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Veterans Day 2021

Dear USC Viterbi Community:


The theme for Veterans Day 2021 is "Honoring All Who Served."

This is, perhaps, best exemplified by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was initially dedicated 100 years ago — on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921. 

Some veterans, like the recently deceased Gen. Colin Powell, are perhaps well known to us. Others, however, may be less known to us: i.e. the nearly 1500 student, faculty and staff veterans at USC. 

As Professor Randy Hill, an Army veteran and executive director of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, noted in his new Q&A: "The veterans among us are typically humble and quiet about their experiences in the armed forces. These are people who volunteered to serve our country in some of the most dangerous and intense regions of the world, and many bear the wounds of war, whether they are visible or not."

At the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, we remain steadfast in our commitment to honor all who served — on all days, not just the 11th day of November.

There are currently 148 veteran, active duty, reserve or military dependent students enrolled in USC Viterbi degree programs. Not to mention countless alumni, parents, faculty and staff who are both Trojan engineers and members of the armed services.

In 2019, U.S. News and World Report ranked USC #5 in the category of "Best Colleges for Veterans." Additionally, in 2021, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering was ranked #2 in Information Technology (Computer Science) Programs for Veterans; #2 in Engineering Programs for Veterans; and received the ASEE Engineering Excellence for Veterans Award in 2017 for initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon program, a pledge to provide an unlimited number of partial scholarships to veterans admitted to any M.S. programs.

On a personal note, I would like to echo Professor Hill's sentiments on how each of us might observe today:

"Veterans have lived the values of duty, honor and country, and they are some of the best friends you can ever have. My ask of all Trojans is to do more than just say 'thank you for your service.' Rather, make a friend of a veteran. You won't regret it."


Warmest regards,



Yannis C. Yortsos
Dean, USC Viterbi School of Engineering




Feature Image
Professor Hill reflects on service, storytelling and his favorite virtual human to fight PTSD
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