University of Southern California

May 28, 2010 • by Colin G. Campbel

Dear Friends of Marshall:

Three weeks ago, I was sitting in the command tent of a Mt. Everest base camp. As I fell asleep that night, I could hear the Khumbu Glacier groan and pop as it moved slowly beneath me. The story of how I found myself 18,500 feet up in the Himalayas began years earlier at the USC Marshall School of Business. As a student there, I'd been taught that success comes from recognizing opportunity when it presents itself. I've found that's as true in life as it is in business. This extraordinary opportunity presented itself when I met Marshall graduate Paul Fejtek at a USC Homecoming game. Paul has nerve damage that impairs his right arm, but that hasn't stopped him from achieving success at USC, in business, or in life. He and his wife, Denise, were climbing the Seven Summits around the world to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). They were organizing a trek from Katmandu to Mt. Everest to support that effort and invited their friends and family to join them at Base Camp before they made their assault on the summit. 

I was smitten by the adventure, and immediately recognized this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We flew to Lukla in the Himalayas and started trekking through Sagarmatha National Park. We passed countless incredible vistas and spectacular monasteries and ultimately camped beneath the Khumbu Icefalls. Looking around at the other trekkers in that base camp, I saw a team of fellow Trojans. Clearly the lessons we learned at USC - embracing a global perspective; seizing opportunity; giving back to a community; practicing selfless dedication to others - traveled far beyond the USC campus.

This past Sunday, Paul and Denise successfully summited Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on earth. To me, our combined journey epitomizes the unique Trojan culture: a commitment to help others, strength and perseverance to overcome any challenge, and an unwavering dedication to our Trojan family.

My work with the USC Marshall Partners Shareholder Program helps take USC Marshall to new heights by supporting the programs where this journey began. I hope you'll join me in helping USC Marshall continue to stand tall at the summit.

Fight On!

Colin G. Campbell, BS '03
South Bay/Long Beach Shareholder Regional Representative
USC Marshall Partners