University of Southern California

About USC

Author Archives: Sam Chilton


Judge Robert Maclay Widney and other citizens in the frontier town of Los Angeles begin pursuing the idea of establishing an institution of higher education.

C. L. Max Nikias


John R. Hubbard


Norman H. Topping


Fred D. Fagg, Jr.


Rufus B. von KleinSmid


George F. Bovard


George W. White


Joseph P. Widney


Marion M. Bovard


Trojan Marching Band

The history of the “Spirit of Troy,” the USC marching band, goes back to the inception of the university in 1880.


USC football games are famous for, among other things, the appearance of Traveler, a noble white steed bearing a “Trojan warrior” into the arena.

Official Fight Song

In 1922, USC dental student Milo Sweet composed the music for USC’s official fight song, “Fight On,” as an entry in a Trojan Spirit contest.

Trojan Shrine

Now a campus landmark fondly nicknamed “Tommy Trojan,” this life-size bronze statue of a Trojan warrior was unveiled on June 6, 1930, as part of USC’s 50th birthday celebration.


The “Trojan” tradition originated in 1912 with Los Angeles Times sportswriter Owen Bird, who likened the fighting spirit of USC athletes to that of the ancient Trojans.

Alma Mater

“All Hail” was written by Al Wesson for the finale of a student show, Campus Frolics of 1923.


Cardinal and Gold. Before 1895, USC’s official color was gold, and the College of Liberal Arts had its own color – cardinal. In 1895, both colors were adopted as USC’s official colors.


Palmam qui meruit ferat. (Let whoever earns the palm bear it.)

University Seal

The university’s seal displays three torches, representing the arts, the sciences and philosophy.