More than 750 Trojans, including University of Southern California trustees, senior administrators, faculty, alumni and students, joined honored guests at the 39th Annual USC Latino Alumni Association Scholarship Dinner sponsored by Union Bank at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Friday, March 1, 2013. Thanks to a 2:1 match by USC, more than $750,000 was raised in scholarship funds.
Dinner co-chairs Timothy Wennes, vice chairman of Union Bank, and George Ramirez, executive vice president and chief diversity officer, praised the USC Latino Alumni Association (USC LAA) for its long history of granting scholarships to 7,500 Latinos. “Union Bank has consistently supported the mission of the USC Latino Alumni Association,” Wennes said. “Tonight the USC Family is enabling future generations of Latinos to achieve academic excellence and develop into fulfilling careers.”
USC Board of Trustees chairman Edward P. Roski Jr. presented David C. Lizárraga, his wife Priscilla and their son Michael with the USC- LAA 2013 Legacy Award. The Lizárraga family founded TELACU as a Community Development Corporation through federal legislation authored by Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob K. Javits to revitalize urban, underserved communities throughout the United States.
“Our family’s legacy was inspired by a Methodist missionary who gave my father a scholarship to attend USC,” said David C. Lizárraga. “He saw a possibility — a possibility in a very unlikely place — an orange grove — and in a very unlikely person — a humble farm worker. The truth is, all of us here are part of building a legacy, and none of us ever does it alone.”
The Honorable Julián Castro of San Antonio congratulated the honorees and received a special gift — a USC letterman jacket — from USC President C. L. Max Nikias. In his keynote address, Castro said “Brain power is the new currency of success. This generation of Latinos has the brains, talent and ganas to fully realize the American Dream.”
A committee, led by USC LAA Board chair Karime Sanchez Bradvica, selected USC LAA Scholar John Sandoval to receive the Dr. John R. Hubbard Award. In his remarks, Sandoval paid tribute to his parents, architects in El Salvador who could only get jobs at gas stations and in childcare when they immigrated to the United States. “They watched me get my degree while theirs was nullified,” he said. “Tonight this award belongs to them.”
Don’t forget to check out all the photos from the 39th Annual Scholarship Dinner.