More than 60,000 people flocked to USC’s University Park Campus on May 12 to celebrate the university’s 134th commencement. The Trojan Family sent out 17,144 new graduates into the world, with the newly minted graduates representing more than 115 countries across the globe.
President C. L. Max Nikias reminded those graduating of their own duty to pay Trojan Family values forward across the globe, as so many already have.
“The sun never sets on the Trojan Family. This is the greatest and most dedicated family of its kind: hundreds of thousands of women and men who serve as leaders from Southern California to San Francisco, from Tokyo to Hong Kong, from New York to London to Mumbai and beyond,” Nikias said.
Actor Will Ferrell gave the commencement address and was one of six attendees presented with honorary doctorates from the university. The others were:
- Suzanne Dworak-Peck, the social work pioneer and philanthropist whose 2016 gift endowed the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.
- David D. Ho, founding director and CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center.
- Biomedical pioneer Gary Michelson, whose 2014 gift created the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.
- Mark Ridley-Thomas PhD ’89, chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
- Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, whom Ferrell claimed narrowly beat him out for her Oscar-winning role in 2006’s The Queen.
“As a group, they represent excellence in a broad variety of endeavors, but they share a passionate commitment to bettering the lives of others through their work,” Nikias said. “Their collective contributions stand as an inspiration to us all.”
— Ian Chaffee
See more commencement coverage here.