunteer Organizations of the Year were the Trojan League Associates of San Diego County, the USC Alumni Club of Kansas City and the USC Alumni Club of New York. Fifty-six volunteers took home Widney Alumni House Awards.