University of Southern California

Tyler Muse: We'll Match You!
November 12, 2010 • by Tyler Muse

Dear Friends of Marshall:

I first met Jim Ellis because my fraternity had the lowest GPA on the row. I was the newly elected President of my house and went to the Judicial Board with a plan for lifting my fraternity's grades. I met the board, went through my plan, and Jim listened intently. Then he said, "Let me tell you all the reasons that's not going to work." I was floored by the guy. He was honest, brilliant, and his suggestions for reworking my plan resulted in immediate and positive results.

That was it. From that point on, I pestered him for lunch meetings and got as much of his time as most undergrads could get. He became my mentor. Dean Ellis has been daring and proactive in seeking out new opportunities and challenges. He told me what had worked for him. And more importantly, he told me what had not worked. I discovered that mentorship is learning from the mistakes of others. I came to appreciate what Teddy Roosevelt said about the man in the arena: "...if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." Because Jim Ellis was candid about his experiences, his many successes – and also his few failures - I took those lessons away without having to go through the actual experiences.

Dean Ellis took it on himself to guide me not just through school, but through life. His insights about mentorship inspired me to become a mentor myself. And when my family wanted to give back to USC, I asked Dean Ellis what would most benefit Marshall. He replied, "A merit scholarship fund to support incoming and continuing undergraduates."

My family and I have created the James G. Ellis Endowed Scholarship Fund at USC's Marshall School of Business. Help us help others—give to the James G. Ellis Endowed Scholarship Fund and we will match your gift dollar-for-dollar. Your contribution will help keep Marshall strong and competing for the best and brightest students.

Fight On!
Tyler Muse. BS '07