May 2015 (3) Candygrams

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Thursday, May 14, 2015---USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration

ProcessionTrojan Candy just made it to her seat in time. The procession started in just a few minutes. Click the thumbnail at right to view my video of the procession of all of the USC Senior Athletes.

Athletic Director Pat Haden spoke first. He welcomed all of the graduating Seniors, their families, Alumni and friends.

Next to the podium was USC President C.L. Max Nikias. President Nikias congratulated the Seniors on their accomplishments in the classroom as well as on the field. His wise advice to the Seniors this year was "To keep a sound mind in a sound body."

The Legend of Troy award was given to USC Alumnus and Trustee Mark A. Stevens. This award is in recognition of and appreciation for an individual whose impact on the Trojan athletic program and the University has advanced the mission of USC Athletics. FIGHT ON, Mark!

The next two speakers were the Senior Speakers. Women of Troy Water Polo Senior Monica Vavic spoke of hardship. How her team lost to Stanford in the last minute of a NCAA final. Then, how they overcame their disappointment the next year when they defeated an outstanding Stanford team, with three Olympic Gold Medalists on its roster, in five overtimes. Monica then emphasized that our team was tough. We persevered, we did not quit and we learned to be leaders. Her final word of advice was to keep achieving! FIGHT ON, Monica!

The next speaker was Buck Allen. He was very nervous at first and would not look out at the audience. But, his speech was very powerful! Buck recalled his childhood. His mother gave him up to his grandmother to raise him. Buck then spoke of the Angels in his life that have made him who he is today. His grandma Rosa Brown and his grandpa Karl Brown, his first Angels, are in the audience today to see the first member of their family graduate from college. The audience gave them a loud ovation. As a youth, Buck said that the local Boys and Girls Club became his second home. The director of the Boys and Girls Club Mickey Cullen, his second Angel, became the second most influence in his life. When he needed a ride to middle school football practice because his grandma did not have a car, Mr. Mickey would drive him. Buck said that Mr. Mickey drove to Los Angeles to see him graduate. There was another loud ovation. Buck then said that the City of Angels blessed him with a bunch of Angels! There were his tutors, Coach Ed Orgeron who gave me my first shot in 2013, Ed Robinson, and Alice Cullen who passed away in 2013. Buck closed his inspiring speech with two questions. "We graduate from USC tomorrow. Are you going to look back and be someone's Angel? Are you ready to be someone's Angel?" After a short pause, Buck then said, "Even though I'll be a Baltimore Raven, I'll always be a Trojan!" FIGHT ON, Buck!

Now it was time for the "Presentation of the Seniors." Pat Haden and each Coach in their respective sport, put a sash around the neck of each Senior.

Here are the pictures of USC Athletic Seniors whom Trojan Candy has taken a picture of and possibly interviewed for my blog.

Dante Flores
Dante Flores, Baseball
Brendyn Taylor
Brendyn Taylor, Basketball
Jordan Adams
Jordan Adams, Basketball
Kiki Alofaituli
Kiki Alofaituli, Basketball
Brianna Barrett
Brianna Barrett, Basketball
Destinie Gibbs
Destinie Gibbs, Basketball
Alexyz Vaioletama
Alexyz Vaioletama, Basketball
Jordan Gear
Jordan Gear, Diving
Haley Ishimatsu
Kris Albarado
Kris Albarado, Football
Javorius Allen and Zach Banner
Dominique Byrd
Dominique Byrd, Football
Shaun Cody
Shaun Cody, Football
Giovanni Di Poalo
Lamar Dawson
Lamar Dawson, Football
De'Von Flournoy
De'Von Flournoy, Football
Andre Heidari
Andre Heidari, Football
Cyrus Hobbi
Cyrus Hobbi, Football
Erick Jepsen
Erick Jepsen, Football
Cody Kessler
Cody Kessler, Football
Tre' Madden
Tre' Madden, Football
Peter McBride
Peter McBride, Football
Anthony Sarao
Anthony Sarao, Football
J.R. Tavai
J.R. Tavai, Football
Cody Temple
Cody Temple, Football
Greg Townsend
Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner, Football
Soma Vainuku
Soma Vainuku, Football
Antwaun Woods
Antwaun Woods, Football
Javorius Allen
Javorius "Buck" Allen, Football
Elizabeth Eddy
Elizabeth Eddy, Lacrosse
Shelby Adair
Shelby Adair, Rowing
Kellyn Freire
Kate Gleadow
Kate Gleadow, Rowing
Elaine Krebs
Elaine Krebs, Rowing
Liz Turner
Liz Turner, Rowing
Bria Russ
Bria Russ, Sand Volleyball
Ray Sarmiento
Myles Andrews
Viktor Fajoyomi
Jovonte Slater
Allen Williams
Melia Cox
Melia Cox, Track
Malia Cravens
Vanessa Jones
Akawkaw Ndipagbor
Jenny Ozorai
Julia Tseng
Micah Christenson
Micah Christenson, Volleyball
Robert Feathers
Robert Feathers, Volleyball
Chris Lischke
Chris Lischke, Volleyball
Cristian Rivera
Cristian Rivera, Volleyball
Hannah Schraer
Hannah Schraer, Volleyball
Monica Vavic
Monica Vavic, Water Polo

AthletesEglit VosuAfter the ceremony ended, all of the Seniors walked in a procession upstairs to the men's basketball practice gym for a group picture since it was too wet outside.

As the procession came towards me, Trojan Candy took two more pictures of Seniors because I missed them in the ceremony.

Women of Troy Rower, Eglit Vosu stopped to let me take the picture of her at right.

Hayley CroneThen, Women of Troy Volleyball player Hayley Crone posed with a friend.

Athletes and CoachesNow upstairs, Trojan Candy was able to take a picture of the Seniors with their coaches. FIGHT ON, all USC Senior Athletes!

Trojan Candy took a couple more pictures in the gym. I took this cute picture of friend J.R. Tavai and Monica Vavic below left.

J.R. Tavai and Monica Vavic

Finally, I was able to have Football Alumnus Chauncey Washington smile for the picture at right.Chauncey Washington

Everyone then walked down to the lobby for the reception.