The Vanguard Award is given to an individual who is on the forefront of business and civic activities. The individual holds a position of leadership in his profession and in the community.
Alan Casden is Chairman and CEO of Casden Properties LLC, one of the largest developers of residential properties in the U.S. Mr. Casden has also built a reputation for civic leadership and humanitarian service that extends beyond the world of real estate development. He is the recipient of both the Los Angeles City Beautification Award and the County Leadership Award for his efforts in pioneering low-income housing. He has served for 25 years as co-chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and was instrumental in creating the Beit Hashoah Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The Prime Minister of the State of Israel has paid him special tribute for his leadership in the worldwide fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry. Mr. Casden graduated cum laude from the USC Leventhal School of Accounting in 1968 and was honored with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988. In 2000 Mr. Casden donated $11 million to USC to endow the Alan Casden Dean's Chair at the Leventhal School, create a major real estate forecast study with the Lusk Center for Real Estate, and endow the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. Mr. Casden serves on the boards of the USC Marshall School and the Leventhal School, as well as the USC Board of Trustees. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Business Achievement Award from the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
The Phoenix Award is given to an individual who has the capacity for great vision, high virtue and grace. This individual has demonstrated longevity in her career and all other endeavors, and possesses the ability to build and create.
Jane Hoffman Popovich is a dedicated, generous and visionary advocate of USC. A 1965 graduate with a bachelor's degree in business, Mrs. Popovich has been an active and influential member of the USC Board of Trustees since 1983, following in the footsteps of her father, H. Leslie Hoffman. Mrs. Popovich has served on the board of Women of Troy, was involved with Town and Gown and its Junior Auxiliary and the USC Associates' San Gabriel Valley Steering Committee. As a trustee of the H. Leslie Hoffman and Elaine S. Hoffman Foundation, established by her parents, she continues her family's legacy of support for USC and community organizations. Jane Hoffman Popovich and J. Kristoffer Popovich Hall, the graduate program building for the Marshall School of Business, is named to honor the many contributions of Mrs. Popovich and her husband. An accomplished business-woman who has been involved in the retail business for over 20 years, Mrs. Popovich now serves as Chairman of Hoffman Associates. An energetic participant in community affairs, Mrs. Popovich has served on the boards of Huntington Hospital and Westridge School, is a longtime member of the Junior League of Pasadena and serves as board chair of Kidspace Children's Museum.
The Trojan award is given to an individual who symbolizes the Spirit of Troy. The individual is faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous and ambitious.
J. Kristoffer Popovich is the Chairman and CEO of Hoffman Video Systems, one of the nation's largest and leading integrators of audio and video components. With corporate offices in Los Angeles, Denver and Atlanta, Hoffman Video Systems is strategically positioned to lead the way in providing innovative visual communication solutions, combining video expertise, technology and service. Under Mr. Popovich's leadership, Hoffman Video Systems has completed projects in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as well as projects in Japan, Korea, Philippines, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada and Switzerland. Mr. Popovich holds Bachelor of Science and MBA degrees from the USC School of Business Administration. He was instrumental in the formation of a Board of Directors for the USC Associates and was later chosen to serve as President of the organization. He has also served as a member of the Board of Councilors of the School of Medicine and has been closely involved with the Cancer Research Associates. In addition to membership on the USC Marshall Board of Leaders, he has led the fundraising efforts of the School as development chairman.