Almost everything of importance in my life had something to do with USC. I went to USC as a student in 1957 and graduated in 1961. Those were four of the best years of my life. I received a great education that prepared me for a life-long career in journalism, I was editor of the Daily Trojan and I met my wife, Barbara, at USC. The Trojan magic is still alive and well — this July we celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary.
In 1967, while working as a CBS senior producer in Los Angeles, I became an adjunct lecturer at USC. In 1974, I joined the faculty full-time to create the first broadcasting sequence at USC and this year I completed 50 consecutive years of teaching at USC Annenberg. It’s been quite a ride.
One of the great joys USC has given me as a professor over the last half-century has been the chance to get to meet and occasionally influence students who graduate and make our society better with their presence. Recently, I discovered on Facebook the tip of an iceberg – more than 80 of my former students have retired after successful careers in both print and electronic journalism. I find that I am now teaching the children of former students.
As they were during the last half century, last semester’s group of students were a joy to be with, eager to learn and extremely grateful to be at USC. So in one sense, nothing has changed since I first came to USC in 1958 except for the campus itself with its massive new buildings and University Village on Jefferson.
USC today and yesterday and tomorrow will always be USC – a place students never forget and always cherish, a place where professors, researchers and scholars can find a safe and cherished home in which to advance the field of knowledge, a place where staff, students and faculty can come together to create something much greater than themselves. That was true when I was a student in the late 1950s and it is just as true today.