Alumni SCene

Student leaders, team spirit, special effects and a symposium

The 2011-12 members of Society 53, the student outreach program of the USC Alumni Association, on the steps of Widney Alumni House. Photo by Amy OpokaSlideshow IconThe 2011-12 members of Society 53, the student outreach program of the USC Alumni Association, on the steps of Widney Alumni House. Photo by Amy Opoka
The USC Alumni Association and regional alumni clubs host various USC Weekender events at away football games throughout the year. Photo by Dan Avila Paul Debevec of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies presents on digital animation at the TimesCenter in Manhattan on Nov. 22 as part of the “USC in Your Neighborhood” series. Photo by Julie Stapen During the first International Alumni Leaders Symposium held at the Hong Kong Marriott Hotel on Oct. 13, attendees share best practices for engaging alumni. Courtesy of USCAA

1. High (Achieving) Society

Society 53, named after the 53 students who formed USC’s first student body in 1880, is the student outreach program of the USC Alumni Association (USCAA). Pictured here on the steps of Widney Alumni House – where, aptly enough, those first 53 students attended class – are the 2011-12 members, including president Anthony Barkett (fourth row, far right). Eighteen new members came on board last year. Each year, the group plans and implements the Senior SCend Off, a spring “welcome” barbecue for undergraduate seniors transitioning to alumni status, and the Trojan SCuppers, informal dinners hosted by alumni for USC students.

2. Have Fun, Will Travel

Thousands of Trojans enjoyed USC Weekender events hosted by the USCAA and its regional alumni clubs at away football games in Arizona, the Bay Area, Chicago/South Bend and, for the first time, Colorado. The USC Trojan Marching Band and the USC Song Girls stole the show, with special events that included architectural and Goose Island brewery tours in Chicago and pep rallies at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, Chicago’s Navy Pier (pictured here) and Westin Denver Downtown.

3. Savvy About the Na’vi

Paul Debevec, USC computer science professor and associate director for graphic research at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, presented on digital animation at the TimesCenter in Manhattan on Nov. 22. Debevec is an Academy Award-winning visual effects director whose work has been featured in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Avatar (2009). The USCAA event was part of the “USC in Your Neighborhood” series designed to bring USC faculty to cities outside Southern California. Debevec was joined by USC Viterbi School of Engineering dean Yannis C. Yortsos and USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett at encore presentations in the Bay Area, New York and Southern California.

4. Global Groupthink

Prior to the 2011 USC Global Conference, the USCAA held its first International Alumni Leaders Symposium at the Hong Kong Marriott Hotel on Oct. 13. Attendees included Al Checcio, senior vice president for University Advancement; Scott M. Mory, USCAA CEO (third from left); and Lisa Barkett ’81, USCAA Board of Governors president (seated, third from left). Alumni leaders shared best practices for engaging alumni, with presentations on topics such as maximizing club communications through social media and mentoring recent USC graduates.