The Ronald Tutor Campus Center officially kicked off its weeklong opening celebration with a dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon in International Plaza, attended by President C.L. Max Nikias, Vice President for Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson and USC Trustee Ronald Tutor.
“What a great day this is for USC. We are celebrating the reality of a long-awaited dream: a campus center that is the heartbeat of our campus,” Nikias said in his speech.
Officiated by Jackson, the ceremony began with a few words from Dean of Religious Life Varun Soni.
“This afternoon we stand together at this historic moment to consecrate the new center of our campus,” Soni said. “May this center be a destination for creativity and imagination, and a beacon for hope and possibility.”
Nikias’ address followed Soni’s, where he spoke about the many features of the campus center and anticipated its role in the years to come.
“Future generations of Trojans will say, ‘Well, I met my wife for the first time at the plaza of the campus center,’” Nikias said. “Here, conversation is encouraged. Here, learning takes place between faculty and students and between Trojans at all stages of their lives.”
Nikias then introduced building namesake Tutor, as well as Tutor’s stepmother and children.
“I’m sorry that I see some of your inheritance being invested at USC,” joked Nikias.
Tutor reflected on his time at USC, and his experience becoming part of the Trojan Family after watching a football game at age 11.
“I can’t tell you emotionally how strongly I feel about being part of this university,” Tutor said. “It’s an unimaginable experience to be feeling what I’m feeling. It’s almost surreal as I reflect back.”
Throughout the dedication, planes in the sky spelled out phrases commemorating the occasion, such as “Trojan Campus Center,” “Trojan Family” and “Thank you Ronald Tutor.”
The skywriting was given as a gift to Ronald Tutor by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, said GPSS President Jenny Novak.
Novak and Undergraduate Student Government President Chris Cheng gave Tutor a key to the campus center, in thanks for his contribution.
“On behalf of the entire undergraduate student body, I want to thank you for this one-of-a-kind facility that will come to serve as the heart and lifeblood of the University Park Campus,” Cheng said.
To conclude the ceremony, the Trojan Marching Band played a new song commissioned for the event called “Reign of Troy,” which was written by USC alumnus and film composer Mark Watters.