The annual USC Marshall Scholarship Celebration on Jan. 29, 2021, began with a slideshow showing USC Marshall students along with the name of the scholarship the students received. More than a few pets showed up in the pictures this time around. In fact, one was just a picture of an adorable puppy—no USC Marshall student in sight.
Kicked off by Assistant Dean of External Relations Guillermina Molina, the event was a little different this year: It was held virtually via Zoom instead of in person at Town and Gown on the University Park Campus, and hundreds of attendees had to bring their own lunch instead of enjoying a catered affair.
Some things remained the same, though. The pandemic couldn’t keep Jeannie Bowman away. Bowman, who for many years oversaw the scholarship process as part of Marshall’s development team, attended the virtual celebration even though she technically retired from USC after 40 years this past fall.
During his update about Marshall, Dean Geoffrey Garrett said, “There are no events I enjoy more than those that bring together scholarship recipients with the people who made the scholarships possible. The amount of love in the room is off the charts.”
A total of 628 undergraduate and graduate students received scholarships this year through a mix of endowed and named scholarships, as well as scholarship funds.
Vice Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Professor of Data Sciences and Operations Raman Randhawa introduced the undergraduate speaker, Anthea Xiao ’21, recipient of the Scanlan Family Endowed Scholarship.
Vice Dean for Graduate Programs and Clinical Professor of Finance and Business Economics Suh-Pyng Ku introduced the two graduate student speakers, Aria Aaron MBA ’21, recipient of the Gail G. Ellis Scholarship Fund, and Beck Jensen MBV ’21, recipient of the Cynthia Ross Schrank Endowed Scholarship for MBV Students.
The keynote speaker, Andrew Tavakoli MS ’86, founder and CEO of Tavakoli Properties LLC and funder of the Andrew Tavakoli Family Endowment for MBV Students, said, “It is truly gratifying to hear and see the difference one can make in our young people.”
The event concluded with a heartfelt thank you video full of USC Marshall and Leventhal students expressing to scholarship donors the impact the funds have had on their lives.
A post-event mingle continued—via Zoom chat, of course—instead of around the Town and Gown tables.
And the love was, indeed, off the charts.