3/5 – A Year Together Apart and a Salute to Staff

Greetings Trojans.

It has been almost a year since the coronavirus was designated a global pandemic. The losses have been staggering, the hardships severe, and the virus showed us how fragile life can be. Last March when we had to close campus, we hoped it would be temporary. After an extended spring break, we thought we would be able to return and finish the spring semester. We know how that turned out: We were told to stay at home, the virus spread, lives were upended, and loved ones were lost.

But we also drew hope and inspiration from the determination, humanity and triumphs of our community. Trojans cared for the sick, undertook life-changing research and found innovative ways to teach and learn. Across all our campuses, staff, faculty and students extended helping hands to our communities, neighbors, friends and family.

The pandemic changed our daily lives. Yet, I’ve been told so many times that it also sharpened our focus on what really matters. Our university has adapted and accomplished a great deal in these past 12 months. I hope you will take a moment to reflect and feel grateful for our remarkable students, faculty and staff. Today is National Employee Appreciation Day, so it is especially fitting that we recognize the selfless dedication of our staff who keep our university running day and night even during the most difficult of times.

With so many in our community still suffering and wondering how they will recover, I know Trojans will continue to serve others. Below, you will see a number of examples from the last year, reflecting the work of our dedicated employees. I urge you to open the links and explore these wonderful stories, and I am certain you will be delighted and inspired by your fellow Trojans. Let’s applaud their kindness, marvel at their innovation and welcome those who are new to the family.

Stay safe, look forward to being back together and Fight On!

Carol L. Folt



  • Educators bring online classes alive and students support each other remotely
  • Medical staff accelerate telemedicine and COVID-19 testing, and more


  • Faculty and staff donate supplies to protect caregivers
  • USC partners with community groups to share food with neighbors, and more


  • Mentorship and career advancement for women and people of color
  • Medical research pushes for diversity, and more


• Native plants return to University Park Campus
• The Galen Center goes solar, and more


  • Students fight the refugee crisis
  • Tattoo ink might help detect cancer early, and more


  • National Academies and MacArthur Foundation recognize faculty members
  • Student-athletes earn national honors, and more


• New leaders in communications, admissions, university relations and diversity, equity and inclusion
• Office connects to women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses