I am disturbed by the statement by Joseph Allen that no one wants to see [USC] move into a range thats so selective that we leave alumni behind [Admissions, Past, Present and Future, Winter 1999, p. 43]. This concern is based upon faulty reasoning because it assumes that all alumni (and SCions) could not measure up to the newly enhanced admissions standards. Perhaps some alumni particularly those who graduated years ago want special treatment carved out for themselves and their children. What about the very recent alumni who had no problems being admitted under the more stringent standards? They undoubtedly do not share Mr. Allens concerns.
Alumni and their children should receive some deference during the admissions process; however, if USC seriously intends to move into the rarefied ranks of the Ivies, then it must not yield to the pressure of ancient alumni to maintain double-admissions standards. With respect to admissions in general, the size of the transfer class should be reduced tremendously (its also unfair to those who matriculate directly from high school), as well as the entering class size. Hopefully these issues will address themselves in the long run with an increased endowment and less dependency upon tuition.
Paul E. Escobar 82
Joseph Allen, vice provost for enrollment, replies: You have reversed the meaning of my statement. I absolutely believe that SCions can (and do) meet the new standards for admission. It is simply a matter of keeping Trojan Family members aware and informed about increasing selectivity so they can best plan for the future. To the many alumni who have mused about their own chances of being admitted today with their records of yesteryear: I am quite certain you would have met any challenge, academic or otherwise, that might have stood between you and your desire to become a Trojan. I believe the same of your children, grand and great.
I enjoy USC Trojan Family Magazine. Keep it coming! However, the public relations advertisement titled University of Spoiled Children [Office of Admissions pullout poster, Winter 1999] perpetuates the stereotyped thinking it seeks to banish. Specifically, one statistic, [cited in the brochure] to contest the belief that USC students are rich and spoiled, states that USC is among ...one of the most ethnically and racially diverse selective universities.
This statement implies that an ethnically and racially diverse student body is neither spoiled nor rich. Demographics do support that household incomes are lower and poverty rates are higher among non-whites. However, your statement perpetuates a common stereotype that [all] non-white students come from poverty an assumption common among students and faculty alike that makes college life for [non-white] students more difficult and less enjoyable. In fact, being rich and spoiled (and vice versa) is the reality of students from all racial and ethnic categories, and across all universities and colleges.
Judith A. Clair Ph.D. 93
Joseph Allen replies: Yikes! The Spoiled Children advertisement is certainly meant to question stereotypes, not perpetuate them. That is exactly why we used several elements of diversity, including race, culture and geography (in addition to superb academic preparation), in describing our remarkable student body.
I was encouraged to read about the work of the Task Force on Enrollment 2005, [Admissions: Past, Present and Future, Winter 1999, p. 42] stating that one of the goals is to have a diverse student body. I also noted that [dean of Letters, Arts and Sciences Morton] Schapiro indicated the task force is made up of a broad range of people at the university. Then I looked at the picture. No women. Then I looked at the committee membership. Fifteen members, two women. A bright future, indeed.
Ann E. Feyerherm Ph.D. 93
Laguna Niguel, CA
Joseph Allen replies: You are absolutely right about the picture. Given busy schedules, we were only able to get five people to go to the photo shoot on deadline. While I recognize and regret the symbolism of five men sitting at the table, the reality of our situation is quite encouraging. There are five women on the task force, and they are strong advocates for many issues, including those affecting the enrollment of women. I am happy to say the same is true of the men who serve on the task force. Over the past five years, the percentage of women applicants, admits and enrollees to undergraduate studies has risen steadily. This year we have reached parity. Support for women in non-traditional areas, such as engineering, mathematics and architecture, is helping to reshape the future for these disciplines. I hope you will agree the future does, indeed, shine brightly.
In Praise of Philosophy
Thanks for another great puzzle [Phil It Up, Winter 1999, p. 80]. I used to love going to the philosophy classes the building is so beautiful. I guess I must have learned something too!
