Long after they doff their robes and mortarboards, 65 members of USC’s Class of 2015 will be able to return to Leavey Library and find their academic achievements inscribed on the Wall of Scholars.
A ceremony held on May 14 in the library’s Weingart Reading Room honored these exceptional graduates. Surrounded by the names of past honorees, USC President C. L. Max Nikias, USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan and Skull and Dagger Society President Jerry Papazian ’77 joined hundreds of family members, friends, faculty and staff for the occasion.
The Skull and Dagger Society created the Wall of Scholars in 1995. Each year, the names of graduates who have won a national or international scholarship, or who earned notable USC academic accolades are etched into the wall’s glass panels.
Papazian served as master of ceremonies and, before welcoming Nikias to the podium, secured a round of applause “for the parents and other family members who have supported these scholars for the last four years.”
‘A wonderful tribute’
Nikias described the students’ inclusion on the wall as “a wonderful tribute to their exceptional intellectual gifts and to their remarkable devotion to the pursuit of knowledge,” and he invited students to visit Leavey Library as alumni.
“When you do, you can proudly show your friends, your families, your children — even your grandchildren — that you have a special place in the history of this university,” the president said.
Quinlan stressed “how deeply students are invested in our libraries as vital partners in their academic success” and acknowledged the role of their advocacy in the ongoing renovations to Leavey Library.
“Our spaces and our buildings evolve, as they must, alongside changing study habits and ways of conducting research,” she said. “But a great library champions permanence as well the persistence of knowledge through history, the continuity of the intellectual record. So even as the physical character of this building evolves, the Wall of Scholars remains a permanent commemoration to the achievements of our outstanding students.”