In Memoriam: USC Lambda Co-Founder Richard Eckardt JD ’66


Richard “Dick” Eckardt JD ’66, one of the founding members of the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association (USC Lambda), passed away at the age of 79 on December 30, 2017.

An attorney who practiced business law, most recently with the firm of Walker, Wright, Tyler and Ward, Eckardt helped co-found USC Lambda as part of the USC Student Affairs Office in 1992. The organization, which became a USC Alumni Association (USCAA) affinity group in 2003, recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding.

According to fellow USC Lambda co-founder Amy Ross PhD ’86, Eckardt was “a tireless advocate for USC’s LGBTQ alumni, students, faculty and staff” who played a key role in the creation of the university’s first LGBT alumni association.

“Dick generously provided his legal expertise to draft our charter and worked closely with the university’s senior administration to bring Lambda into the USC fold,” she says. “He was our historian, inspiration and guiding light.”

In addition to serving as the 1994-95 USC Lambda co-president, Eckardt was also a member of the organization’s board and contributed to its scholarship fund. He was involved with OUTlaw, USC Gould’s LGBT student organization, and received a USCAA Widney Alumni House Award in recognition of his outstanding service to USC and the Trojan Family.

“We are saddened by the passing of Dick Eckardt, a true Trojan in every sense,” says Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08, associate senior vice president for alumni relations. “Were it not for the courage and steadfast efforts of Dick and several fellow Trojans, USC Lambda would not be where it is today. His decades-long service has made our university a better place for all.”

Eckardt is survived by his husband, Kelvin Fujiuchi ’64, a USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences alumnus.