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### The Importance of Graduate Education for National Development

Graduate studies commenced at USC in 1910, with the formal establishment of the Graduate School’s official constitution occurring in 1923. Over a century later, on April 4, USC President Carol Folt delivered a speech at a ceremony celebrating the Graduate School, emphasizing the significance of graduate education on a national and global scale.

Folt expressed, “When I reflect on graduate school, I inevitably ponder the intrinsic value of advanced education.” She underscored that our nation’s competitiveness, humanity, arts, and future discourse are all intricately linked to graduate education. Drawing from her personal experience, Folt highlighted the pivotal role her graduate education played in her career, noting that she continues to commemorate Thanksgiving annually with her graduate school peers.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of the staff and faculty supporting graduate students across 491 programs, Folt lauded their efforts in fostering a sense of community within a diverse student population.

During the centennial celebration of the Graduate School on April 4, 2024, guests admired a new mural unveiled by Andrew Stott, the dean of the Graduate School. The mural commemorates the historical milestones of both Los Angeles and the USC Graduate School, symbolizing the evolution of advanced educational programs within the city’s legal, political, commercial, and creative landscape.

Additionally, alumna Joycelyn Yip was honored with the Graduate School Centennial Award for her outstanding achievements. Yip, a former president of USC’s Graduate Student Government and a member of the Trojan Marching Band, received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from USC.

As USC reflects on a century of graduate education, Stott emphasized the forward-looking nature of graduate studies, anticipating new breakthroughs, discoveries, and innovative expressions of the human experience.

The timeline of the USC Graduate School’s evolution and impact spans significant milestones, from its founding in 1923 to notable achievements such as conferring the first PhD in 1927 and celebrating its 25th anniversary in 1935 with a conference on the social application of academic scholarship. USC’s commitment to advancing graduate education is exemplified through initiatives like the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and events like the International Student Appreciation Week, underscoring the university’s dedication to fostering a diverse and dynamic academic community.