The End of an Era

| June 3, 2019

A blended family of eight, six of whom attended USC, bids farewell to the school as the youngest graduates

On May 10,2019, Daniel Kawalsky became the last of Michele’s Loewenstein’s children to graduate from USC signaling the end of an era for this quintessential SC family. Photo courtesy of Michele Loewenstein.

In 2004, Michele Loewenstein’s step-daughter Beckie Loewenstein visited USC with her father, Lee Loewenstein, as part of their college tour. Beckie immediately fell in love with the campus and knew this is where she wanted to be for the next four years. Her undergraduate experience exceeded the family’s expectations.

Soon after, Loewenstein brought her second step-daughter, Susie Loewenstein, to visit USC when she was a junior in high-school. In 2006, Susie got admitted to the USC School of Architecture. That is when Loewenstein felt she was becoming “a real USC mom,” as she put it.  Ben Loewenstein then became Michele’s third step-child to attend USC, majoring in business and finance.

As an SC mom for the past 15 years, Loewenstein is actively involved in the USC community, especially in Dallas, Texas, where she currently resides. For the past four years, she has served as Treasurer of the USC Alumni Club of Dallas/North Texas. She and her husband, Lee, have also served on the Dallas Club’s board for many years as parent liaisons, providing incoming USC parents with information as they get ready to send off their kids to campus, connecting current and incoming parents, and organizing multiple cultural and social events. Before that, both Loewensteins served as general board members.

Loewenstein’s three biological children, Eric, Aaron, and Daniel Kawalsky attended the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

“When Eric first stepped foot on campus, he fell in love with it,” Loewenstein said. “He took the campus tour, and it was everything he ever wanted in a university! We were impressed with the Viterbi staff we met, with the professors, and the facilities. He knew right away this is where he wanted to be.”

Eric majored in electrical engineering and completed his master’s degree in a fifth year at USC through Viterbi’s progressive degree program. In Eric’s junior year, his brother Aaron followed in his footsteps, also studying in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. When it was time for Loewenstein’s youngest son, Daniel, to apply to college, Loewenstein said: “the thing that had stood out the most to us about USC was the relationships that had developed between the professors and their students.”

Daniel, who had acceptances from multiple schools, ultimately chose USC Viterbi and went on to study computer science. He merged his interests in engineering, media, and shared experiences by delving into virtual reality. On May 10, 2019 he became the last of Michele’s children walk the graduation stage and take his diploma.

“It was cool to be given the chance to create an experience that others could join in on,” Daniel Kawalsky said. “USC has provided me with the opportunity to truly be interdisciplinary.”

Kawalsky’s journey at USC has come to an end, and while he is excited for what the future has in store for him, the Loewensteins attended graduation with mixed emotions.

“We are very proud of him and his achievements,” Michele said. “But we are sad to think we will not be on the USC campus on a regular basis. It feels like an era is coming to an end.”

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