Mission & History

The USC Alumni Association’s mission is to support the overall advancement of the University of Southern California by engaging all alumni for life, building a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family, and being the representative voice for all USC alumni.

Statue in front of Widney Alumni House

The USC Alumni Association supports more than 100 affiliated alumni organizations, including regional, alumnae (women’s), generational, affinity and school-based groups, and industry networks. These groups collectively distribute nearly four million dollars each year in scholarships for USC students. In addition, the association hosts hundreds of events and programs around the world, and provides benefits and services to all USC alumni. The USC Alumni Association has a full-time staff, headed by the associate senior vice president for alumni relations, and is advised by the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors.

The first University of Southern California alumni association was established in 1885 by George F. Bovard, Class of 1894, who later became USC’s fourth president.

Today’s alumni association was founded as the General Alumni Association (GAA) in 1923 under Edward L. Doheny Jr., its first president. The first Homecoming took place in 1924.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the GAA was the university’s primary fundraiser. In 1927, it created the Bureau of Employment, a job placement office in the Student Union Building for students and alumni. Also in the late 1920s, the GAA embarked on a fundraising campaign to build a new library and physical education building, but the Great Depression cut short these efforts.

Nevertheless, in 1930, the GAA raised the funds to donate the Trojan Shrine (Tommy Trojan) to USC. Also in the 1930s, the GAA donated the land around the new Doheny Library (today’s Alumni Park) and, in 1932, established the Asa V. Call Achievement Award, precursor to the USC Alumni Awards.

In the late 1990s, the GAA changed its name to the USC Alumni Association. From 1976 to 2010, the association’s main office was in the Widney Alumni House, USC’s first building and a state historic monument since 1955. Although it maintains offices in the Widney Alumni House, the association moved its headquarters to the Ronald Tutor Campus Center’s Epstein Family Alumni Center in 2010 — the 125th anniversary of the founding of the USC Alumni Association.