Hundreds of graduates from the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting “walked” in outdoor commencement ceremonies held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum May 17-18, 2021.
“What you’ve been through over the past year has prepared you to excel and lead,” USC President Carol Folt told the group in her remarks. “You’re dreamers and doers, pioneers and trailblazers, visionaries and change agents. You make me optimistic about the future.”
Dean Geoff Garrett also spoke at the ceremony—his first commencement as dean of the Marshall School since arriving in July 2020.
“As the old saying goes, ‘If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ You will all go far, and I know you will all go together. That is what you and the Trojan Family are all about. Heartiest congratulations for all you have done.”
The two Marshall ceremonies Monday, May 17, blended graduate students from all of Marshall’s MBA programs and specialty master’s degrees with undergraduates. Leventhal graduates walked on Tuesday, May 18 along with graduates from other schools, including the Price School of Public Policy. Each ceremony included graduates from 2020 and 2021.
The Path Forward
It was a joyous occasion for graduates and their families, even while social distancing protocols were strictly observed. Because of the COVID pandemic in 2020, in-person commencement ceremonies could not be held for the class of 2020, and graduates made due with a virtual ceremony.
But by the spring of 2021 the pandemic was under enough control that University officials, under advisement of the Los Angeles County Department of Health, announced that a number of in-person ceremonies would be held for both classes at the Coliseum.
It was the first time graduation ceremonies took place in the Coliseum since 1950. Each school and unit took its turn, in a series of two ceremonies each day from May 15-May 20.
Watch the clips here (click through to register and find the ceremony you want to watch.)