University of Southern California

November 20, 2009 • by Aren Nazarians

Dear Friends of Marshall:

I am just one of the many proud veteran students fortunate enough to have been awarded a scholarship through the Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans - a scholarship that helps military veterans reach their educational goals here at the USC Marshall School of Business.

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine." As a Marine, I heard this phrase quite frequently and often see the impact of the brotherhood that these words connote. When we meet other Marines we act like old friends who have just been reunited: we trade sea stories, we laugh at jokes that only Marines would understand and we reminisce about our time at Boot Camp or Officer Candidate School.

I am now part of another brotherhood, the family of USC Trojans. Like the Marines, we are connected by a common experience of learning to be the finest at what we do. For those of us in the Marshall MBA program, the curriculum is like a two year long field exercise. Here, in a controlled environment, we can apply lessons learned in accounting, finance, marketing, and business strategy. We make mistakes; we learn from those mistakes, and we become better prepared for the real challenges of the business world.

My education here would not be possible without the generosity of my benefactor, William Schoen and the Schoen Foundation. Without donors and the scholarships they provide, who knows how many students’ dreams would not become reality? Thankfully, we don’t need to ponder the answer to that because the reality is that Trojans help Trojans.

The unique thing about a scholarship is that a personal connection is made between the donor and the recipient. As students, we know that a scholarship is not a handout and we owe it to our donors to make that investment count - an investment that now we must return to future generations of Trojans. This is evidence that the Trojan spirit - born here in 1880 - will continue as long as the University of Southern California continues to exist.

Thank you, and FIGHT ON!

Aren Nazarians
MBA Candidate
USC Marshall School of Business