University of Southern California: Spring convocation asks new Trojans to seek solutions

The newest Trojans received an official welcome from university leaders Tuesday when the USC community hosted new spring student convocation at Bovard Auditorium.

President Carol L. Folt, Provost Charles Zukoski and the university’s deans welcomed 950 new undergraduate students and just over 2,100 graduate students and their families.

“These are complicated times, with so much to be thankful for and excited about, even as we continue to face challenges,” Folt said. “But it’s a time of miracles too. To begin, we’re back in person.”

New student convocation hears of President Folt’s own journey
Folt shared a bit of her own journey with students. After starting at The Ohio State University, Folt moved to California and attended Santa Barbara Community College before transferring to the University of California, Santa Barbara. There, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, later earning her doctorate at University of California, Davis.

“Transfer students are close to my heart since I was one myself,” Folt told the crowd.

Attendees also heard from another transfer student, senior Alexis Areias, who told students that there is no right path to USC: It’s just important that they’re here. Areias, president of USC’s Undergraduate Student Government, encouraged students to take advantage of all of the opportunities the university provides that can’t be found anywhere else.

Transfer students are close to my heart since I was one myself.

Carol L. Folt, USC president

“As you take your place here at the University of Southern California, my only hope is that you take those chances as they come to you,” Areias said. “Make the most of your time here so that when you do ask yourself in a few years, ‘Am I better off?’ the answer will be, ‘Yes.’”

New students also heard from the graduate student Rosalynn Montellano, who spoke about striving for excellence and how USC helps student achieve that. Montellano, director of diversity and equity programming for USC’s Graduate Student Government, reassured students that the sacrifices and hard work would be worth it in the end.

‘Excellence is not without risk,’ new student convocation told
“Excellence is not without adversity. Excellence is not without risk and, most importantly, excellence is not without failure,” she said.

For Folt, excellence is something she sees in everyone present at Bovard Auditorium that Tuesday morning. She expressed her belief that the newest group of Trojans will achieve just that.

“I’m confident that you’ll use your education to become inspirational doers, thinkers and leaders, that you’ll use the great privilege your education provides to build a better world, just like so many Trojans before you,” Folt said. “I for one, can’t wait to see what that will be.”

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