Alumni Profile

George Moody '40

Resolute Recruiter Throughout his diverse life and travels, George Moody has always had a very special place in his heart for USC. One result of such devotion is
that hundreds of others have joined theTrojan Family he so loves. Since his first job in the film industry after graduating in 1940, to careers taking him to Europe, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Chicago and his current relatively quiet life in Orange County, Moody's exertions on behalf of USC student recruitment and alumni involvement have been extraordinary.
“I enjoyed the university so very, very much,” he says of his zeal. “I just felt that a lot of people were missing a wonderful opportunity if they didn’t attend USC.”
Moody took full advantage of his own USC opportunity. He graduated from Springfield (Ill.) High School in 1935 and was offered an academic scholarship to USC. His halcyon years on campus included joining -- and being elected president of -- Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and membership in Blue Key, Skull and Dagger, and the University Senate.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in cinematography, he promptly became a special effects artist at MGM Studios. His magnum opus was the spectacular train wreck in the film of Edna Ferber’s novel, Saratoga Trunk, starring Ingrid Bergman.

George Moody, at right in this photo, was president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in 1940. With him is Mike McBan, then student body president. The event is a tea honoring Mrs. Dwight Hart.

LIFE NEXT TOOK MOODY -- who had joined the Army Air Corps -- to Europe, where he indulged his love of education by attending the Academy of International Law at The Hague. He completed a master’s degree in international relations and worked as special assistant to Philip Jessup, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, then headquartered in Paris. Foreign service appointments for the State Department followed in Durban, South Africa, and Washington, D.C.
“Everywhere I went I talked about USC,” he says. “At the time it was such a regional university, so getting its name out and selling it was just part of who I was.”
In the mid-1950s, he returned to his native Illinois, working in management positions in Chicago steel and metal companies. Moody’s volunteer work for the university took a more formal turn when, in 1959, he founded the USC Midwest Alumni Club.
“My major purpose and function in organizing the club was to recruit students,” recalls Moody, who served as the club’s first president. “Right on the heels of that it was to fund scholarships.”
The catalogue of George Moody’s contributions to the university later included serving as president of the USC Associated Alumni Clubs in 1977-78.
Now retired, he lives in San Juan Capistrano, keeping up a voluminous correspondence with former and current recruits. “It’s a lot easier now,” he says, “because I’m recruiting sons and daughters of alumni I recruited way back when.”


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