To Our Readers

Warren Bennis reports that he has received a tremendous outpouring of mail in response to our
cover story, “Leading Man,” in the Autumn 2000 issue. We share a representative note below:

Dear Warren,
Recently your friends at USC sent me a copy of the USC Trojan Family Magazine. What wonderful “stuff” about you! And how great to be presented with a festschrift! All well-earned over a lifetime of diligently serving the needs of others through your writing and teaching, and through your counsel and love. To know you as a long-time friend is a great gift.

Max O. De Pree
Holland, MI

In Remembrance

We would commend your staff for the diligence shown in describing the honors
and recognition earned by our recently deceased Sigma Chi fraternity brother Robert L. (Bob) Blackman, Class of ’42 (page 67, Autumn 2000).
It may be of interest to Bob’s friends and teammates to know that Dartmouth College trustees have told Bob’s widow, Kay Blackman, that in October of this year they will formally dedicate their new football practice field as “Bob Blackman Field.”
Those Trojans who for decades practiced football, rugby, baseball and track on our beloved Bovard Field know that one day those many, many athletes representing “the Big Green” will remember their associations and happy days practicing on “Bob Blackman Field.” All honor to his name.Thank you for your good efforts.

T. Bruce Graham ’43, MBA ’47
Port Hueneme, CA

The university has lost a brilliant mind and I have lost a caring mentor with the passing of Dr. Judith Grayson (p. 70, Autumn 2000). As director of teacher education for the USC Rossier School of Education for the last nine years, she has guided and shaped the minds of hundreds of young teachers, including mine. Were it not for her keen insight and sharp intellect, the teachers who graduated from the program truly would have missed out on her unique perspective on education.
But if it wasn’t for her cheery personality and zest for life, all of us who knew her would have sorely missed her enthusiasm and optimism that filled the classrooms of Waite Phillips Hall.
Dr. Grayson was not only a gifted administrator, but a wonderful friend and adviser. Unlike anyone else at USC, my relationship with this special woman began in my early childhood. My grandmother, a guidance counselor in the Garden City schools in New York, was Dr. Grayson’s first “master teacher,” overseeing her first years in the classroom. Their professional relationship blossomed into a lifelong friendship and my family has treasured her exuberant spirit ever since. The dynamic bond between these two energetic women was so inspiring that it enheartened me to become a teacher as well.
I can remember visiting a school for special needs children where she worked in the early 1980s and watching her face light up when she entered a classroom filled with beautiful projects. I knew then I wanted to love my career as much as she did, though I didn’t know then what it would be. When I sat down with her for lunch in the summer of my sophomore year at USC, I asked so many questions about teaching that she looked at me and said that I had the mind of an educator, inquisitive and full of wonder. Just like my grandmother. That was my turning point, the day that changed my life as she had encouraged me to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother and become a teacher. I have never looked back, and neither have my friends and colleagues at USC and schools all over whose lives have been touched by this remarkable woman.
I will always remember her sweet smile, the little birds that graced her office, and her compassionate words of wisdom. USC has lost a great mind but will forever be touched by her warm heart and kind spirit.

Lisa Heimlich Regan ’94
Studio City, Ca

The USC Rossier School has established a memorial in honor of Professor Judith Manning Grayson. Contributions can be made to the Grayson Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Advancement Office, USC Rossier School of Education, 1103 Waite Phillips Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0031.

Smokeless High

I read with interest the Health News article titled “Smoke Gets in Young Lungs” (p. 23, Autumn 2000) about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I relished the semi-cool easier feeling knowing it had been years (10 to be exact) since I had last smoked. Simply stated, I feel blessed to learn about vitality and progress found at USC. My best to friends of USC in their smoke-free years ahead.

Clayton B. Snow ’55
Los Angeles, CA

Foreign Legions

Firstly, thanks again for another excellent issue: Summer 2000, especially your center-spread feature on the new buildings on campus (“A Boom with a View,” p. 37). It’s been a few years since I was last on campus, and would love to go back soon to see these impressive buildings.
I [also] noted with interest your article on “Strengthening the Bonds” (p. 59). As an alumnus working overseas and leading the USC Alumni Club of Singapore, I would like to know what the new USC Alumni Association’s stand is on overseas clubs. Do they see us as an integral part of the Trojan Family?
Even before the GAA was restructured, there [were] very few mentions and communications with overseas alums. The association’s website mentions local dom-estic clubs, but not international ones. I’ve tried several times to highlight this to them: in Asia alone there are clubs in every country.
Unfortunately, every contact I’ve had with officers from our alma mater has been about recruiting and fund-raising. Our alumni are now apprehensive of meeting up when USC reps are in town. I feel that the Alumni Association should maintain more communication with all USC alumni, especially around the world.
Perhaps USC Trojan Family Magazine would like to feature a story on international Trojans in your future editions?
Fight On!

