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Wednesday, August 25, 2021---First Half Century Trojans Board Meeting for 2021-2022

03HCT President Sally Edwards called the Board meeting to order after a short social time. She welcomed everyone back. Then, Sally told us that the HCT emphasis for the year 2021-2022 is, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” We want to “highlight Half Century Trojans globally.” And we want to, “reach out virtually to Half Century Trojans abroad.”

06Next, Sally introduced our new HCT Director Christina Denning. Christina, who is the Assistant Director of Regional and Engagement Programs of the University Advancement Division, now works with HCT. Welcome Christina!

Three new Directors were introduced to the Board. They were Sheila Smith, Cinda Lucas and Laurie Love.

2826Sheila and Cinda both gave a glimpse about themselves to the Board. Welcome and Keep Fighting On, Sheila, Cinda, and Laurie!

Then, Christina Denning made her slide presentation. Trojan Candy took snips of her presentation.

Her first slide was of the 2020-2021 USC Alumni Highlights. One outstanding fact was that USCAA had 1,324 volunteers in 2020-2021.
The second slide shows that more than 451 thousand USC degrees have been bestowed upon alumni around the world.
USCAA Staff Promotions and New Hires were discussed next.

Then Christina’s fourth, fifth and sixth slides gave us key Fall 2021 Dates.

Note the Chappellet Vineyard wine event.
Note the Zoom On! and GeroTech Workshop.
Note the Final Zoom On! and GeroTech workshop of 2021.

Thank you for all of the information, Christina.

1613After Christina finished her slide presentation, her boss and our guest speaker Patrick Auerbach came on line. Patrick reported that our 19,000 undergrads are tested for COVID-19 twice a week while our graduate students are tested once a week. He said that everyone who wants to come on campus must fill out a “Trojan Check.” Patrick stressed that the prime word is “pivot.” He said that USC follows all of the health guidelines, but might “pivot” in our policy out of abundance of caution.

Then he turned the subject and spoke about our USC alumni. When Sally Edwards asked how many were Half Century Trojans, Patrick replied that there were about 18 thousand (or four percent) (72 years and older) Half Century Trojans. He said that 72% of our 451 thousand alumni live in California. 180 thousand (40%) live in Los Angeles County, 50 thousand (11%) in Orange County, 15 thousand in the San Diego area, and 33 thousand in the Bay area. Thank you, Patrick, for keeping our HCT Board up to date.

Next, our HCT Committee Reports were presented by our Chairpersons.

Bylaws: Neil Martin reported about our reinstatement progress for President Rufus B. von KleinSmid. He said we still have more work to do. To finish, Neil stated, “Today’s morality is being applied to previous ages.”
Events: Patricia Foley Vick asked for more participation from the Board in the upcoming Chappellet Vineyard Virtual Tour and Wine Tasting program.
Global Outreach: Bob Lutz and Doug Yarrow are co-chairs. Doug stated they will reach out to international groups, make contact, and set up a spring Zoom meeting with a presentation by a leader of one of the international groups.
History: Derald Sidler presented three options. We will consider topics about sports, female orientation among Olympians or first ladies of USC. He also asked everyone on the Board to update our biographies and to contribute any historical pictures about USC.
Nominations: Janet Tonkovich noted that nomination forms for next year have been made available. Please start thinking of whom you want to nominate. Also, if you know anyone in the USC Class of 1971 who might want to be a Director, please let her know.
Scholarship: Sara Jane Bettge told us there are 22 scholars total, with 11 new ones this year. She wants to invite our scholars to our board meetings so that we can meet them. Her committee activities occur mainly in the spring.

26Social Media/Communication: Bob Frinier thanked Karen Hackett and Sue Bennett for all their hard work and support on Facebook. He encouraged more board members to follow our Facebook page. Biographies of our HCT Scholars are appearing now on Facebook. Our newly started Facebook group for HCT Board Members has 27 members now. Three more GeroTech workshops are forthcoming this year.

