Alumnus Rick Caruso, who graduated from USC in 1980, received the most distinguished alumni honor, the Asa V. Call Award, at the 83rd annual Alumni Awards.

Nikias presented Caruso with the award on Saturday. The award signifies commitment to USC and to the community. Caruso’s ties to USC stretch back to his times as a Trojan. The Carusos have donated more than $50 million to the school.

The family’s endowments include the USC Caruso Catholic Center and, most recently, a $25 million endowment for the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology. The treatment facility for the ear, nose and throat is set to be one of the largest in the country.

“Rick Caruso’s immense pride for USC is unsurpassed,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias said to USC News. “His love of the school is visible across our campuses. With inspired generosity, Rick and his wife, Tina, are putting into practice their philanthropic vision, which will benefit Trojans for many generations to come.”

Caruso said that USC has had a profound impact on his life and career.

“I am so honored to receive this award from USC,” Caruso told USC News. “My years at USC fundamentally changed my perspective on what it means to be part of a community,and what my responsibilities are as a member of that community. There isn’t a better university that changes the lives of young people so significantly, and they have won my respect, commitment, devotion and gratitude.”

In addition to Caruso, six Trojans were awarded for their contributions to USC: Wanda M. Austin, Grant Gerson, Wilfred Uytengsu, Allyson Felix, Dan Cassidy and Vicki McCluggage.


By Porshad Elie