Over the past few weeks, we have discussed Chancellor Block's disinterest in UCLA Athletics. In June, bruinclassof10 noted how Block buried a pittance of waterered-down boilerplate on our student-athletes at the end of a year-end alumni update. Last week, Menelaus contrasted this with the attitude of Southern Cal's president, who promoted his institution's athletes and athletic department in an all-alumni email.
With the Olympics now upon us - starting with yesterday's win by a US Women's Soccer team which featured Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux - this is a great time to promote our students and alumni who are competing for their countries. freesia blogged about the Bruin Olympians on Tuesday, and if you hunt around the official site enough, you might find some info and updates on UCLA athletes in London. But unless you were already looking for that info, I doubt you would have a clue.
I did get an email from the UCLA Alumni Association yesterday morning - it was the typical monthly newsletter, with links to next year's Alumni Travel listing and offers for discounted insurance, but not a word about the Olympics. Southern Cal also sent out a general alumni message yesterday. While there is no hint of Pat Haden's red wine of choice, there was a message from Max Nikias to his fellow Trogans talking about the Olympics - his institution's history in the games and the athletes that will be competing.
From: "USC Alumni Association" <email@example.com>
Date: July 25, 2012 3:40:39 PM PDT
To: "USC Alumni"
Subject: A Message from USC President C. L. Max Nikias
July 25, 2012
Dear USC community,
As you know, USC has a tremendously proud Olympic tradition. We have produced more Olympians, more Olympic medalists, and more Olympic gold medalists than any other American university. Given our exceptionally distinguished history, and as we look forward to Friday's opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics, I want to share a list of the Trojan athletes who will be competing. These stellar athletes represent nations all over the world, and head to London with the Trojan Family's collective, steadfast support.
To offer some historic context, you may be interested to know that since the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, 396 Trojan athletes have competed in the Olympic Games. These athletes have brought home 123 gold, 78 silver, and 61 bronze medals. If USC competed as a country, its 262 total medals would place it seventeenth among all nations in the world. In terms of gold medals, and again if it were a nation, USC would be twelfth. To date, USC Olympians have represented 57 different nations and have participated in 28 different sports.
These are remarkable athletic feats, and we take significant pride in the many accomplishments of our athletes. They represent their nations-and our beloved university-with such distinction. In the coming weeks, you can follow our current Olympians at usctrojans.com/london2012. We all look forward to cheering their performances, and to building on the university's illustrious Olympic history.
C. L. Max NikiasPresident
A quick and simple letter, but an effective reminder of the games and a way to get the recipients to keep their school in mind while watching the games through the next 2 weeks. Also, a nice way of recognizing members of your community that have reached the pinnacle of their chosen field of pursuit. Even people who don't really care about sports will typically watch a bit of the Summer games, or at least keep track of events. Communications like this are an easy way to get a hook into this sort of alumni. Too bad that Block and the Murphy Hall gang - not to mention the folks at Moran Center - just don't get it.