Aaron Goh ’91

John Windler, director of international alumni relations, replies: “I cannot emphasize enough that we consider international alumni a very important part of the Trojan Family network. The problem of communicating with our international alumni has been with us for many years, as Aaron Goh indicates, but with the reorganization of the USC Alumni Association, we have begun to implement a number of changes that I think will have a very direct impact on our international alumni and the ability of all our alumni, international and domestic, to keep the connection with each other and with the university.
While we are working to increase circulation of USC Trojan Family Magazine to overseas alumni and are in our second year of publishing the USC Quarterly Inter-national Newsletter, it is clear that the explosion of Internet technologies is our best medium for reaching out to the global Trojan Family. Please check our website again ( – in addition to adding international clubs to our Alumni Organizations section, we have launched a new Online Community that features an online alumni directory, the ability to create a permanent USC alumni email address and other services that will be available to all alumni, both domestic and international.”

Ben and Lauren Robinow
Irish Trojans

My son’s father-in-law, Mr. Larry Kirkbride of Long Beach, Calif., is a Notre Dame football fan and we have “good fun” during football season. I naturally take pride in providing appropriate USC apparel for my beautiful grandchildren, and I don’t mind having enlargements made for Mr. Kirkbride. My fear, of course, is that one day they will show up wearing green out of fairness to the other grandparents. Any advice?

Barbara McLaughlin EMBA ’89
Alamo, CA

Mafia Photo Op

Inspired by John Zollinger’s excellent coverage of the USC Cinema-Television 70th anniversary in the Spring 2000 issue, I helped organize a photograph I consider extremely lucky to have been a part of, and am submitting it to you in hopes that it will be published.
The School of Cinema-Television has always bragged about its dominance in the industry and how Hollywood can’t operate or function without its alumni. I heard that often enough as a critical studies major, but always wondered if and when I would ever see proof of these alleged assertions first hand.
My answer came immediately upon landing my first job on a movie after graduating from USC in 1999. The movie was Miramax’s Impostor, and I was stunned to see that almost every major job on the movie was filled by a USC alumnus! Though only a production assistant, I wanted to show all of my USC friends and fraternity brothers that I got to work alongside the director of Kiss the Girls and the cinematographer of Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Tomorrow Never Dies.
Photographed on the final day of production by our still photographer, Kim-berly Wright, everyone in frame attended the School of Cinema-Television.
Pictured are (standing, left to right): camera operator Paul Babin ’75, additional production coordinator Ron Vecchiarelli ’91, assistant director Jim Sbardellati MFA ’80, director Gary Fleder MA ’93, production assistant Patrick S. Young ’99, visual effects supervisor Joe Grossberg MFA ’93; and Dimension Films’ senior vice president for production and development Michael Zoumas ’84, MA ’89. In front (kneeling, left to right) are editor Armen Minasian ’83, director of photography Robert Elswit ’75 and assistant cameraman Christos Bitsakos ’94.
Thank you and Fight On!

Patrick S. Young, ’99
Hollywood, CA


I want you to know how much I enjoy reading the USC Trojan Family Magazine. It is informative, interesting and well-done. I am very proud of USC, especially its film school. The magazine keeps us informed and makes us continue to feel a part of USC.

Shirley Ratner
Greensburg, PA

Notice Board

I am writing to request your assistance in locating Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) alumni members who served with the National Service program after attending USC. For information, alumni can visit our website ( or email
Thank you.

Matt Dunne
Corporation for National Service
Director, AmeriCorps*VISTA
Washington, DC

The USC Lambda Alumni Association provides scholarships to current USC students and a link between current and past GLBT students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends through our commitment to Trojan Family Pride. Check our website for upcoming events at lambda_alumni_assn/ or call (213) 740-5440 for more information. And save the date of March 25, 2001 for our next Scholarship banquet at Town and Gown.

Mary Andres and Amy Ross
co-presidents, USC Lambda
Alumni Association

As part of the USC History Project, the USC Alumni Association encourages alumni and friends of the university to donate their USC “archives” back to the university. We are particularly looking for photos, sketches, layouts, etc., of Widney Alumni House. It is our hope to display some of the more interesting items in the Alumni House on a permanent basis.
If you have any materials (such as yearbooks, programs, pictures, etc.) that you would like to donate, please contact Abigail Kaun at (213) 740-8559.

Gerald S. Papazian ’77
Los Angeles, CA



Previous Last Word Answers
We welcome letters from readers, although we do reserve the right to select and edit for space. Send letters to:

Mailbag, c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine, University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2538, fax: (213) 821-1100

And of course, by e-mail at

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