Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

A Gathering Place

 

—USC — University of Southern California —

 
A Gathering Place Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
1. A Gathering Place Interpretive Panel
Inscription. His given name is the Trojan Shrine, but he is best-known by his nickname: Tommy Trojan. Probably the most popular and recognizable member of the Trojan Family, he is a physical and symbolic rallying point for the entire university.

Tommy Trojan attracts people for pep rallies, political assemblies and open-air performances. Visitors invariably pose with him for photographs; students study between classes on the steps at his base; and he is a favorite rendezvous point for alumni, faculty, staff and students.

Tommy Trojan was originally conceived by then-president of the General Alumni Association, James McCoy, as a birthday gift for USC’s fiftieth anniversary. Between 1928 and 1930, the GAA raised $10,000 for the project and commissioned Los Angeles sculptor Roger Noble Burnham to create the sculpture. Several USC football players modeled for Burnham, ensuring the bronze warrior a true Trojan pedigree. Tommy was officially welcomed into the Trojan Family on June 6, 1930, when the Trojan Shrine was dedicated as part of the university's semi-centennial celebration.

While Tommy Trojan is clearly USC’s most famous campus landmark, adjacent Bovard Administration Building is a close second. The building, designed by John and Donald Parkinson, was completed in 1921 and named for USC’s fourth president, George
Tommy Trojan and this Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
2. Tommy Trojan and this Interpretive Panel
The Bovard Administration Building is behind the statue.
Finley Bovard, who was also a member of the university’s first graduating class. Inside is USC’s oldest and largest auditorium, the Kenneth Norris, Jr. Auditorium. The 1600-seat hall is now one of the oldest stage facilities still operating in the Los Angeles area. Surrounding what used to be the building’s bell tower are eight statues created by sculptor Casper Gruenfeld to depict such luminaries as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Cicero and Plato, along with John Wesley, founder of Methodism, and Bishop Matthew Simpson, Phillips Brooks and Borden R Bowne, American leaders in religious and philosophic thought. Bronze plaques in the building's arcade honor USC presidents and board chairmen since 1880, as well as philanthropist Walter Annenberg.

Across Childs Way, the Italian Romanesque-style Gwynn Wilson Student Union Building also invites people to congregate. The building, designed by Parkinson and Parkinson, was constructed in 1927-28. In 1970, it was named for a pivotal figure on campus, a man who devoted much of his life to USC, serving as student body president, athletic director, president of the General Alumni Association and life trustee.
 
Erected 1996 by USC History Project, USC General Alumni Association. Sponsored by Joe Boyd and Betty C. Noble.
 
Location.
Tommy Trojan image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
3. Tommy Trojan
This 1930 bronze by Roger Noble Burnham is approx. 8 feet tall on a 6¾ foot concrete base. From the Smithsonian’s Art Inventories Catalog: “Full figure Trojan warrior, wearing mohawk helmet, loincloth and decorative boots. Holds Sword of Education in proper right hand and round Shield of Courage in proper left hand. Sword is drawn and shield in held in front. Seal of USC appears on the front of base. Bronze relief plaque of running semi-nude males on right of base. Bronze relief plaque of six females and one male on left of base. They wear classical dress and carry symbols of learning. Incised torch with flame on rear of base.”
34° 1.232′ N, 118° 17.13′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Childs Way and Trousdale Parkway, on the right when traveling west on Childs Way. Touch for map. It is near the statue at the corner of the Bovard Administration Building. Marker is in this post office area: Los Angeles CA 90089, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Student Media (a few steps from this marker); Gwynn Wilson Student Union (within shouting distance of this marker); Teaching and Learning (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Meeting of the USC Board of Trustees (about 300 feet away); Petrified Tree from the Arizona Forest (about 700 feet away); USC Urban Legends (about 700 feet away); John C. Argue Plaza (about 700 feet away); The Oldest University Building in Southern California (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
 
More about this marker. This marker shows a timeline from 1870 to 2000 marking when USC was founded, the Bovard Administration Building was dedicated, and when the Trojan Shrine was dedicated. It has a number of photographs (clockwise from top left): a postcard view of Tommy Trojan which reads “The Trojan Statue, University of Southern California at Los Angeles;”
The Trojan Shrine image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
4. The Trojan Shrine
“The Trojan. Faithful • Scholarly • Skillful • Courageous • Ambitious.”

The university's seal is on the front of the base.

Rear plaque: “Sedis vbi fata quietas ostendunt; illis fas regna resurgere Trojae. Here are provided seats of meditative joy, where shall arise again the destined reign of Troy. —Virgil”
photo taken at the dedication of the statue; a postcard view of the Bovard Administration Building; photos captioned “a rally at Tommy Trojan from the 1970s;” “Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses a capacity crowd in the Kenneth Norris, Jr. Auditorium, shortly after leaving office in 1989;” and two photographs jointly captioned “Sculptor Roger Noble Burnham poses with models for his creation.”
 
Categories. ArchitectureEducationLandmarks
 
Bronze relief plaque on left of base image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
5. Bronze relief plaque on left of base
Bronze relief plaque on right of base image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
6. Bronze relief plaque on right of base
Gwynn Wilson Student Union image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, January 29, 2018
7. Gwynn Wilson Student Union
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 4, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Last updated on February 9, 2019, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1. submitted on February 4, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 9, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   7. submitted on January 10, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending Amazon.com advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.