‘Transformational Generosity and Gratitude’: USC Viterbi’s 2022 Scholarship and Fellowship Dinner

| April 8, 2022

The annual event, in-person for the first time since 2019, connects donors with the students they support

The night’s speakers included USC Viterbi’s Dean Yannis Yortsos, senior Jessica Brown, and alumnus Brandon Blaylock (B.S.’79; M.S.’83) (Photo Credit: Steve Cohn)

The night’s speakers included USC Viterbi’s Dean Yannis Yortsos, senior Jessica Brown, and alumnus Brandon Blaylock (B.S.’79; M.S.’83) (Photo Credit: Steve Cohn)

On April 5, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering hosted its 7th annual Scholarship and Fellowship Dinner. Faculty, staff, students, and invited guests gathered at Town & Gown for the event, which gave scholarship and fellowship donors and their student recipients the opportunity to connect face-to-face.

“Without exception, scholarships and fellowships are critical to recruiting and retaining the most talented students, enabling them to make a difference, and to realize and actualize their dreams,” said Nora Sandoval, USC Viterbi’s director of student engagement, kicking off the event. “Tonight, we bring together donors and the students they support as we celebrate the transformational power of generosity and gratitude at USC Viterbi.”

“The contributions and philanthropy of our generous donors not only enable our engineering students to feel supported in their studies, but also enable them to feel a sense of belonging here at USC Viterbi,” said Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, who spoke next. “Your support has been immeasurable, and we are so grateful to you for making dreams come true for the talented engineering students in this room who are poised to change the world.”

The night’s speakers included USC Viterbi’s Dean Yannis Yortsos, senior Jessica Brown, and alumnus Brandon Blaylock (B.S.’79; M.S.’83) (Photo Credit: Steve Cohn)

Senior Jessica Brown, who is graduating with a B.S. in civil engineering, shared her USC Viterbi scholarship story with faculty, students, donors and friends in attendance. (Photo Credit: Steve Cohn)

After dinner, Sandoval introduced the evening’s next speaker, Jessica Brown, a USC Viterbi senior, and the recipient of the James F. Ruthroff Endowed Scholarship in Civil Engineering.

“Thanks to the generosity of USC Viterbi donors, like those of you in this room, I was able to invest in the clubs, organizations, and coursework that really matter to me,” Brown said. “I really appreciate my scholarship donors for seeing something in me, and I am so grateful for the opportunities their support and generosity have granted me.”

Brown, who’s set to graduate this spring with a B.S. in civil engineering, has been an active participant in the USC Viterbi community since the beginning of her journey as a Trojan. In her current role as the Region VI vice chairperson for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), she serves as a representative and advocate for Black engineering students across the western United States.

In addition, Brown currently serves as president of the Iota Beta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha. The first Greek organization founded by and for Black collegiate women, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority strives to support the personal and professional development of its members and is guided by a mission of giving back through service and advocacy.

USC Viterbi held its 7th Annual Scholarship and Fellowship Dinner on April 5 at Town & Gown. (Photo Credit: Steve Cohn)

The evening’s final speaker was scholarship donor, Brandon Blaylock. A USC Viterbi alum, B.S.’79; M.S.’83, Blaylock currently serves as the managing partner and co-founder of Faros Infrastructure Partners and a partner and chief investment officer of Mexico Infrastructure Partners/EXI.

“It’s very gratifying to be here tonight and to see so many talented engineers and future engineers in the audience,” Blaylock said. “USC Viterbi is a wonderful place, and I’m honored to be able to give back to this community.”

The event marked the first in-person USC Viterbi Scholarship and Fellowship Dinner since 2019.

Published on April 8th, 2022

Last updated on May 18th, 2023

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