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USC Latino Alumni Association begins new chapter with USCAA partnership

From left, LAA Executive Director Domenika Lynch with Richard Zapanta, the 2012 recipient of the association’s Legacy Award, and USC Trustee Frank H. Cruz, a member of the LAA Corporate Advisory Council (Photo/Lisa Renee)

The USC Latino Alumni Association (LAA) began a new chapter in its nearly 40-year history on Nov. 1 when it joined University Advancement as part of the USC Alumni Association (USCAA).

Al Checcio, senior vice president for University Advancement, led discussions with leaders of the LAA over the past year about the potential of this new partnership. Following those discussions, LAA Executive Director Domenika Lynch and USCAA CEO Scott M. Mory drafted a memorandum of understanding that was subsequently approved by the LAA board of directors.

“We are thrilled to have the LAA join the USC Alumni Association,” Mory said. “Our Latino Trojans are one of USC’s most dedicated constituencies, and we look forward to working closely with the LAA to realize the aspirations of both organizations.”

Under the banner of USC Student Affairs since its founding in 1973, the LAA has long provided scholarship assistance for the academic development of USC students who demonstrate financial need or merit and show a commitment to the Latino community.

Thanks in large part to the strong leadership and support of Michael L. Jackson, the university’s vice president for student affairs, the LAA has developed into one of USC’s most active and loyal alumni organizations, and has awarded $15 million in scholarships to more than 7,500 deserving students.

The move to the USCAA will further enhance the LAA’s ability to engage the Trojan Family in support of its scholarship program and academic success initiatives for USC’s growing Latino student population. With USCAA support in areas such as communications, events and fundraising, the LAA will have the opportunity to leverage synergies with the USCAA and other programs in University Advancement to expand its pool of potential supporters and increase the size of its scholarship endowment.

“We’re excited about working together in the years ahead to continue building on the proud legacy of the LAA,” Lynch said.

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