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USC to mark 125 years of award-winning athletics

The members of USC's first football team in 1888 were called the Methodists.

USC will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its athletic program during the upcoming 2013-14 season.

Since fielding a football team in 1888, USC has had an unparalleled athletic tradition, including 120 national team championships, an unprecedented 419 Olympians and 52 NCAA Postgraduate Scholars.

“It’s an exciting time here and a significant athletic year at USC,” said Trojan Athletic Director Pat Haden. “We will celebrate the 125th anniversary of USC athletics throughout this season. It has been a remarkable 125-year history of athletic success that very few universities can match. I know our fans and alumni are proud of this rich athletic heritage.”

At each home football game during the 2013 season, alumni from USC’s 21 men’s and women’s sports (along with several sports that Troy no longer sponsors) will have pregame reunions and will be saluted during an on-field ceremony. Student-athlete alumni can get more information at

A commemorative 125th anniversary logo has been produced and will be included on merchandise and graphics.

WePlay125, an award-winning all-sports marketing and branding campaign, will be conducted on USC’s various distribution platforms, including on billboards, videoboards, print ads and athletic department publications, as well as on TV and radio commercials and Trojan websites and social media.

The 125th anniversary also will serve as a centerpiece for the Heritage Initiative, the USC athletic department’s $300-million fundraising drive. Funds raised for the initiative — the most ambitious in the department’s history — will support capital projects, annual scholarships for student-athletes, academic support and programming costs, endowments, and recruitment and retention of coaches and staff. Among the capital projects are the renovation of Heritage Hall and the construction of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, both of which are expected to be completed in January on the heels of last year’s opening of the John McKay Center.

Among USC’s 120 national team championships are a national-best 82 men’s NCAA crowns. Trojan men have won more individual NCAA titles (309) than those from any other school, while the Women of Troy have added another 69 individual NCAA titles.

Four Trojans have won the Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete. Two Women of Troy athletes have won the Honda Cup as the top collegiate female athlete of the year, and 15 Honda Award winners have attended USC. The latter accolade goes to the top female athlete in her sport.

And on the global front, USC has more Olympians than any school as well as more Olympic medalists (287) and gold medalists (135). A Trojan has won a gold medal in every Summer Olympics since 1912.

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USC to mark 125 years of award-winning athletics

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