Issue: Winter 2004
Alumni and Friends
Who’s Doing What and Where
||More Than Hopefuls
from top left: Kaitlin Sandeno waves to the crowd after the women’s
4x200 meter relay team won gold; Felix Sanchez crosses the finish line
to win the gold medal in the men’s 400-meter hurdles; Lisa Leslie,
left, and Tina Thompson hug after the women’s basketball 74-63 win over
Australia gave the team the gold; women's 200-meter silver medalist
Allyson Felix poses during a presentation ceremony; Blythe Hartley,
front, competes in the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard diving
AP/Wide World Photos
USC athletes old and new set records and made history en route to a 17-medal triumph at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
competitors of the past, present and future won 17 medals – eight
golds, five silvers and four bronzes – at the 2004 Summer Olympics in
To put that figure in context: If USC had
competed as a country, the university would have tied for 16th in the
overall medal standings.
“We’re very proud of the tremendous achievements of our Olympians in
Athens,” says President Steven B. Sample. “The fact that Trojan
athletes earned 17 medals in this year’s games is a testament to the
exceptional talent and extraordinary efforts of USC’s student-athletes
The majority of USC’s gold medal haul came in swimming, with five victorious Trojans competing for the United States.
Senior Kaitlin Sandeno took home gold in the women’s 800-meter
freestyle relay team, swimming the final leg of a win that broke a
17-year-old world record by more than 2 seconds; Lindsay Benko ’99 and
freshman Rhi Jeffrey also won gold medals as part of the women’s
800-meter freestyle relay after competing in the preliminaries.
Klete Keller, who lettered at USC in 2001 and 2002, won gold as part of
the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay team, edging out Australian swimmer
Ian Thorpe in the final leg to secure the win for the U.S. Lenny
Krayzelburg ’98 also achieved gold as a member of the men’s 400-meter
medley relay team.
Lisa Leslie ’94 and Tina Thompson ’97 helped lead the U.S. to gold in
women’s basketball, the team defeating Australia 74-63 in the final.
During the gold medal match, Thompson scored a team-high 18 points on
the way to her first Olympic gold (she was a team alternate in 2000),
shedding tears of joy in the waning seconds of the final game.
Felix Sanchez ’00 of the Dominican Republic made history when he took
gold in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, winning the first-ever
Olympic medal for his home country.
Sandeno also won a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley and
a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. The other USC silver medalists
were Benko (400-meter freestyle relay), sophomore Larsen Jensen
(1500-meter freestyle) and Erik Vendt ’03 (400-meter individual medley)
U.S. swim team and sophomore Allyson Felix (200 meters) for the U.S.
track squad. The 18-year-old Felix, heralded by many as the future of
women’s track, set a world junior record en route to her silver medal.
Besides Sandeno, USC’s bronze medal winners were Keller (400-meter
freestyle) and swimmer Gabe Woodward ’01 (400-meter freestyle relay) of
U.S. and redshirt junior Blythe Hartley (10-meter synchronized platform diving) of Canada.
In all, 34 athletes with a USC affiliation competed in Athens,
representing the United States and 13 other countries: Brazil, Canada,
the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Puerto Rico,
Russia, Saudi Arabia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and
Five coaches with USC ties also served on Olympic staffs this year.
Head swimming coach Mark Schubert was head coach of the U.S. women’s
swimming team, assisted by former USC swimmer Teri McKeever ’83.
Current USC diving coach Hongping Li was an assistant with the U.S.
diving team, as was former USC diving coach Jeff Shaffer; and former
USC water polo player Danny Leyson ’92 served as an assistant with the
U.S. men’s water polo team.
USC has sent more athletes to the Olympic Games than any other
university. Since 1904, there have been 357 athletes who attended USC
before, during or after their Olympic appearance. They have collected
234 medals (112 golds, 64 silvers and 58 bronzes), including at least
one gold medal in every Summer Olympics since 1912.
“To be an Olympian is to be part of a very special fraternity,
especially here at USC,” says USC athletic director Mike Garrett.
“These athletes helped continue the incredible tradition that USC has
had in the Olympics. I really believe that the unrivaled success our
athletes have had in the Olympics shows the quality and breadth of
USC’s athletic program.”
Bring on Beijing.
