||SINCE TRAVELER'S first appearance at a USC game in 1961, the power and spirit of this majestic horse have inspired legions of USC players, coaches and fans. In fact, since that first appearance, Traveler has become one of the most compelling university mascots in America.
This phenomenon is a credit to the vision and commitment of two remarkable men. In 1961, the late Robert F. Jani 56, USCs director of special events, spotted Traveler and owner/rider Richard Saukko in the Rose Parade. Jani persuaded Saukko to ride Traveler I, a half-Arabian, half-Tennessee Walker, at USCs home football games during the 1961 season. While they proved to be very popular in their first year, no one could have foreseen the role these two would play in USC history.
Richard Saukko would ride four different Travelers from 1961 to 1988. Although Saukko passed away in March 1992, his widow, Patricia, carries on the tradition by continuing to provide USC with a unique mascot and home for Travelers past, present and future.
In recognition of Saukkos long-standing commitment, the Richard Saukko Memorial Fund has been established to ensure that Travelers appearances will always be a vital part of the Trojan Family.
This unique endowment fund is an opportunity for USC alumni and friends to say thank you to the Saukko family and Travelers I through V for bringing something truly special to the University.
For information or to make a donation to the Richard Saukko Memorial Fund, contact Don Ludwig at (213) 740-5127.