As we work together to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at USC, let us take time to celebrate Black History Month—and the extraordinary legacy of USC’s Black Trojans. Our university’s Black alumni, leaders, faculty, students, staff and supporters have made—and continue to make—invaluable contributions to USC, the Trojan Family and the world. In honor of these Trojans past and present, we salute the USC Black Alumni Association for its vision and work.
In 1976, the same year U.S. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month as a national observance, noted civil rights leader Rev. Thomas Kilgore Jr. founded the USC Black Alumni Association (BAA). For 45 years, the BAA has been committed to uniting, uplifting and empowering Black Trojans. Its core values—compassion, partnership, accountability, stewardship and service—inform every element of BAA’s programming, from providing scholarship assistance to mentoring students to engaging alumni. And today, Black Trojans continue to epitomize USC’s legacy of excellence and leadership by becoming titans of industry, celebrated artists, groundbreaking scientists, distinguished politicians and so much more.
As the BAA celebrates its 45th anniversary this spring, we also salute its former executive director Michèle Turner ’81, EdD ’14, who led the BAA for 13 years, and was recently named USC’s first-ever associate vice president for business diversity and local opportunity. In her new position, she will work to strengthen partnerships between the university and local businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans.
Now, as USC works to confront systemic racism, the BAA’s role and impact are more important than ever. We encourage you to join us in supporting the commitment of USC and the USC Black Alumni Association to help us create a truly diverse, equal and inclusive Trojan community.
Thank you and Fight On!
Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08
Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations