From sports to athletics, art and entertainment to science and business, the University of Southern California is adored by alumni and respected worldwide.
If you are thinking about applying to USC, have decided to get your undergraduate degree there, or are already a student at SC, it definitely helps to know a bit more about the school!
So, here are some fun facts about USC:
- When USC first opened back in Oct. 6 1880, tuition was just $15.00 per term. On top of that, students were not able to leave town without the knowledge and consent of the university president.
- While USC sports teams are known as The Trojans, Tommy Trojan is not the school’s official mascot. That honor is held by Traveler the Horse. A statue of traveler can be found in the middle of SC’s central campus.
- The southwest corner of the Pueblo of Los Angeles is part of the original land grant given by the King of Spain in 1781. That can still be found today at the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard.
- In a clear sign of USC’s athletic and cultural impact, USC is the only university on the world to have a gold-medal winning athlete in every Summer Olympic games since 1912. USC is also the only university to have an alum nominated for an Oscar every year since the Academy Awards’ inception in 1929.
- USC is a hotbed for multi-cultural studies and students. In case anyone asks, the Spanish translation of USC is Universidad del Sur de California.
- The iconic “Fight On” fight song for USC athletics was also used to inspire World War II troops during the Aleutians Campaign. The song was originally written by USC dental student Milo Sweet.
- John Wayne studied at USC and graduated in 1929. He played tackle for the USC football team under the name Marion Mitchell Morrison. It was until Fox Studios convinced him to change his name for the screen that he became the iconic John Wayne.
- At the top of Gwynn Wilson Student Union, a small monkey gargoyle can be seen thumbing his nose at the bust of past university president Rufus von KleinSmid. The reason? Because the architect of the student union and Kleinsmid had a falling out during the development of the building.
- Before the USC athletes were known as the Trojans throughout the world of college athletics, they were called the Methodists and Wesleyans. The Trojan tradition first originated in 1912 when Los Angeles Times writer Owen Bird compared the USC athletes’ spirit to the fighting spirits of the ancient warriors of Troy. Based on Owen’s take, the Trojan sentiment that he saw in the USC athletes referred to their dedication to victory no matter the situation, the odds or the conditions. Since then, Trojan athletes have become some of the most famous athletes both in college sports and professional sports once their time at USC came to an end.