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Volunteer Recognition Dinner honors dedicated Trojans

From left, Scott Mory, James Lewis, Michael Adler, Dolly Harris, Randyn Calvo, Nancy Clark Hillgren, Scott Gilmore, Mitchell Lew and Rick Stephens (Photo/Stephen Blaha)

The USC Alumni Association (USCAA) celebrated one of the university’s most precious assets — the alumni volunteers, organizations and friends who dedicate their time, energy and expertise to support the advancement of USC — at the 2012 Volunteer Recognition Dinner on Sept. 21.

USCAA CEO Scott Mory and USCAA Board of Governors President Mitchell Lew ’83, MD ’87 co-hosted the elegant dinner at Town & Gown, where they presented the Widney Alumni House Award, which recognizes volunteers for their loyalty, support and dedication to the university, to 46 volunteers from alumni clubs and university groups.

For their efforts to engage USC alumni and build a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family, three alumni groups were named Volunteer Organizations of the Year: the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Salerni Collegium Alumni Association, the Trojan League of South Bay and the USC Alumni Club of Beverly Hills-Hollywood. Amy-Jo Luna, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism director of alumni relations, received the Volunteer Friend of the Year award, which is given to a USC faculty or staff member for outstanding support of alumni volunteers.

Presented annually to volunteers in recognition of exemplary leadership, achievement and overall contributions to USC, the President’s Award was given to eight alumni. Here’s what each person had to say about why it’s important to give back:

Michael Adler ’86, MBA ’92
USCAA Board of Governors
USC Associates
USC Athletics Board of Councilors

“As an undergrad, I was fortunate to have pretty much my full tuition covered through financial aid and scholarships. I always said that when I became successful, I would repay the money and time that USC invested in me. Little did I realize that I would do that many times over, and love doing every minute of it.”

Randyn Calvo ’05
USC Alumni Club of the San Gabriel Valley

“The achievements of USC’s students, alumni, faculty and staff inspire me to keep spreading the Trojan Spirit beyond the 90089 ZIP code. I’m constantly in awe of the outstanding contributions Trojans make each day. As volunteers we give our time and energy, but what we get back is so much more.”

Scott Gilmore ’75, JD/MBA ’78
USCAA Board of Governors
USC Marshall Partners

“To be honored for doing something that I enjoy so much is an unexpected benefit. My motivation to volunteer was reignited when my children began attending USC. Their experiences brought back great memories and exposed me to all the amazing strides USC had made since I graduated.”

Dolly Harris MSW ’74, PharmD ’77, MPA ’79
USCAA Board of Governors
USC School of Pharmacy Alumni Association

“Being honored recognizes my commitment to USC on a personal level. I am inspired to action every time I attend a USC School of Pharmacy Alumni Association meeting to brainstorm ideas to help students or hear President [C. L. Max] Nikias and other university leaders discuss the innovations taking place at USC.”

Nancy Clark Hillgren ’76
USCAA Board of Governors
Trojan League Associates of San Diego County

“Growing up in a home with a cardinal and gold den, I guess I was destined to become a dedicated Trojan. Today, with more than 15 USC degrees in our family, my commitment to the university runs deep — and my desire to give back comes naturally.”

Steven Lebowitz ’62, MBA ’65
USC Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors

“I was very fortunate to receive a terrific education at USC. The people I met then are many of my friends today, and my education has played a significant role in my career and my success. Sharing my 40-plus years of business experience with the university is easy to do and rewarding.”

James Lewis ’97
USCAA Board of Governors
USC Price School of Public Policy Leadership Council

“I am thankful and surprised to be recognized with this very special award. I am inspired to volunteer because I could never give USC as much as it has given me: professional skills, an appreciation for the arts, amazing experiences and memories and, most importantly, lifelong friends and membership in the Trojan Family.”

Rick Stephens ’74
USC Viterbi School of Engineering Board of Governors

“It’s quite an honor to be recognized for doing something that engages and inspires me. To help a USC student pursue his or her professional dream is a reward in itself. Frankly, my contributions pale in comparison to what I’ve gained from my relationship with USC and the Trojan community.”

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