USC Alumni Awards

Every year since 1932, the USC Alumni Association honors a select group of prestigious alumni for their professional achievements and outstanding service to the University and community at the Alumni Awards gala.

This year, seven outstanding Trojans were honored for their professional achievements and legacy of service at the 88th Annual USC Alumni Awards on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in honoring seven distinguished Trojans for their accomplishments and service to USC and the Trojan Family.

We look forward to seeing you next year on Saturday, April 29, 2023.

Alumni Merit Awards

Mary Bono

The Honorable Mary Bono
Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, 1984

Former Congresswoman Mary Bono (CA-45) served eight terms in the U.S. government’s legislative branch from 2008 to 2013. During her tenure in office, she established herself as a leader on a wide range of issues, most notably technology, privacy, job creation, intellectual property and consumer protection. The first Republican woman in American history to hold a gavel on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, Bono also served as chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. Currently, she serves as chairman of the board of directors for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). Bono is a USC Roski School of Art and Design alumna.

Mike Nyeholt

Mike Nyeholt
Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance, 1978

Mike Nyeholt is the chairman emeritus of the board of the Swim With Mike Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund and the “Mike” behind the successful Swim With Mike program. Founded in 1981 after Nyeholt, an NCAA All-American swimmer, was left paralyzed by a motorcycle accident, this annual swim-a-thon raises funds “to change the lives of student athletes who have experienced catastrophic injury or illness by providing scholarships, creating community, and instilling hope and purpose.” In 2021, Swim With Mike celebrated its 40th anniversary. To date, the Physically Challenged Athletes Fund has raised more than $25 million and awarded scholarships to 256 student-athletes at 134 universities nationwide. Nyeholt is a USC Marshall School of Business alumnus.

Young Alumni Merit Award

Adam and Ryan Goldston

Adam Goldston
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, 2009

Ryan Goldston
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 2009

Adam Goldston and Ryan Goldston are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Los Angeles-based APL – Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL), a leader in athletic footwear and apparel. Identical twins, the Goldstons founded APL in 2009 at the age of 22. With the 2010 launch of their Concept 1 basketball shoe, they became the creators of the first shoe proven to make its wearers jump higher, thanks to APL’s revolutionary eight-spring Load ‘N Launch Technology. In 2016, the Goldstons became the first members from an athletic brand to be inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. Adam and Ryan Goldston graduated from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the USC Marshall School of Business, respectively.

Alumni Service Awards

Jules Buenabenta

Jules Buenabenta
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1987

Jules Buenabenta is a proud USC Marshall School of Business alumnus who serves on the school’s board of councilors, which provides strategic advice and counsel to the USC Marshall School dean. In 2015, he joined the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors and co-chaired the 85th Annual USC Alumni Awards Committee in 2018. Passionate about opening doors for Trojans of all ages and backgrounds, he served as the co-chair of the USC Associates’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He also supports the USC Latino Alumni Association and participates in USC Latino growth initiatives aimed to strengthen and expand the bonds between the university and the Latino community.

Ramona Cappello

Ramona Cappello
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1981

Ramona Cappello hails from a long line of dedicated Trojans, including her father, uncle, three brothers and two nieces. From 2009 to 2015, she served on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, including a term as the board president. In 2014, Cappello was elected to the USC Board of Trustees, where she chaired the Alumni Affairs Committee. A USC Marshall School of Business alumna, Capello served on the board of USC Marshall Partners, which raises funds for scholarships, student programs, research and faculty support. She currently serves on the Board of Counselors at both the USC Dornsife School of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the USC Kaufman School of Dance.

Beth Petak Aaron

Beth Petak-Aaron
Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Education, 1980

Beth Petak-Aaron is a USC Rossier School of Education alumna who has held leadership positions in several university-affiliated groups over the years. As a member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, she served as the co-chair of the Student Outreach Committee, as well as the co-chair of the 82nd Annual USC Alumni Awards in 2016. In addition, Petak-Aaron co-chaired the 2011 USC Women’s Conference. Currently, she is president-elect of Town & Gown of USC. With her husband, Tony ’80, Petak-Aaron has established two USC endowed scholarship funds, for Town & Gown of USC and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting, respectively.

Thank you to all our generous sponsors who participated in this year’s Alumni Awards, one of USC’s most prestigious events. Your support provides the opportunity for USC to reach thousands of the USC alumni community.

Proceeds from the evening support USC Alumni Association programs and services for more than 450,000 alumni worldwide.

Thank you to our 2022 sponsors for their generous support!


Jules & Amy Buenabenta
Cabrera Capital Markets
Honorable Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Dr. Mario Molina
Henry R. Muñoz, III & Kyle Ferari Muñoz
Walter F. Ulloa, Entravision

— GOLD —

Honorable Mary Bono & Rear Admiral Steve Oswald, USN (Ret.)
USC Latino Alumni Association
Kevork & Elizabeth Zoryan


Joy Albritten & Jeff Gaul
USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association
USC Athletics
USC Black Alumni Association
Peter Brejcha & Whitney Cale
USC Marshall School of Business
Ramona Cappello
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance
Michael and Debbie Felix
Gaynor Law Group, Zeina & Justin M. Gaynor
John & Eva Iino
USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association
Kim & Clint Sallee, Tan and Green Holdings
Simeon Stewart
Mary & Sidney Tee
Town & Gown of USC
Swim with Mike Foundation
Nadine Watt & Andrew Jameson, Watt Companies


Bank of America
Corii Berg
USC Credit Union
Roger & Michele Dedeaux Engemann
Paul & Karen Eggert
Carmen Herrera
Liberty Mutual
Rod and Elsie Nakamoto
Daniel Prince & Lisa M. Prince

*As of April 4, 2022