Superstition aside, Friday, Nov. 13 proved to be a lucky day for the approximately 260 attendees at the Half Century Trojans Annual Luncheon at Town & Gown.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the university’s senior alumni group presented the Distinguished Service and Hall of Fame awards to Al Shonk ’54 and Gordon Marshall ’46, respectively, and welcomed its newest members, the Class of 1959.
Presented by the USC Alumni Association, the luncheon drew a cross-section of the Trojan Family, including members of the university faculty, senior administration and Society 53, the alumni association’s student outreach group. Also among the attendees was a trailblazing sports legend: 10-meter platform diving champion Sammy Lee ’47, the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States. He accomplished the feat in London (1948) and Helsinki (1952).
Following a cocktail reception in the Town & Gown courtyard, Scott M. Mory, associate senior vice president for alumni relations, got the luncheon off to an energetic start, encouraging everyone to show their Trojan Spirit with an enthusiastic “Fight On!”
The program was highlighted by reminiscences from several longtime members of the Half Century Trojans. In recognition of the group’s 60th anniversary, Jim Eddy ’52 and his wife Janet Ewart Eddy ’53, MS ’78, PhD ’91 spoke of the organization’s founding in 1949 when Arnold Eddy ’24, then-executive director of the General Alumni Association and Jim Eddy’s father, initiated the first Half Century Trojans.
Jane Brust, associate senior vice president of the USC Health Sciences public relations and marketing office and associate dean at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, delivered the keynote address. Introduced by Half Century Trojans president Seymour Canter ’55, Brust gave an overview of the history of the USC hospital system.
Half Century Trojans board member Gordon Gray ’48 then took the podium to present the Distinguished Service Award to Shonk. Gray’s good-natured ribbing of his old friend was the proverbial tough act to follow as USC Marshall School of Business Dean James G. Ellis observed before presenting the Hall of Fame Award to his school’s “great partner,” Gordon Marshall.
In addition to Shonk and Marshall, another illustrious Trojan was singled out for recognition at the luncheon: centenarian Juanita Feeder ’32, who had attended USC along with her five brothers.
When asked about her decades-spanning dedication to her alma mater, Feeder replied, “Once a Trojan, always a Trojan,” a credo embraced by the Half Century Trojans.
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