Serving the People

| September 22, 2017

William Rose, former Marine and current mechanical engineering master’s student at USC Viterbi, spends his free time volunteering for the American Red Cross.



William Rose (Photo by Michelle Henry)

William Rose is a passionate individual motivated to help others in any way he can. After his time serving in the Marines, where he led units on two deployments, he has come to USC Viterbi to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Rose began volunteering every day at the American Red Cross last summer and continued four hours a week during the school year.

Part of his responsibility at the Red Cross is to serve as an “emergency liaison” between families and their loved ones on deployment. A woman lost her mother suddenly. She needed to get in contact with her daughter who was deployed on a ship with limited communication so she could return for the funeral.

Rose got the message delivered. When he called the woman to follow up, she thanked him profusely for making this complicated process much easier for her during an intensely emotional and stressful time.

“I know the stress the military can add to a family,” Rose said. “So, I found it extremely rewarding to be able to be a part of an organization that could provide some help to these families when things were extra stressful.”

Rose has always known he wanted to serve and help others. This was the driving force and motivation behind his decision to attend the United States Naval Academy after graduating from high school in 2007.

As a marine, he was stationed in Camp Pendleton, California. Rose was deployed twice, once to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and the other as part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit to Asia and the Middle East. He led units of Marines and helped conduct training missions.

Rose’s passionate pursuit of helping others was rewarded when he took a leap of faith and recommended a young Marine for a role to train and lead a unit over other Marines with more experience.

“Normally, its takes a while for guys to build up the knowledge and experience necessary to assume leadership roles in the military. But this Marine was different,” Rose said. “From the time I met him he was full of energy, looking to learn everything, and always wanted to take on a challenge.”

A few months later, a senior officer told Rose that the Marine appreciated all the trust and faith Rose had put in him.

The officer explained that the Marine had run away from a rough home as a teenager and lived on the streets through high school before joining the Marine Corps. The Marine knew he would have never have had an opportunity like this otherwise.

“I was extremely proud to have been a part of that guy’s journey and to have helped in some way,” he said. “It was genuinely an honor to serve as a leader of Marines, but I knew I ultimately wanted to pursue engineering.”

When Rose was at the Naval Academy, he majored in ocean engineering. He is currently a graduate student at USC Viterbi studying mechanical engineering because he believes there are extraordinary developments in the tech and aerospace sectors that he could ultimately pursue.

“From going to Mars, to new military systems, to complex hardware applications, I think it’s a really exciting time to be an engineer and I’m eager to be involved,” Rose said.

The decision to attend USC Viterbi was influenced by the resources available to the students.

“Prestige aside, USC is a well-respected institution with high quality instructors,” Rose said. “Many industry types know how great Viterbi is, and they can reach out to you directly through the school.”


Published on September 22nd, 2017

Last updated on December 20th, 2017

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