University of Southern California

I Graduated Today
May 14, 2010 • by Alli Hillgren

Dear Friends of Marshall:

Earlier today, I walked across the stage at the USC Galen Center and Dean Ellis handed me my USC Marshall School of Business diploma. My name is Alli Hillgren. I am a Trojan. Now and forever.

What have these past four years meant to me? What will I miss? Some people put together a bucket list of things they'd like to accomplish in their life. I already have a bucket list of things that USC brought me over the past four years:

  • The volleyball team dancing with the band after a win at the Galen Center. My team is in the middle and the band circles around playing "Conquest." I am there with my sister and teammates. Sheer joy. My younger sister Carolyn and I are the first sisters to play volleyball at the same time for USC. These past two years I've been privileged to be co-captain of the team. My real sister may have been on the team, but all my teammates felt like sisters to me.
  • The professors at Marshall. They all had a sense of humor, they were realistic, they were approachable. Every time I walked past Dean Ellis, he'd stop and say hi. He taught my Global Leadership class freshman year. I traveled with the program to Shanghai to experience Chinese business first-hand. Where else do freshmen get that kind of extraordinary experience?
  • The flowers on campus. I'd take a different walking path through campus every day to see the colors change, the designs in front of Doheny and the Library transforming - the beauty of USC astonishes me.
  • The entertainment provided by dodging bicycles coming at me from all directions as I biked from my apartment to class.

I crossed that stage today and clutched my diploma and threw my hat in the air. My time at USC was great because of the faculty and staff - and people like you. Without your support, Marshall wouldn't have filled me with these wonderful memories. Thank you. Off I go, with your wind beneath my wings.

Fight On!
Alli Hillgren