USC Trustees William McMorrow and Carmen Nava, Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara, and award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler, among prominent Trojans to be recognized at annual USC Alumni Awards

December 11, 2017

Contact: Teresa Verbeck at (213) 821-6936 or; Emily Gersema at (213) 740-0252 or

Seven outstanding Trojans will be honored for their professional achievements and legacy of service at the 85th Annual USC Alumni Awards on April 28, 2018, at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

William McMorrow ’69, MBA ’70, a USC Trustee and the chairman and CEO of the global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson, will receive the university’s highest alumni honor, the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the university and the community by giving generously of their time, energy and leadership.

“Bill McMorrow is an extraordinary leader and an exceptional trustee, as well as an excellent role model for our students,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “Throughout his distinguished career in real estate, he has shown tremendous integrity and character, while bringing a visionary, global perspective to our board of trustees and to his work over the decades.  He is a most deserving recipient of USC’s highest alumni honor.”

The Alumni Merit Award, which recognizes alumni whose remarkable accomplishments speak well for the range and quality of a USC education, will be presented to USC Trustee Carmen Nava ’84, an AT&T executive who was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential and Notable Hispanics” in tech in 2015 and 2016; former American Dental Association President

Carol Gomez Summerhays DDS ’78, the first Filipina-American and fourth woman to head the oldest and largest dental association in the world; and Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara ’86, the first Asian-American to run a major Hollywood studio.

The Young Alumni Merit Award, which is presented to an alumnus/a age 35 or younger who meets the same criteria, will go to the award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler MFA’11, whose credits include the critically acclaimed Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Fruitvale Station (2013); the box office smash Creed (2015); and the highly anticipated Marvel Studios film Black Panther, which opens in February 2018.

“We are delighted to be recognizing such accomplished and revered alumni with Alumni Merit Awards at the 85th Annual USC Alumni Awards,” said Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations Patrick E. Auerbach. “To have the opportunity to honor a leading entertainment industry executive in Kevin Tsujihara, one of the top up-and-coming filmmakers in Ryan Coogler, a trailblazing telecommunications executive in Carmen Nava, and a national dentistry figure in Carol Gomez Summerhays, is a privilege for USC and the Trojan Family.”

The Alumni Service Award, which recognizes alumni for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of the university, will be presented to Bob Padgett ’68, a past president of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, and Valerie Gumbiner Weiss ’74, MPA ’81, a past chairman of the Alumnae Coordinating Council and longtime university volunteer.

“Bob Padgett and Valerie Weiss exemplify the finest in Trojan volunteerism,” said USC Alumni Association Board of Governors President Jaime Lee. “Each of them has devoted decades of their lives to serving USC, and it is a joy to be recognizing their hard work with the 2018 Alumni Service Awards as this year’s Alumni Awards celebration.”

Every year since 1932, the USC Alumni Association has paid tribute to distinguished members of the Trojan Family. The annual Alumni Awards gala is the premier event hosted by the USC Alumni Association. Past honorees include Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong ’70, world-renowned architect Frank Gehry ’54, opera great Marilyn Horne ’53 and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis ’73. All proceeds from the event support the USC Alumni Association’s programs and services. For more information, please visit

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.

The USC Alumni Association annually hosts hundreds of events and programs around the globe. Providing a wide variety of benefits and services to more than 400,000 members worldwide, the USC Alumni Association supports more than 100 affiliated alumni clubs, alumni networks, alumnae support groups and multicultural and generational alumni communities. These groups collectively distribute nearly four million dollars each year in scholarships for USC students. The 2017-18 USC Alumni Association Board of Governors president is Jaime Lee ’06, JD ’09 and USC’s Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations is Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08.