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Commencement News

Alfonso Gonzales started at USC in 1947 as the first person in his family to go to college. Photos by Gus Ruelas.

Never Too Late

May 24, 2016

My first memory is of my grandmother. I’m 4 years old and she’s wearing a long dress and cooking tortillas in the boarding house she ran in the Lompoc, Calif., mining camp where I was born. Now, I am four years…

Photo by Mike Glier.

Commencement 2016: The Big Day is Here

May 13, 2016

Graduates, families and friends — more than 60,000 in all — participated in USC’s Commencement 2016 festivities on campus on Friday, May 13. Amid the various events, USC Dornsife conferred 1,622 Bachelor of…

Alfonso Gonzales started at USC in 1947 as the first person in his family to go to college. On Friday, he will officially complete his USC Dornsife degree. Photos by Gus Ruelas.

WWII vet returns to USC to finish his studies

May 12, 2016

This semester, one Trojan has taken the adage “better late than never” to a whole new level. On May 13, 96-year-old World War II veteran Alfonso Gonzales will become the oldest graduate in USC history as he…

Neuroscience major Adrienne Visani will be honored as one of two Class of 2016 salutatorians at USC's 133rd Commencement.

Sleep is a waste of time for salutatorian Adrienne Visani

May 12, 2016

Adrienne Visani gets very little sleep. That’s the only rational explanation for her extraordinary resume. Fortunately, her body demands only five or six hours a night. Even that small concession she makes…

Brothers Aldo, Adrian and Alex Trinidad, from left, with their mother Rosario. Photo by Will Chiang.

Transfer student moves from LA Trade Tech to a Ph.D. program at USC

May 11, 2016

It was a small token, handed out to neighborhood third-graders visiting the University Park Campus two decades ago. A simple bookmark with a photograph of Tommy Trojan and “Norman Topping Student Aid Fund” printed…

Meet three USC Dornsife graduating seniors: Brooke Kidner, Will Orr and Kirsten Herr.

Scholarship, service and success mark three students’ academic journeys

May 4, 2016

Brooke Kidner: Willing and Able Photo by Mike Glier. It was 2014, and Brooke Kidner was in the hospital again. She was combating severe nausea, headaches and chronic nerve pain, and was sleeping nearly 20 hours a…

Hooding doctors of poetry and paleontology

Hooding doctors of poetry and paleontology

May 4, 2016

Elizabeth Petsios: Appreciating Disaster Liz Petsios traveled frequently to collect rock samples for her doctoral research on ecosystems after a mass extinction. Photo courtesy of Liz Petsios. Elizabeth (Liz) Petsios…

Cardinal, Gold and Rubi: First-Gen College Student's Journey

Cardinal, Gold and Rubi

May 4, 2016

From her South L.A. high school through her USC Dornsife graduation, we followed Rubi Garcia, a first-generation college student, through the years. We watched her grow as a person and a scholar as she talks about her…

Wendy Garcia-Nava came to USC with support from the Neighborhood Academic Initiative. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

A Prophetic T-shirt

May 14, 2015

There’s a snapshot of Wendy Garcia-Nava as a fourth-grader that’s downright prophetic: She’s standing by a fountain in Pardee Plaza, shyly waving at the camera. The T-shirt she’s wearing reads:…

Keith Pluymers and Zhe Zhang have both secured postdoctoral positions for the Fall. Pluymers is bound for the California Institute of Technology, and Zhang will further her research at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Photos by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Guided by ‘What If?’

May 13, 2015

Doctoral researchers Keith Pluymers and Zhe Zhang followed very different paths to USC Dornsife — however, their motivations were essentially the same. As children, both dared to imagine that they could make a…