Paying tribute to the “lifeblood of the Trojan Family,” the 2011 Volunteer Recognition Dinner was held on Sept. 16 at Town & Gown.
USC Alumni Association chief executive officer Scott Mory and USC Alumni Association Board of Governors president Lisa Barkett ’81 co-hosted the event, which celebrates alumni volunteers, organizations and friends who contribute to the advancement of USC.
Sixty-three volunteers from alumni clubs and university groups received Widney Alumni House Awards recognizing volunteers for their loyalty, support and dedication to the university.
Patrick Auerbach EdD ’08, executive director of alumni relations for the Alumni Association, received the Volunteer Friend of the Year Award given to a USC faculty or staff member for outstanding support of alumni volunteers. Three USC alumni groups were named Volunteer Organizations of the Year for their efforts to engage USC alumni and build a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family: the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC Century Club, the USC Alumni Club of Colorado and the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association.
The evening’s final honor, the President’s Award, is presented annually to volunteers in recognition of their exemplary leadership, achievement and overall contributions to USC. This year, seven Trojans were honored. Here’s what each had to say about what the award means to them:
Linda Ball ’83 (USC Marshall School of Business)
Trojan League of Orange County/Alumnae Coordinating Council
“Almost 30 years ago when I was an ’SC undergrad, I worked as a USC Alumni Association campus tour guide and shared our university with prospective students and visitors from around the world. After graduation, I joined some women’s support groups, which started my wonderful journey as a volunteer and led me to receiving this award. I have always felt it was important to be an active member and leader. Our time is a valuable gift, and I have met so many incredible Trojans who share my passion for USC. I am so proud to be a Trojan daughter, a Trojan sister, a Trojan Greek, a Trojan alumna, a Trojan wife and a Trojan mom. Yep, my dad was right. There’s nothing better than the Trojan Family!”
Alan Berlin ’57 (USC Marshall School of Business)
USC Davis School of Gerontology
“I’m flattered to receive the President’s Award. There are so many active USC alumni who deserve to be chosen. When I attended USC in the 1950s, my overriding goal was to graduate and begin my business career. Little did I realize that some years later, I would become involved in promoting and assisting our great university. A fellow Trojan and close friend introduced me to the members of the USC Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors. I joined the board and ultimately served for 25 years, including three as chairman, before recently retiring. My USC education has been very good to me, so helping my alma mater in this way was the right thing to do.”
Kathleen Campos ’83 (USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)
Trojan League of Los Angeles
“During my first week at USC, Dean Joan Schaefer invited me to have a cup of tea. Our conversation still inspires me to this day. ‘You have so many opportunities to be involved in this campus,’ she said. ‘Many people graduate after four years and wonder what they missed. USC is a smorgasbord, you can choose how you want to make your mark on this university, but Kathleen, you need to pick up a plate!’ I am still picking up plates as an alumni volunteer, and I have yet to lose my appetite. Receiving this award has reenergized my passion for USC and the Trojan League of Los Angeles. Why do I volunteer? My son Devon said it best: ‘Because it makes you feel good!’ ”
Stephanie Farmer MS ’95 (USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development)
USC Black Alumni Association (BAA)/USC Alumni Association Board of Governors
“I have been a Trojan most of my life (I grew up going to USC home football games with my family), and I was thrilled when I received the opportunity to attend graduate school [at USC]. After graduating, I started volunteering with the BAA because of its mission to provide much-needed scholarships to African-American students and valuable networking opportunities for students and alumni. From 2008 to 2010, I served as BAA president. Today, I’m the BAA representative on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. It’s been an inspirational experience because it’s enabled me to network with fellow Trojans who love USC as much as I do. Receiving this award motivates me to continue volunteering for USC. I look forward to the future!”
Sean Kearns ’97 (USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism)
USC Alumni Club of New York/USC Alumni Association Board of Governors
“I love USC and the experiences and education that I received here. I’ve always wanted to give back to my alma mater so that future generations can have the same or even better experiences. This university is a special place where I’ve made many lifelong friends, first as a student and now as a volunteer. Anytime I meet fellow Trojans, there is an instant bond. I’m not sure that connection happens so readily for alumni of other universities. Even though I moved to New York City 10 years ago, my volunteer efforts allow me to stay connected to USC. I never thought I would win such a prestigious award, and my hope is that my best days of serving USC are still ahead of me.”
Lisa Malec ’77 (USC Dornsife)
Trojan League Associates of San Diego County/USC Alumni Club of San Diego
“I know it’s a Hollywood cliché, but it is truly an honor just to be nominated for the President’s Award. On a personal level, this award is a wonderful reward for the hours I spend volunteering on behalf of USC and sharing my Trojan pride with others. When I first started volunteering for USC, my inspiration was my son Brett. He was applying to USC, and it made me want to reconnect with the university. I knew that if he were accepted, Brett would be walking in my campus footsteps, both literally and figuratively. So I got involved and began contributing to USC, for my son and all the other fabulous Trojan students. That is the essence of the Trojan spirit – Trojans supporting Trojans!”
George Beattie Stoneman ’65 (Keck School of Medicine of USC)
Keck School of Medicine of USC/USC Alumni Association Board of Governors
“It’s a privilege to receive the President’s Award, and I feel honored to accept it. The accomplishments are really a team effort made by many loyal Trojans working for a great cause. I am inspired to volunteer for USC and the Keck School of Medicine because the rewards are seeing all the talented, altruistic medical students who will be the next generation of true, caring physicians. Another reward is to give all the proud parents and families of medical students a true connection to USC and to let them know they are all members of the Trojan Family.”
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