ON FEBRUARY 27, 2001, members of the Trojan Family spilled into Bovard Auditorium for a historic gathering. It had been billed as the 2001 State of the University Address, and everyone was invited. Students, senior vice presidents and Spanish-speaking grounds crew brushed up against trustees, alumni, community leaders and faculty, all angling for a good seat at the spectacle that had created a buzz for weeks. Everyone expected it to be a watershed moment a celebration marking the first decade of Steven B. Samples presidency.
Decade of Distinction was the title of a video produced and directed by Cinema-TV graduate D.J. Johnson 00 and filmed entirely by USC students and alumni that pulled all the threads together.
For 18 minutes, the crowd filling Bovards main hall and two balconies was bombarded with facts and figures, many familiar yet when presented collectively and in rapid-fire succession, truly staggering in scope. Even faculty and administrators long familiar with the catalogue of USCs triumphs had to gasp at the cumulative effect. Had USC really come this far in just 10 years?
The decade had begun on an inauspicious note, Sample reminded the audience in his address, which followed the video. In 1991, Southern California was deep in recession: hard-hit USC implemented widespread layoffs. Next came the citys tumultuous 1992 riots, then the Northridge earthquake of 1994. Against this backdrop, USCs Decade of Distinction seems all the more astonishing.
Sample organized his presentation into what he called six triumphs, accomplishments that were driven by a Strategic Plan set forth at the beginning of the decade and which have borne remarkable fruit as we enter a new century.
In the pages that follow, USC Trojan Family Magazine invites you to relive the last decade years that have catapulted USC to heights that have gone, in Samples words, beyond our wildest dreams.
Were here today to celebrate a decade of achievement by the University of Southern California.
I want to make one point very clear these are not my achievements; rather, these are your achievements. In fact, the achievements of the last 10 years are the result of efforts by the entire Trojan Family.
Steven B. Sample, State of the University Address, Feb. 27, 2001