Logo: University of Southern California

Boeing VP Rick Stephens and 300 Other USC Alumni Salute 70 Years of Shared History

Graduates of Viterbi, Marshall, Gould, LAS and other schools turn out for snacks, speeches and marching band spirit
Angus McColl
June 22, 2009 —

Dean Yortsos At USC Event 6-09
Dean Yannis C. Yortsos addresses the gathering.
Nearly 300 Boeing employees who are also USC alumni turned out at the end of the workday on Wednesday, June 3 at the Long Beach assembly line for the C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft to celebrate the strength and endurance of the Boeing – USC partnership

Hosted jointly by Boeing, the USC Marshall School of Business, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the event featured catered food and beverages funded by Boeing, a slide show highlighting recent accomplishments by faculty and students at the two schools, as well as short speeches by Boeing Senior VP for Human Resources and USC Alumnus Rick Stephens, Business Dean Jim Ellis, and Engineering Dean Yannis Yortsos.

The speeches highlighted the legacy and endurance of the partnership which began more than 70 years ago with Boeing’s legacy companies in Southern California including Douglas Aircraft, McDonnell-Douglas, North American, Rockwell, and Hughes Aircraft, as well as the ongoing success of USC Business and Engineering Distance Education Programs in meeting the needs of Boeing employees. 

Stephens particularly emphasized the return-value for Boeing from money invested in USC masters degrees, while also encouraging Boeing employees to give generously to their alma mater through the company’s matching gift program.   

USC Band Entrance 6-09
Fight on! "Conquest" set pulses racing at the Boeing gathering.
The deans gave short summaries of the accomplishments of their respective schools, and thanked Boeing for their continued sponsorship of undergraduate scholarships, master’s degree education, and research.   

Dean Yortsos detailed the closeness of the relationship between the Viterbi School and the aircraft maker, noting that USC engineers who have worked for Boeing and its legacy companies now number in the thousands, and pointing out that Boeing is a founding member and continuous sponsor of the highly successful Center for Systems and Software Engineering now in its 13th year.

He also thanked the company for the undergraduate scholarships and postgraduate fellowships, including grants aimed at women and underrepresented minorities; the company's support for the  Center for Engineering Diversity, and the number of Boeing senior engineers who serve as advisors for Viterbi departments.

The dean's speech was followed by what all agreed was a highlight of the event — a guest appearance by a ten-person element of the Spirit of Troy Marching Band, which played “Conquest” and other Trojan favorites to the delight of the crowd.

Group Picture At USC Event 6-09
Boeing Senior VP for Human Resources and USC Alumnus Rick Stephens is the tall man in a grey jacket and SC tie; flanked on the right by Dean Yannis Yortsos and Associate Dean Kelly Goulis, and on the left by Marshall School Dean Jim Ellis.