On March 21, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering celebrated the transformational power of generosity at its 8th annual Scholarship and Fellowship Dinner.
Taking place for the first time at the USC Hotel, guests dried out after a rainy day as donors connected face-to-face with the students they support.
It has become one of the school’s signature evenings and featured Dean Yannis C. Yortsos as the keynote speaker.
“There is no more essential manifestation of philanthropy than in the support our students receive in the form of scholarships, fellowships or other means from our donors,” Dean Yortsos said. “A university education is a chemical reaction process, and our donors are the catalysts that enable that reaction to happen in the first place.”
Dean Yortsos mentioned several benchmark successes that have propelled USC Viterbi over the past few years, including the school’s commitment to its Grand Challenges Scholars Program, the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Lives Not Grades” and gender parity among its student population.
“As a school, we help drive their experience to levels of enlightenment, competence, and compassion; it is unique to any engineering education anywhere in the world.”
Scholarship support is one of USC Viterbi’s top priorities. Backing a diverse group of gifted Trojans allows the school to recruit and retain the leaders of tomorrow and provides them with the opportunity to experience all that USC has to offer.
The night’s second invited speaker was Azrin Khan, a USC Viterbi junior and recipient of the Gregorio Family Scholarship.
“Scholarships help students at USC Viterbi fulfill their potential and allow us to dream, discover and work with each other toward a common goal of engineering a better world,” she said. “The power of scholarships cannot be understated.”
Khan is a third-year student studying electrical and computer engineering and minoring in technology commercialization. She has been working as a student researcher at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging since 2019, and, since 2020, she has been collaborating on a COVID-19 data archive. She is also working to develop a blockchain-based platform that, among other things, helps students learn about digital currencies.
The evening’s final speaker was Jonathan Emami, USC Viterbi Board of Councilors member.
Emami is President of JEMCOR Development Partners, a real estate development and construction company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned a Master of Construction Management degree from USC Viterbi, and, in 2020, he funded the Emami Family Endowed Fellowship to support students pursuing the same degree. In 2021, he established the Jonathan Emami Construction Management Endowed Fund to support new initiatives, students and curriculum.
“It’s rewarding to know that my small effort can go such a long way for a student and help them excel in their education and excel in the future in their careers,” he said.
Throughout the evening, guests were treated to two videos: the school’s annual scholarship impact video as well as a presentation covering the Grand Challenges Scholars Program.
Kaci Silverman, senior associate dean for advancement, and Kelly Goulis, senior associate dean for admission and student engagement, co-emceed the evening, which ended with a special appearance by the USC Trojan Marching Band.
Published on March 23rd, 2023
Last updated on March 23rd, 2023