It Begins at Home
Two separate benefactors have made similarly generous gifts to USC to enhance the schools to which each has been long committed.
||John and Judith Bedrosian
John Bedrosian LLB ’59 and his wife Judith
have given $10 million to the USC School of Policy, Planning, and
Development to found a new center to study governance. The Judith and
John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise will
focus on the nature of democratic governance, policy-making and
management of the public enterprise. Led by the as-yet unnamed holder
of the Bedrosian Chair in Governance – also established by the gift –
the center will be fully operational for the 2005-2006 school year.
John Bedrosian, a founding member of the USC School of Policy,
Planning, and Development’s Board of Councilors, has served as the
board’s chair for the past five years. The gift from him and his wife
is the largest received by the School of Policy, Planning, and
Development and either of its predecessor schools.
Bedrosian is the former co-founder and chairman of the board of
Auto-by-Tel Corp., the largest Internet-based car marketing referral
service covering the United States and Canada. Previously he was senior
executive vice president, director and co-founder of National Medical
Enterprises (now known as Tenet Healthcare). Bedrosian is a past chair
of the Board of Councilors of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
“This generous gift by John and Judy Bedrosian is a measure of their
commitment to ensuring that the best minds and best ideas be assessed
and amplified as a central mission of SPPD and our university,” says
dean Daniel Mazmanian.
||Jim and Beverly Rogers
Photo courtesy of Sunbelt Communications
Meantime, James E. Rogers LLM ‘63 and his wife, Beverly,
committed $10 million to the USC Law School, the largest single gift in
the school’s history. The gift, subject to trust, will fund
scholarships and faculty support.
Named one of Time
magazine’s top dozen philanthropists in 2000, Rogers has given
approximately $200 million to universities and colleges; gifts to law
schools at the University of Arizona and the University of Nevada,
along with his contribution to USC Law School, have made him the most
generous philanthropist in American legal education.
“There’s a little of this in all of us: We like to give to winners,”
says Rogers of his commitment to education. “My degree from USC has
always been a real source of pride for me.”
A successful businessman and attorney, Rogers is CEO and owner of
Sunbelt Communications, which owns more than a dozen television
stations throughout the West. He is also currently the interim
chancellor of the University of Nevada system.
“Jim has an uncommonly deep understanding of the need for private
support of education,” says USC Law School dean Matthew L. Spitzer. “He
is motivated by a genuine appreciation for higher education and its
myriad benefits not just for individuals but for society. His
generosity of spirit is unparalleled, and we are privileged to count
him among USC Law’s greatest supporters.”
Eye on the Football
||Photo courtesy of Bill Walker
When Irish Eyes Were Crying
Nearly 80 years after the famed rivalry began, sportswriter Bill Walker reflects on USC’s greatest triumph over Notre Dame.
cameras will undoubtedly zero in on a nostalgic spectator prowling the
sidelines on Nov. 27 when USC and Notre Dame meet in the 76th game of a
storied football rivalry.
Anthony Davis ’75, now long retired
from the football wars, kick-started a historical USC rout in 1974,
taking a second-half kickoff back 102 yards to help bury the Irish
under a 55-point scoring blitz.
This was a far cry from the first game I saw, in 1926, at the tender
age of 11. Notre Dame won 13-12 that day, and I started a lifelong
affair with Trojan football.
The following year, Notre Dame won 7-6 at South Bend; USC could not
convert the point after touchdown. But they did improve in 1928, when I
saw my second Notre Dame game. The Trojans celebrated a 28-14 victory,
and Howard Jones won his first national championship for Troy.
How did this colorful, controversial football rivalry begin? Legend has
it the catalyst was a lighthearted exchange between the wives of USC’s
graduate manager (akin to an athletic director) Gwynn Wilson and Notre
Dame coach Knute Rockne in 1925. Boasting to Mrs. Rockne about Southern
California’s perpetually warm weather, the young Mrs. Wilson remarked
that Los Angeles would be a much nicer place to visit in November than
Lincoln, Neb., where the Cornhuskers had just scored a humiliating
victory over the Irish. Mrs. Rockne mentioned the idea to her husband,
and thus began the yearly cross-country contest.
Anthony Davis started USC’s 1974 second-half assault with a 102-yard kickoff return.
Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information
the ensuing 76 years, sportswriters, fans and coaches alike have dubbed
the 1974 encounter the most memorable of all. If the 85,533 football
fanatics who crowded Memorial Coliseum that fall afternoon had been
charged double the usual admission price, they wouldn’t have felt
They saw two completely different football games
that day. Notre Dame won the first half, 24-6. The Trojans came back
after intermission to win 55-24.
