University of Southern California

October 16, 2009 • by Drew C. Prickett

Dear Friends of Marshall:

Last spring, I strode across campus for lunch, and in a span of 30 minutes had three interactions that are unique to USC and Marshall.  Here's the sequence:

1.)  As I entered the cafeteria, there on the big-screen TV was an ESPN interview with the newly-drafted Mark Sanchez in his NY Jets hat.  But what was so cool wasn't the fact that a fellow Trojan was on TV, but rather that eating lunch and watching the interview alongside me were Damien Williams and Taylor Mays.  They were both consensus first-round NFL draft picks who had foregone the NFL and elected to spend another year at USC.  Clearly they had come to the conclusion that SC is a pretty special place.

2.)  As I watched the Sanchez interview, Tom O'Malia from the Greif Center coincidentally sat next to me.  He didn't know me, but I recognized him from a lecture he gave to our Intro to New Ventures class.  We had a very pleasant conversation, and as we were leaving he told me to send him my resume in case he heard of any summer internship opportunities in my area of interest.  By the end of the day, he'd forwarded my resume to three different firms.  Talk about the Trojan Family in action!

3.)  Then as I walked back from lunch, I ran into Dean Jim Ellis.  He greeted me with a smile, addressed me by name, and cracked a few jokes.  To him, it was probably just one of hundreds of small interactions he has every day, but to me it was more than that.  The fact that the Dean of the school knew my name and interacted with me on such a cordial level meant a ton.  Frankly, it's what separates Marshall from the pack.

All in all, that lunch was a microcosm of USC:  There I was -- just a 1st year MBA-- rubbing elbows with world-class athletes, world-class teachers, and world-class administrators in a 30-minute time span.  The common denominator?  We're all Trojans, which meant we're all family.

I hope you'll consider supporting the family that keeps us all strong by giving to the USC Marshall School of Business.  It's given so much to me already.

Drew C. Prickett
MBA Candidate, May 2010