I’ve been a party girl this week.
The USC Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) Program planned its 25th anniversary celebration for Tuesday night to take advantage of many alumni coming to town for the Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting. Over 300 MRED alumni joined faculty, current students, and program supporters in USC’s Town and Gown, complete with a small unit of the Trojan Marching Band.
Usually members of “the Trojan family” follow the band as if it were the Pied Piper and event organizers can count on the band leading the guests to go where they should go – in this case, inside the dining room to sit down. Not networking, deal-making, gregarious MREDs. They all were too busy greeting classmates and meeting alumni from other classes. The decibel level of all the animated talking matched that of the band. In the meantime, I flew from hug to hug.
I put heart-and-soul into the MRED Program from the beginning of its second year, so I admit to ground-floor-up pride in how quickly the program became prestigious and how it has remained so. The remarks of the alumni speakers touched me, and being acknowledged (and cheered for) in the program was very, very gratifying.
My students were eager to show me photos of their children, introduce me to their spouses, hand me their business cards. Most of them were incredulous that Akemi is in college; many asked about Bing, not knowing. A few said they look forward to my holiday card each year and that they missed hearing from me this past December. Those were the ones to whom I explained why I didn’t muster a card last year, and gave them a preview of what will be in this year’s card. I’m now used to people being shocked, but am always glad for the second hug they then give me, even tighter.
Some alumni reminisced about their experiences on one of my MRED international study tours to Sydney, Hong Kong, and the Ruhrgebiet/Berlin. Others said they regretted not having gone on those trips. Here we are on our first day in Hong Kong on March 7, 1998. Akemi was in the first grade. It’s too bad Bing isn’t in this picture, because he is the one who took it.
My “high” from Monday and Tuesday nights got prolonged by a nice long talk over breakfast Wednesday morning with another ULI friend. With all the fun, I almost didn’t mind finding out Wednesday night that my doctor wants me to continue chemo through next August. And after all the fun, today I had to buckle down and concentrate on untangling some budget quagmires and dealing with students who don’t have the MRED drive to succeed. But not even the “downers” of more chemo, our business office, and “phone-it-in” students could take away from the good times I’ve had this week.