University of Southern California

You Grow Through This
December 10, 2010 • by Karen Schoenbaum

Dear Friends of Marshall:

My 89th consecutive USC football game was in Pullman, Washington on September 25th. I took a puddle jumper from Seattle and sat next to a fellow chief financial officer who was flying home. We had a lovely conversation, and as the plane landed she asked me how I was getting to my hotel. "Oh, I'll just grab a cab," I said. She looked at me strangely.

"This is Pullman. There aren't any cabs waiting at the airport. Come on. I'll take you in my truck." Moments later I was trying to negotiate a three-foot step up to the seat of her monster truck.

The Trojan team has adventures, ups and downs, and Trojan fans do, too. Over the years, I've often thought that it is we fans who really make up the team. Consider this: players come and go, coaches come and go, but year after year, decade after decade, the fans remain - loyal and ever present. We fans truly form the identity of the USC Trojans.

This year we have experienced some unusually tough times. As I tell the employees in my bank, "You grow through this." We move forward, learning valuable lessons as we do so. I learned many of my first lessons at the Leventhal School of Accounting. I'm not suggesting we need blind optimism as business professionals or as fans of a great football team. We need intelligent optimism and the support of those around us.

In football, in business, and in all areas of our lives, we will all "grow through this." By fortifying our intelligent optimism - being both resilient and self-reliant - we will grow through this individually and together, relying upon and giving back to our Trojan Family.

As we conclude another football season - a season in which student athletes showed us the meaning of persistence, intelligent optimism, and faith in the future - I hope you'll join me in supporting the Marshall School of Business - where the future is born today.

Fight On!

Karen Schoenbaum, BS '84, MAcc ʼ85
Executive Vice President/
Chief Financial Officer
California United Bank