2628After the HCT Committee Reports concluded, our HCT Board smiled for Trojan Candy for these two gallery screen captures.

Here is your 2021-2022 HCT Board.

Then, President Sally Edwards adjourned the Board meeting.

Monday, April 19, 2021---HCT Meets New Spirit of Troy Director Jake Vogel

01New Spirit of Troy Director Jake Vogel was our Half Century Trojan guest today. The first slide Jake showed us was titled "Jake Talks." Jake told us the picture was his first interaction with the coaches after the team's win over Penn State in the 2017 Rose Bowl.

02Then, Jake told us about Musical Influences in his Early Life. First was his family. He spoke about his maternal and paternal grandmothers. Jake's maternal grandmother played the piano and wrote her own music. She also stressed the concept of "musical memory" with Jake. Because of his paternal grandmother, Jake archives performances to keep musical moments alive. Even though Jake's maternal grandmother couldn't read music, she learned to notate music. Jake's mother sang a lot.

03However, the most influential relative for Jake was his dad. Jake told us that his dad was very strict with him about music. His dad gave him musical lessons and taught him how to transpose music. Jake's dad played trumpet in church. Here is a picture of Jake playing the guitar for Church music.

05The Marching Band in High School was the third influence in Jake's early life. Jake was in charge of the drum line, got the band in tune, and staged the shows at Sultana High School in Hesperia. These experiences became excellent preparation for his career now at USC.

06Next is "Jake's Story" leading to USC. Jake attended Chapman University as an undergraduate majoring in Music. He met his wife Jessica at Chapman, but she attained a scholarship to USC and joined the Trojan Marching Band. At Chapman, Jake formed a football band. His wife Jessica kept encouraging him to take "arrangement lessons" from USC Assistant Director Tony Fox. Jake did decide to meet Tony and take arranging lessons from him. At first, Jake brought in twenty arrangements, then forty, then sixty to work on with Tony. Jake came to USC in 2009.

0708Here is a picture of Jake and Jessica when they were in the Spirit of Troy. By 2014, Jake was producing 75% to 90% of the USC half-time shows. Along the way Tony introduced Jake to Dr. Bartner. This picture of Tony Fox, Jake, Jessica, and Dr. Art Bartner was taken at the USC Spring Concert on April 17, 2016. Tony Fox was honored at this concert. After Tony Fox retired in 2016, Jake became the Spirit of Troy Associate Director and Arranger.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Being away from the campus let Jake listen to the students and alumni. Everything became crystal clear. He said, "I need to find the voices of the students and bring their ideas to flourish in the Coliseum. I need to reinvigorate the students and empower them." During this time of distance learning, the students produced two videos.

1415Blinding Lights was the first video. The music was written by the artist "The Weekend." His music was just featured at the 2021 Super Bowl. The video was a spoof about our willingness to wear sunglasses all around town anywhere and anytime. Band students were featured wearing their sunglasses. Here is a scene from Blinding Lights.

16The second video was based on Don't Start Now that was written by singer Dua Lipa. Students wrote the music after collaborating with the USC Song Girls. Here is a snip of Don't Start Now. The audience was able to see both videos. What outstanding accomplishments!

17At the end, Jake was willing to answer a few questions. Some of his answers were as follows:

Our new uniforms "breathe better." The uniforms should last ten years.

Every rehearsal starts with an "ice breaker" question.

For the Fall 2021, there should be about 240-270 band members. There might be as many as 90-100 freshmen. Jake will also invite seniors for a 5th season with the band.

Thank you, Jake, for such a personal presentation.


Monday, March 15, 2021---HCT Zoom On!: Neighborhood Academic Initiative

02The topic of our Half Century Trojan Zoom On! event was titled "USC Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI)."

