New Trustee and Olympics Gold Medalist to be Honored at USC’s 80th Annual Alumni Awards

April 24, 2013

Contact: Tim Knight at (213) 740-5948 or (323) 788-4492 or


The USC Alumni Association will honor:
• Frank Fertitta III, recipient of the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award, USC’s highest alumni honor
• Geraldine Knatz and Mark Ridley-Thomas, honoring individuals whose accomplishments reflect the range and quality of a USC education
• Rebecca Soni, recipient of the Young Alumni Merit Award, recognizing the outstanding achievements of alumni under the age of 35
• Barbara CotlerLinda Givvin and Jerry Neely, recipients of Alumni Service Awards, recognizing outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of USC


Saturday, April 27, 6:00 p.m.


The Westin Bonaventure Hotel
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071


Frank Fertitta III is the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas-based Fertitta Entertainment, a resort and casino development and management company, and of Station Casinos, the largest provider of gaming and entertainment to residents of Southern Nevada. He is also a founder and principal owner of Zuffa LLC, which owns and operates the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the highly successful global sports enterprise that is the largest live pay-per-view content provider in the world.He was elected to the USC Board of Trustees on April 7.

Geraldine Knatz is the first woman to serve as the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest container port.

Mark Ridley-Thomas is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for District 2 and former California State Senator.

Rebecca Soni is a six-time Olympic medalist and the world-record holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter women’s breaststroke.

Barbara Cotler is a member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, the USC Athletics Board of Counselors and an executive board member of the USC “Spirit of Troy” Trojan Marching Band.

Linda Givvin is a past president of Town and Gown of USC, the university’s oldest and largest women’s organization, and a  member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors and the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Board of Councilors.

Jerry Neely is a USC trustee and a longtime mentor of USC Marshall School of Business MBA students through the TEC (The Executive Club) on Campus program.


Since 1932, the USC Alumni Association (USCAA) has paid tribute to distinguished members of the Trojan Family. The annual Alumni Awards is one of the USC Alumni Association’s premier events with all proceeds supporting USCAA programs and services.

Past recipients of the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award include astronaut Neil Armstrong, opera star Marilyn Horne and Hollywood icon John Wayne.

About the USC Alumni Association
The USC Alumni Association’s mission is to support the overall advancement of the University of Southern California by engaging all alumni for life, building a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family, and being the representative voice for all USC alumni.

With more than 300,000 members worldwide, the USC Alumni Association supports more than 100 affiliated alumni clubs, alumnae support groups and multicultural and generational alumni communities. These groups collectively distribute more than two million dollars each year in scholarships for USC students.

In addition, the USC Alumni Association annually hosts hundreds of events and programs around the world, and provides benefits and services to all USC alumni. The 2012-2013 USC Alumni Association Board of Governors president is Mitchell Lew ’83, MD ’87 and the Interim Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations is Patrick Auerbach EdD ’08.