University of Southern California

USC Marshall Staff Member Brings AIDS Memorial Quilt Back to USC
The Special Display Highlighted World AIDS Day on December 1, 2008
December 15, 2008 • by News at Marshall

Ryan Tischler knew he had to act when he discovered that the AIDS Memorial Quilt - a visual reminder of a pandemic that has taken millions of lives around the world - hadn’t been displayed at USC since 1990.

Tischler, the office manager for Marshall’s Society and Business Lab, came to the school two years ago with the aim of expanding its community outreach. Bringing more attention to the global crisis of AIDS, he said, squared perfectly with his personal goal.

So Tischler initiated the effort that culminated this month in the display on campus of four of the quilt's more than 44,000 three-by-six-foot memorial panels. The special display highlighted World AIDS Day, which took place Dec. 1.

After first gaining the support of the LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Alliance at USC for the effort, Tischler then secured backing from Marshall’s MBA and undergraduate  programs, along with his own Society and Business Lab. Meanwhile, other organizations on campus, including groups at the law and theater schools, also backed the effort financially.

Tischler hopes to raise awareness about AIDS. He said that even some college students are ill-informed about how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be contracted through unprotected sex or shared syringes and needles.

"And there's still a big stigma associated with it, too," Tischler said, referring to both AIDS and HIV. "It's important to break down that barrier."

The response of Marshall students to the quilt exhibit and other community outreach efforts heartens Tischler. He said that, before coming to Marshall, he had the misconception that most business students weren't socially minded. Now, Tischler said, he recognizes that many of the students "truly are interested in helping make the world a different place."

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.