Steven Sample and Cindy McCain Saluted at Gala

Dean Karen Symms Gallagher, President Steven B. Sample and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Photo/Steve Cohn


About 350 guests attended the USC Rossier School of Education Centennial Gala on Feb. 1 to honor alumna Cindy Hensley McCain MA ’78 and USC President Steven B. Sample at Town & Gown.

The evening began with remarks by Karen Symms Gallagher, dean of USC Rossier, followed by a video highlighting the major milestones and accomplishments of the school over the past century. The school, which has celebrated its 100th anniversary with a variety of activities throughout 2009 and 2010, launched a commemorative Web site.

“It is fitting that during our centennial year, we pay tribute to two such committed educators,” Gallagher said. “Both Mrs. McCain’s and President Sample’s professional work and personal passion exemplify the USC Rossier school’s mission to improve educational outcomes locally, nationally and globally.”

Sen. John McCain presented the Dean’s Alumni Achievement Award to his wife, Cindy McCain, in honor of her personal and philanthropic efforts to improve educational opportunities for children around the world.

After Cindy McCain taught special education children in Arizona, she continued to advocate for children’s needs. She founded the American Voluntary Medical Team, which provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world from licensed nurses. McCain served on the board of trustees for the HALO Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to land mine removal and weapons destruction in war-torn countries.

She also traveled as part of her service on the boards of directors of CARE USA, which works to fight global poverty among women and children, and Operation Smile, a nonprofit whose mission is to repair facial deformities for children around the world.

“To be honored by the university that gave me so much in my formative years is something I never dreamed I would be part of,” Cindy McCain said.

“Teachers are truly the bedrock that makes this world … I hope that students who have the opportunity to participate in this fellowship can see what their voices can do across the world.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented the Global Education Leadership Award to Sample in recognition of his work as a global educational leader, mentor, scholar and teacher, and his success transforming USC into a global university and America’s leader in international education.

Under Sample’s leadership as its 10th president, USC has become home to the largest number of international students of any university in the United States. As founding chairman of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of 42 Pacific Rim research universities located in 15 countries, Sample has forged international collaborations that contribute to the economic, scientific and cultural advancement in the Pacific Rim.

Sample’s work has raised the international visibility, reach and impact of USC’s research, scholarship, art, education and service programs, and he has prepared USC students to thrive in the global marketplace.

“In presenting me with the Global Education Leadership Award, you also honor the accomplishments of countless members of the Trojan Family – the students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, donors, and friends – who have dedicated their lives to advancing the mission of USC,” Sample said. “Together, over the last two decades, our achievements have been extraordinary.”

Proceeds from the gala are going toward the creation of two new global fellowships in recognition of the honorees’ impact on education.

The Cindy Hensley McCain Global Educator Fellowship will be awarded to aspiring teachers and other school-based educators who will face global challenges in meeting the learning needs of children and youth.

The Steven B. Sample Global Education Leadership Fellowship will enable every USC Rossier Ph.D. and Ed.D. doctoral candidate to participate in international study tours to Asian Pacific and Latin American schools and universities, government ministries and multinational NGOs.

Among the notable dignitaries present at the gala were 10 members of the USC Board of Trustees, including Barbara Rossier, Kathleen Leavey McCarthy, Joan Payden, Dick DeBeikes, Blake Quinn, John Mork, Edward P. Roski, Michelle Engemann and Verna Dauterive. Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan also attended the event.

Via USC News.