The Academy: Leaders in Giving Recognition Event

Dean’s Laureate Circle Members Tom Halvorsen EdD ’80 and his wife Barbara Halvorsen ’70, MS ’71 pictured with new Academy Members Robert Ferris EdD ’65 and Pauline Ferris PhD ’79

Dean’s Laureate Circle Members Tom Halvorsen EdD ’80 and his wife Barbara Halvorsen ’70, MS ’71 pictured with new Academy Members Robert Ferris EdD ’65 and Pauline Ferris PhD ’79

Over 50 members of Rossier’s leadership giving society, The Academy, gathered at USC on Saturday, March 29 for a celebration of their collective impact on the school, its students, and its faculty. Academy members are recognized for contributing $500 or more annually, and include Dean’s Laureate Circle members who make gifts of $25,000 and up to the school.

University Professor and Rossier Associate Dean William G. Tierney was the keynote speaker. His comments focused on how Academy members can change the lives and trajectory of individual students, and offered several examples of students he has worked with and mentored through the Pullias Center for Higher Education, which he co-directs. He urged donors to think about the faces of students when they consider their gifts.

Academy Members Patti Poon ’65 and Dudley Poon enjoy the reception with Candy Yee ’68 MS ’69 and James Yee MS’66, PhD ’74, alongside Genaro Carapia MS ’84 and Lai Tan Carapia.

Academy Members Patti Poon ’65 and Dudley Poon enjoy the reception with Candy Yee ’68 MS ’69 and James Yee MS’66, PhD ’74, alongside Genaro Carapia MS ’84 and Lai Tan Carapia.

Scholarship recipient and EdD student Ramiro Rubalcaba also spoke, highlighting his personal story of the challenges he faced growing up in East Los Angeles and how his educational career was changed for the better through philanthropy and the generosity of donors. Rubalcaba was a 2014 recipient of the Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group (DSAG) Endowed Scholarship. He began his comments with a resounding “THANK YOU” to members of the audience and noted that “it is because of people like you, that I can stand here today.” He also stressed his intention to “pay it forward” in his career. Rubalcaba is currently the principal at Azusa High School and plans to one day serve as a superintendent.

Dean Karen Symms Gallagher recognized new members of the Dean’s Laureate Circle, Carlton and Eloise Blanton, who have established a scholarship for aspiring school leaders, and Tom and Barbara Halverson.

Several Academy members who are also Rossier faculty were in attendance, including Rudy Castruita, Michael Escalante, Pedro Garcia, Stu Gothold, Pat Gallagher, Walt Greene and Professor Emeritus Robert Ferris. Seven new members were formally recognized and welcomed to The Academy, while six members who have given for five consecutive years were also acknowledged.