Sparked by Davis’ kickoff return, USC rolled up the most points ever
recorded against Notre Dame since Army scored 59 points in 1944. One
sportswriter called the USC rout the greatest disaster to hit the Irish
since the great potato famine.
Davis “should now get permanent possession of Notre Dame,” quipped Los
Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray. “He’s scored 11 touchdowns on the
Irish, and that’s more than Army scored on them in the last 20 years.”
Notre Dame scored early in the first quarter with two short passes, a
9-yard run and a field goal to run up a 24-0 score. Trojan quarterback
Pat Haden ’75 hit Davis with a 7-yard pass; the 2-point conversion
failed and, at halftime, Notre Dame was ahead 24-6.
Hundreds of Trojan fans left as the marching band played, haunted by
bitter memories of the 51-0 thrashing of 1966 – probably the all-time
worst USC loss. (They would have been wiser to remember 1964, when USC
had been down 17-0 to Ara Paraseghian’s No. 1 Irish at halftime. Led by
quarterback Craig Fertig, the Trojans had dominated the second half and
won 20-17 in a wild finish that cost Notre Dame a national
Those resolute Trojan fans who stayed on were in for a rare treat. “We
needed a catalyst,” coach John McKay said in a 1974 post-game
interview. “There were no NCAA rules against blocking on a kickoff. We
knew we had to score the very first time we had the ball.”
And score they did. Davis – who had made six touchdowns against the
Irish in 1972, when USC won 45-23 – was ready. He took the ball 2 yards
into his own end zone and picked up help from Ricky Bell, a key block
by Mosi Tatupu ’78 and a final key block at the Irish 35-yard line from
Mario Celotto ’78. The 2-point conversion failed. The score inched up
Davis’ 102-yard kickoff return brought thousands of screaming fans to
their feet and was a prelude to a third stanza blizzard of points that
piled up so fast the scoreboard conked out. With quarterback Haden
overseeing the offense, USC produced 35 points – the most ever scored
against the Irish in a single quarter.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter Haden pegged another touchdown pass
to Shelton Diggs ’78; then Charlie Phillips ’75 of USC ran an
interception down the sidelines for 58 yards. The final score was
55-24. In 17 minutes the Trojans had scored eight touchdowns. (The rest
of its 1974 season, Notre Dame gave away a total of eight touchdowns,
less than one per game.)
Paraseghian was in shock. He couldn’t explain why his team was so flat
the second half. “Perhaps the cold weather in South Bend” had hampered
his game preparation, he speculated in a post-game interview.
McKay was quick to needle the Irish coach: “The cold weather didn’t
seem to bother him when he beat us here in 1966 (51-0). We’ll play him
in July if he wants.”
While the Irish returned to Indiana, Paraseghian checked into a Los Angeles hospital for a three-day rest.
USC beat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl later that year and was eventually
named national champion by United Press International, sharing the
title with Oklahoma. Notre Dame beat Alabama in the Orange Bowl; at
halftime Paraseghian announced his retirement.
Davis, now 52, was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy that year to Archie
Griffin of Ohio State. Davis tried pro football but, injury-prone,
lasted only a year. Haden won a Rhodes scholarship to study in England,
then returned to Los Angeles to study law while playing quarterback for
the Rams. He later announced football from the TV press box in tandem
with Paraseghian. The late McKay resigned from USC in 1976 to coach pro
football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
How does the rivalry stand as of this year? Overall the Irish still
have a big edge, with 42 wins to the Trojans’ 28 victories. (There have
been five tie games.) USC had a couple of winning streaks in the 1970s
and late ’90s, when John Robinson – who followed McKay in two coaching
stints – “owned” the Irish.
I’ve seen every game since the debut of television in 1947, either in
the Coliseum or by broadcast from South Bend. The ones that stand out
in memory are the 1964 and 1974 come-from-behind victories led by Craig
Fertig ’65 and Haden. Two years ago, Heisman Trophy quarterback Carson
Palmer ’03 put on a dazzling display, leading USC to a 45-14 win, with
425 passing yards and four touchdowns. Last year sophomore quarterback
Matt Leinert directed almost a mirror-image repeat, 44-13, with four
touchdowns and 351 yards.