Connie Ohanesian 72
After entering USC as a film major and having to endlessly endure the question from friends and family alike: So, what are you going to do with that degree? I eventually succumbed to the intellectual and architectural treasures of Mudd Hall and changed my major to ethical philosophy, which, of course, prompted my friends and family to ask: So, what are you going to do with that degree? Finally, I have an opportunity to show them [by solving this Last Word puzzle]!
Gary S. Dawson 91
I didnt take Intro to Philosophy, but I have a son who is taking it now and rolled his eyes when I asked him for help [with the Last Word puzzle]. Its not a pretty sight to look stupid in front of a college sophomore. Ill get back at him when he asks me for help with
oh dear, is there anything I know that he doesnt anymore?
Karen Keilholtz Burkland 68
Sherman Oaks, CA
I love your [Last Word] quizzes. I turn to them right away when I get the magazine. My other colleges Tulane, Duke, Agnes Scott and Stanford dont have anything fun in theirs!
New Orleans, LA
My parents were avid fans of USC and were happy when I was allowed to attend there on the G.I. Bill after serving in World War II. In the 20s, color film was unattainable; consequently my mom, Laura Heinauer-Penn of Santa Monica, Calif., used her hobby of hand-tinting black and white photographs, as is shown in this 1927 picture with her, a beautiful 24-year-old, and me at age 2. (In those days she and dad would un-trim our Christmas trees in the living room and re-trim them outside for photographs, as flashbulbs were also unavailable.)
To the spoofers, I must confess that I added to moms photo with a bit of computer-tinted text to show my lifelong affection for the great University of Southern California. Laura and my dad, Jack A. Penn, would approve.
John Herman Jack Penn 50, M.S.W. 52
Lake Forest, CA
Every year at Homecoming I return to the campus to play in the USC Trojan Alumni Band at the football game. And, every year, as I tour the campus and the adjoining areas, I am constantly impressed by the tremendous changes that have, and are, taking place. I really enjoy reading USC Trojan Family Magazine, a truly fine publication. It speaks so well of our university!
Jack Birkholz 52
My compliments to the staff at the magazine. It is very well done, and I look forward to its arrival every quarter.
Dennis Kirshner 69, M.P.L. 75
Urban Semester Fall 1969 is planning a reunion. Please contact Margie Buckingham at (949) 644-5416 or Richard Foos at (310) 474-4778.
Margie Buckingham 71, M.S. 73
Newport Beach, CA
Swim With Mike is an annual swim-a-thon that raises money for the USC Physically Challenged Athletes Scholar-ship Fund. Established in 1981, the swim was scheduled to be a one-time event organized by friends and teammates of Mike Nyeholt, a three-time All-American swimmer who was paralyzed following a motorcycle accident in January 1981. Initially called Swim For Mike, the fundraiser was intended to help purchase a specially equipped van for him. To everyones surprise, Nyeholt made an appearance at the first swim. More than $58,000 was raised that day, exceeding the amount needed to purchase the van. At Mikes suggestion, the excess funds were used to create the Physically Challenged Athletes Fund at USC, the only one of its kind in America. Mike continues to participate in the annual swim, which has awarded more than 30 scholarships to physically challenged students.
Please join us for our 20th annual event on April 15, 2000, at the McDonalds Swim Stadium. For details on the Swim With Mike program, please call (213) 740-4155.
Ron Orr 79
USC Associate Athletic Director
Attention Trojans! You are hereby invited to attend the Trojan Junior Auxiliary Spring Benefit at the L.A. Central Library on Saturday, April 8, 2000 a fantastic evening of dining and dancing, along with an exciting casino night, raffle and silent auction. Past auctions have included an autographed SC football, a day of spa treatments and a week in Park City, Utah. Tickets are $50 per person, and are available until a week before the event.
Comprised of recent graduates, Trojan Junior Auxiliary is one of the oldest alumnae organizations at USC, dating back to 1936. TJA provides scholarships to outstanding junior and senior women. If you are interested in attending the Spring Benefit or donating an item to the silent auction, or if you would like information on becoming a member of Trojan Junior Auxiliary, please call Cindi Smith at (818) 242-6244, or contact me by email at <email@example.com>.
Cindi Smith 93