51The presenter was Kim Thomas-Barrios, Associate Senior Vice President of USC Educational Partnerships. She told the audience that the NAI program started with sixth graders from the neighboring community. The first cohort of NAI Scholars graduated from high school in 1997. In 2002 there were 176 high school students in the program.

15One of the three locations of NAI is at a Los Angeles City School named Foshay Learning Center. The Foshay Learning Center started as a middle school. It has been the "top feeder" of students to USC in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

06In order to apply for the program, the student's parents must be at or below the poverty level. There are currently nine hundred students in grades sixth to twelfth enrolled in the program and 250 Scholars in college. This slide gives some of its "OUTCOMES." Two superb outcomes are their 100% High School Graduation Rate and their 99% College Going Rate.

09Ms. Thomas-Barrios showed a touching video when a USC Admissions counselor handed NAI scholar Emanuel his USC acceptance package in person. With USC scholarships, Emanuel will graduate from USC debt free! Amazing!

19Her next video featured fifth grader Justin Spain explaining why he wants to be admitted to the NAI program next year. Justin said that Foshay and USC are his "dream schools." He showed wisdom when he said, "Failure always leads to success, so never give up."

20Next, Ms. Thomas-Barrios described the USC NAI program in detail. This slide gives the Program Characteristics, Program Improvement, Instructional Processes, and Desired Outcomes.

23The "Core NAI Model Components" were listed next. One of the most important components is "Parent engagement." The NAI created the Family Development Institute (FDI) to help parents. The FDI offers seminars for parents/guardians on Saturdays. Every high school parent/guardian must attend every three hour seminar. There are ten mandatory Saturdays per semester.

The FDI provides help in Spanish, English, and Mandarin.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning class time was condensed.
Materials had to be picked up or delivered to the homes.
The science lesson, with the help of the parents, was completed at home.
Additionally, College Advisement on various topics was provided by NAI.
NAI students have developed a Lightboard and the NAI Pocket Buddy App.
For students and parents, NAI provides Mental Health services.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers from USC, NAI, St. Agnes church members and the community helped in food distribution to over 600+ families a week.

Thank you, Director Kim Thomas-Barrios, for such an informative Zoom meeting about the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative!

Another great, awe inspiring Half Century Trojan Zoom On! event.

Wednesday, March 10, 2020---Beyond Cancel Culture

The Half Century Trojans and USC Young Alumni co-hosted an Intergenerational Discussion Zoom meeting titled, "Beyond Cancel Culture: Marrying Inclusive Education and Academic Freedom in the University and Beyond." Two of our Half Century Trojan Directors joined Camille Rich, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives and USC Law Professor, in this Zoom meeting. Jay Berger and Patricia Vick were our Half Century Trojans who participated in the discussion with USC undergraduate students.

Professor Rich started the meeting with her presentation about "Cancel Culture."
Her first slide explained "What is Cancel Culture?"
"What are the three kinds of complaints that are raised in cancel culture?"
"Should we defend old favorites...?"
"Can we leave politics out of this?"
"Is Cancel Culture new?"
Finally, "Who is being cancelled?"

10Then Professor Rich asked our HCT Director Jay Berger his thoughts about "Cancel Culture." Jay said, in his 76 years, he has believed that if someone was offensive, he/she needed to atone for his/her behavior. Jay said that he never heard of "Cancel Culture" until recently. Our generation did not ostracize someone like people are doing today in social media. Jay believes that people who are told that they are doing something offensive should not be cancelled, but should be allowed to atone for their behavior.

11Next, Professor Rich asked our other HCT Director Patricia Vick if she thinks that "Cancel Culture" is preventing us from recognizing people's growth. Patricia said that "Cancel Culture" is not giving people a chance to make a change. It puts people in a box because of past behavior. Patricia wisely made this statement, "People should be given a chance to see that it was offensive and should be given a chance to make a change."

Our two HCT Directors, Jay Berger and Patricia Vick, imparted their wisdom to all of the young USC undergrads who attended this Zoom presentation.