September 9, 2011
By C. L. Max Nikias

It’s my great pleasure to be here this evening, and I want you to know what an honor it is to receive this award. I’m truly humbled.

I especially want to thank the members and supporters of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. You do an outstanding job of promoting economic growth in this region, and enhancing the image of the beautiful San Gabriel Valley. You partner with the public sector and with private business, providing a host of professional services with a personal touch. Thanks in part to your efforts, this valley remains a vibrant and vital part of Southern California.

My university, USC, has a long and close connection with the San Gabriel Valley. Many of the most loyal and devoted members of the Trojan Family live and work in this region. Several of our talented students, committed parents, and dedicated alumni come from here. And my wife, Niki, and I are very proud to call this area our home.

Over the decades, USC and the San Gabriel Valley have worked together to advance this valley and to enrich our world. One of USC’s most important contributions today and in the future is in the field of health care. Our hospitals and our talented faculty physicians have a long and proud history of providing world-class care to people throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Each year the Keck Doctors of USC serve one million patients, including several residents of this region. Last fall this network of doctors opened the doors to a satellite office in La Cañada. And next spring we will unveil another one in Pasadena.

But these aren’t just any physicians. This past June Pasadena Magazine listed the top 600 doctors in the San Gabriel Valley. One hundred and seventy of them – more than one-quarter of the very best – were from USC.

Recently we received a very important validation of the exceptional work that is being done on our Health Sciences Campus. Earlier this summer, you may have heard that USC received an additional $150 million dollar gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation. In recognition of this generous donation, our medical enterprise will be known, in perpetuity, as Keck Medicine of USC, and our University Hospital has been renamed the Keck Hospital of USC.

This new name unifies our entire medical enterprise, and signifies our ambitions to create an academic medical center that is committed to excellence, to innovation, and to improving the quality of all of our lives.

Like USC, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is having an enduring impact on this region and on our society. And I am certain that we will both continue to do so for many years to come. I commend you for the tremendous work you are doing, and I thank you for this award.

Fight On!