Steven B. Sample, president of the University of Southern California since 1991, announced on Nov. 2 that he will retire in August 2010.
Sample is widely credited with bringing about an institutional rise at USC that is unparalleled in American higher education.
I’m so proud of what USC’s been able to accomplish academically under the leadership of Dr. Sample. When I went to USC in the pre-Sample era, the conventional wisdom in Southern California was that the rich kids went to USC and the smart kids went to UCLA.
(No one in my immediate family is or ever has been rich. I was able to attend USC on an academic scholarship, although it must be admitted that my wife and I both have rich but not overly bright cousins who also graduated as Trojans.)
Since 1991 though, SAT scores at USC have gone up more than 300 points. They passed up UCLA years ago and the gap continues to widen, much to the chagrin of Bruin alums.
So the way it works now is that the rich kids and the smart kids go to USC, and if you don’t fall into either one of those categories, you might be UCLA material.
Thank you, Steven B. Sample!