Seven alumni to be honored at 89th USC Alumni Awards 


The USC Alumni Association will recognize the work of seven outstanding alumni in its 89th awards ceremony, which will be held April 29. Bill Allen ‘79 will receive the highest honor this year. (Vincent Leo | Daily Trojan)

Every year for nearly nine decades, the USC Alumni Association has recognized the work of outstanding alumni. This year, the association chose seven alumni for both their professional achievements and their legacy of service: Bill Allen, Roger Lynch, Ellisen Shelton Turner, Kaitlyn Yang, Donald Dean, Teena Hostovich and Amy Ross. 

These alumni have contributed to the USC community in a myriad of ways since graduating. Multiple have served or are currently serving on the USC Board of Governors or on one of the school’s Board of Councilors.  

Bill Allen (USC ’79)

Allen, a former trustee and the chairman of FilmLA, will receive the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award — USC’s highest honor given to alumni. He was the first student to receive a diploma from the cinematic arts, film and television production major from the School of Cinematic Arts.

Allen was part of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation for 17 years, eventually becoming its president and CEO. The corporation is credited with helping L.A. recover from both the 2008 recession and the coronavirus pandemic. He said his motivation to combine business and ethics stems from his membership in Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a fraternity in which he met lifelong friends such as Fred Ryan, the current CEO of the Washington Post, who encouraged him to volunteer and give back to the USC community. 

“Fred was one of those who encouraged all of us in that fraternity to be leaders and servants in the community to find leadership roles on campus, and to be servants in the community,” Allen said. 

One of Allen’s favorite activities from his time on campus was when he worked with USC’s up-and-coming student artists to help them get featured in the annual Songfest competition, which he helped organize several times.

Allen went on to become the president of the USC Alumni Association in 1998. He worked to improve the association’s outreach among international alumni by using email lists to lower the costs associated with mailing paperback Trojan Family Magazine.

“I said, ‘You know … There is a new thing called the internet. Maybe if we just get the email addresses for these international alumni we can send them digital copies of the magazine,’” Allen said.