USC trustee and past board chairman Stanley Gold was awarded the university’s highest honor, the Presidential Medallion, at the Academic Honors Convocation on April 14.
Gold received his award at a Town & Gown dinner at which 14 students and 14 faculty members also were recognized for their accomplishments.
In remarks prepared for the medal citation, USC President Steven B. Sample wrote that Gold “has played an instrumental role in the dramatic ascent of his alma mater into the top ranks of research universities. Under his guidance as a trustee since 1993 and as board chairman from 2002 to 2008, USC has greatly advanced in its goals of globalization, learner-centered education and meeting societal needs.”
In addition, Sample wrote, “Gold is a genius at analyzing budgets and spreadsheets.”
Those talents were pivotal as Gold served as the university’s chief negotiator in its recent purchase of USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as in USC securing a 47-year lease with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. “He also led – and generously supported – a delegation of trustees on a historic trip to China,” Sample added.
Gold, who grew up near USC, was the first in his family to attend college. He holds a law degree from USC. He made his professional mark in both the legal and financial fields, serving as a director of the Walt Disney Co. and currently as president of the investment companies Shamrock Holdings and Shamrock Capital Advisors.
Sample noted that both Gold and his wife Ilene “are lavish with their time, talent and means” in supporting this university. “Their donations to USC over the years have funded student scholarships and fellowships at USC College and at various schools, including the USC Gould School of Law, the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and the USC Marshall School of Business, where their son Charles earned his MBA. They’ve also supported research centers that advance religious and cultural understanding, such as the USC Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and the USC Institute of Armenian Studies.”
Ilene Gold currently serves on the Board of Councilors of the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. Her husband, in addition to serving on the USC Board of Trustees, also serves on the Board of Councilors of the USC Gould School of Law, the Board of Overseers of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also is the board chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Also at the convocation, USC Annenberg School for Communication professor Manuel Castells was recognized as USC’s newest University Professor, a distinction acknowledging his significant academic achievement in several disciplines.
Faculty lifetime achievement awards were given to George V. Chilingar, professor emeritus of petroleum engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Marshall Cohen, University Professor emeritus and dean emeritus of USC College; and Donald Feinstein, emeritus chief of medicine of USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.
Phi Kappa Phi faculty recognition awards were given to John E. Bowlt of USC College, Caleb Finch of the USC Davis School of Gerontology, Ariela J. Gross of the USC Gould School of Law and Guilbert C. Hentschke and William G. Tierney, both of the USC Rossier School of Education.
A new award, the Provost’s Mentoring Award, was presented to Velina Hasu Houston, a professor of theatre who is the associate dean of faculty and director of the dramatic writing program.
The USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching had two recipients: Chi Ho Mak, professor of chemistry at USC College and Doe Mayer of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
The USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship went to P. Daniel Dapkus, co-chair of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering (electrophysics) at USC Viterbi, and Edward J. McCaffery, professor of law, economics and political science at the USC Gould School of Law.