Tommy Trojan statue

The Alumni Association’s Exciting Journey Ahead

During this centennial anniversary year, the USC Alumni Association has celebrated its historic contributions to alumni and university life over the past century, as well as all the connections that exist within our Trojan Family.

Today, as the voice of more than 480,000 Trojans worldwide, the USC Alumni Association stands at the threshold of a promising new chapter as it embarks on a transformative journey to develop a new strategic plan that will chart its future. President Carol Folt and the university’s leadership team have set the stage for a remarkable era of progress for the University of Southern California, with our Alumni Association poised as a vital partner in realizing the university’s ambitions.

To ensure that the Alumni Association’s plan aligns with the needs and aspirations of our alumni community, we have been reaching out to you for feedback. Last spring, we conducted an all-alumni survey; more recently, we called for further input in connection with the announcement of our Transition Task Force, which will serve as the advisory council to the strategic planning process and help identify the next person to take the helm of the USC Alumni Association.

This year, under the leadership of Interim Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations John Iino JD ’87, we are extending our outreach through a listening tour that will give alumni and campus stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions and contribute their ideas. The tour will include visits with alumni volunteer leaders—including the leaders of our network boards, age-based groups, and affinity organizations. We will also travel to several cities across the country to hear from volunteers past and present. In all, we will connect with nearly 70 groups, representing thousands of alumni.

“I am so grateful to the alumni who have already contributed their insights and support as we envision the Alumni Association’s future,” said Iino. “Your enthusiasm and dedication are the driving forces behind the innovations we aspire to achieve. I look forward to hearing from many more of you in the months ahead. Together, we will create a strategic plan that not only honors the Alumni Association’s past but also propels us into a new and exciting chapter.”

To date, the listening tour has revealed a rich tapestry of opinions about the future of the USC Alumni Association. The diversity of expectations and aspirations underscores the need for a dynamic and adaptable strategic plan.

As the listening tour progresses, the Alumni Association is also preparing for the next crucial step in its evolution—the appointment of a new associate senior vice president to lead the university’s alumni relations efforts. Recognizing the importance of this role, the university is conducting a national search to find a leader who will champion the interests of alumni, foster collaboration, and carry forward the strategic plan.

The new leader will succeed Dr. Patrick E. Auerbach ’08, who served as USC’s associate senior vice president of alumni relations for more than a decade. “Serving as USC’s chief alumni relations officer for the past 11 years, leading into the USC Alumni Association’s Centennial in 2023-24, was the professional honor and a privilege of a lifetime,” said Auerbach. “Thank you to our Trojan Family, including the global and diverse community of alumni volunteer leaders and supporters, for your unrelenting dedication and ongoing support of our beloved university. I also extend my deepest gratitude to the administration, staff, faculty, and students who continue to partner with the Alumni Association and our volunteers to accelerate USC’s pursuit of its lofty aspirations.” 

The USC Alumni Association aspires to become a true reflection of the collective ambitions of the university’s alumni. Open, constructive dialogue is essential for building a solid foundation for the next 100 years. You may send us your ideas and feedback at any time by using this online form. You may also use the form to express interest in the associate senior vice president position or to nominate individuals you believe exemplify the qualities needed to lead the Alumni Association into the future. All submissions will be kept confidential.

We know you are excited as we are for the USC Alumni Association’s bright future. Fight On!

Editor’s Note: Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08, who was initially hired by USC Athletics as its first-ever Director of Women’s Basketball Operations and Marketing in 2000 and then moved over to the USC Alumni Association in 2008, served as USC’s Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations from 2013 to 2023. He left USC in December 2023 to pursue new opportunities outside of the university.