My prediction for this year: USC, again, by a big edge.
writer Bill Walker ’40, MA ’69 is a retired newspaper photographer and
journalism professor living in McMinville, Ore. He is 90 years old.
||Photo by Greg Martin
Short Success Story
the 9-year-old narrator of the short story “Roman Berman, Massage
Therapist” describes himself as his parents’ “straight-A-student son,
future doctor or lawyer,” he could well be talking about the story’s
author, David Bezmozgis MFA ’99. After all, “Roman,” like the other stories in Bezmozgis’ debut collection Natasha and Other Stories,
is fictional autobiography, inspired by the author’s family in Toronto,
which immigrated from the Soviet Union as Jewish refugees in 1980 .
Bezmozgis may have avoided the well-trod paths toward law and medicine,
but the recent publication of his stories by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
– as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s and Zoetrope – has ensured him a spot in the literary world that many reluctant doctors and lawyers would envy.
Still, his parents, though proud of his accomplishments, wish for a more conventional kind of success for their only child.
“To this day,” says the 31-year-old author, “my mother continues to think I’d make a very good lawyer.”
He probably would. In both his fiction and in interviews, Bezmozgis,
who holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from McGill
University, comes across as a sharp observer of human nature, with a
sometimes cynical objectivity and a precise way with words that borders
on the hair-splitting.
These skills have served him well both in his fiction-writing and,
earlier, in his documentary filmmaking, the trade he studied at USC and
pursued for several years after earning his MFA. (His first film, the
25-minute short L.A. Mohel,
screened at major Jewish film festivals in the U.S. and abroad and
earned him a student film award from the Judah L. Magnes Museum in
1999.) It was near the end of his film studies that, almost as an
afterthought, Bezmozgis took an elective fiction-writing workshop with
author and USC University Professor T.C. Boyle.
“David came to
me fully formed,” says Boyle, who saw in his student’s work a lyrical,
almost underwritten quality that reminded him of one of his favorite
writers, Leonard Michaels. Both writers, Boyle explains, say just
enough to “invite you back to the story to think about what it means
and how you feel about it.”
Boyle sent the budding author off to Doheny Library in search of I Would Have Saved Them If I Could,
a 1975 Michaels collection he thought would inspire Bezmozgis. Unable
to locate the book, Bezmozgis instead picked up another Michaels
collection, Shuffle; quickly drawn in by the author’s spare and elegant prose, he read half of the collection right then.
“I realized that he was expressing the world in the way I thought it should be expressed,” he recalls.
Eventually, Bezmozgis met Michaels, whose literary connections helped
bring the young writer’s stories to the attention of Farrar, Straus and
Giroux. Published in early June, Natasha created a literary splash, garnering across-the-board praise for the young writer; the New York Times Book Review
even referred to Bezmozgis’ mentor in its glowing review: “These
loosely linked stories are succinct, unsentimental and refreshingly
free of what the late Leonard Michaels ... called the ‘cry of
me-feeling’ that characterizes so much contemporary fiction.” The
collection continues to sell briskly in the U.S. and Canada, and
Bezmozgis is now at work on a novel.
It seems that mom can finally stop worrying.
A Season in Photos
Whether amid photographs or glaciers, boaters or novelists, Trojans spent their summer vacations seeking cultural enrichment.
credits: 1. Lee Salem Photography; 2., 3. Berliner Photography; 7.
Scott Olson ’97; 8. Maria Ramirez/Lee Salem Photography.
1. A Sense of Identity
At the sixth annual Carmen and Louis Warschaw Distinguished Lecture in March, U.S. Rep. Howard Berman
spoke about his Jewish identity, his work as a senior member of the
International Relations Committee and his views on a range of political
issues relevant to the Jewish community. “I was Jewish before I became
a Democrat, and I feel a responsibility to represent Jewish voices and
to be involved in issues important to the Jewish community,” he said.
More than 125 people attended the event, sponsored by the Casden
Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life in the USC
College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Pictured, from left, are: Scott A. Stone ’79, chair of the Casden Institute’s advisory board; Howard Berman; USC honorary trustee Carmen H. Warschaw ’39; Joseph Aoun, dean of the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; and sociology professor Barry Glassner, who is also the Myron and Marian Casden Director of the Casden Institute.
2., 3. Working Lunches
In June, just days before the release of Warner Bros.’ adaptation of his 1990 book A Home at the End of the World, author and screenwriter Michael Cunningham
addressed an audience of USC alumni, students and friends at a literary
luncheon sponsored by the Friends of the USC Libraries. The 51-year-old
author and Pasadena, Calif., native entertained the audience with
anecdotes on the process of translating books into film, and also spoke
on his career as a writer, during which he garnered both a Pulitzer
Prize and the USC Scripter Award for his book The Hours. The
event was held in the Archival Research Center in the Edward L. Doheny
Jr. Memorial Library. Pictured are, from left, Cunningham, USC’s chief
information officer and dean of the USC Libraries Jerry D. Campbell and president of the Friends of the USC Libraries Regina Leimbach ’57.
