Dean Yannis C. Yortsos called her 'the ultimate development officer, the model of what a development officer should be."
Yortsos was speaking at the end of the 2009-2010 fiscal year about the achievements of Barbara Myers, the school's executive director of advancement, whose efforts have produced remarkable financial effects at the end of each of the last 7 fiscal years.
It was Myers' last day as a full-time Viterbi executive, and the large and affectionate crowd that gathered on the University Club terrace showed how much it valued her contributions.
Her direct supervisor, Chief Executive Officer of the Viterbi School's External Relations Department Christopher Stoy, said three words described her: "poise, patience, and class." Myers was, Stoy said, "the consummate fundraising professional."
He spoke about how she had come to the Viterbi School, recruited by the school's previous dean, now incoming USC President Max C.L. Nikias, with exceptional results. Nikias was working on an ambitious $300 million fundraising program - which Stoy's group, spearheaded by Myers, accomplished in time, with a little extra to spare.
And the funders had not forgotten. Present in the audience was Ming Hsieh, the benefactor of the Department of Electrical Engineering that now bears his name. Not able to attend in person, Andrew J. Viterbi called Myers on her cell phone by appointment during the ceremony.
Also in attendance: Board of Councilors members John Deininger (and his wife Bettina), Jay Kear, and Fariborz Maseeh, two of her three sons, plus the entire Viterbi School External Relations and Communications Office,
Her plans: Myers said she had five pieces of music on her piano's music shelf that she intended to learn, five books on her table she intended to read, And then - "I intended to recreate. To re-create myself."
No successor has been announced -- "but these are very big shoes to fill," said Stoy.