Two months earlier, another Pulitzer Prize-winning author headlined
another literary luncheon, this one held in the courtyard of the Doheny
Library. Jane Smiley, the acclaimed author of A Thousand Acres, Moo, Horse Heaven and other novels, shared stories from her new nonfiction book, A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck.
Smiley’s thoughtful comments and good humor delighted the capacity
crowd, many of whom lined up to have their copies of the book signed by
4. Hot and Cold
USC alumni got an “insider’s” look at Alaska’s inside passage on a June
cruise that embarked from Juneau and included such attractions as the
Tracy Arm and Sawyer glaciers and Glacier Bay National Park. Under the
guidance of honeymooning environmental expert Sheldon Kamieniecki
of USC’s Department of Political Science (left foreground), the
travelers enjoyed magnificent scenery, wildlife including humpback
whales, eagles and sea otters, and “calving” glaciers – ice floes with
huge chunks breaking free and plunging into the sea. Among the
passengers were Trojans Ann and Leon Ellis DDS ’59, who were celebrating 50 years of connubial bliss.
5. A Winning Crew
In July, the USC men’s crew team, coached by Gene Kininmonth,
went bow-to-bow with Great Britain’s Mosley Boat Club at the
world-renowned Henley Royal Regatta in England. Pictured at the
post-race luncheon are, from right to left, Carol Fox MS ’62, immediate past president of Town and Gown of USC and a member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors; Ann Hill ’71, MA ’74, USC trustee and immediate past president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors; Henry Brown ’92, MBA ’01, whose family sponsored the USC crew team’s trip; Hill’s daughter, USC sophomore Emily Hill, and Fox’s son, Chris Fox ’92. Also in attendance were USC trustees Lord Hanson and Glenn Sonnenberg ’77, JD ’80, and members of the USC Alumni Club of London.
6. Far Reach
secretary general of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, reminisced about
his experience taking classes at USC and discussed the current economic
and political situation in Japan during a lecture sponsored by the USC
Alumni Club of Tokyo. More than 120 USC alumni and friends attended the
July event, held at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. Pictured at the event,
from left to right, are: John Windler MBA ’93, director of USC’s International Offices; Kevin McAuliffe MBA ’87, vice president of the USC Alumni Club of Tokyo; Patricia O’Keefe MBA ’02, director of the USC International Office in Tokyo; Abe; Shiro Naba MBA ’90, advisor to the board of the club; and Toshiaki Ogasawara, a USC trustee.
7. Blowing Them Away
Gary Cook, center, president of the USC Alumni Club of Northern Nevada and father of Russell ’99 and Wesley
’94, blows the tuba with the USC Trojan Marching Band at the Lake Tahoe
SCend Off in July. In attendance were approximately 200 alumni,
students, families and friends, as well as the Trojan Marching Band, a
staple at the annual event.
8. Olympic-sized Celebration
At a September reception for USC Fisher Gallery’s exhibition Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?,
a group of current USC Olympic athletes, fresh from their appearance in
Athens, joined other past and current Olympians and other high-profile
female athletes to celebrate the popularity and success of women’s
sports. Among the Trojan athletes at the event were 2004 Olympic
swimming gold medalist and USC freshman Rhi Jeffrey; 2004 swimming Olympian and USC sophomore Kalyn Keller; 2000 track gold medalist Inger Miller ’95; USC volleyball stars and NCAA champions April Ross ’04 and Toni Anderson ’04; 1936 Olympic diving silver medalist Velma Dunn-Ploessel ’39; USC volleyball NCAA champion Lauren Killian ’03; 1984 and 1988 volleyball Olympian Kim Ruddins MPA ’87; 1984, 1992 and 1996 volleyball Olympian Paula Weishoff ’98; 2004 track Olympian Angela Williams ’02; 2004 Olympic swimming gold, silver and bronze medalist and USC senior Kaitlin Sandeno; and 2000 and 2004 Olympic swimming gold medalist Lindsay Benko ’99.
present at the event were surviving members of the All-American Girls
Professional Baseball League (posing in front), the World War II-era
women’s baseball league that broke new ground for female athletes.