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Long-time faculty member given President’s Award

first_imgDon Ludwig couldn’t help but get a bit teary-eyed at the mention of the 2010 President’s Award for Staff Achievement, an honor recently given to him by USC President Steven B. Sample.Spirited · Don Ludwig, executive director of USC Spirit and Traditions and a faculty member at Recreational Sports, is the 2010 winner of the President’s Award. – Photo courtesy of Joel Zink The award, which recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the enhancement of USC, is in its 29th year  and is presented to the winner at a staff recognition luncheon each spring and includes a small monetary reward.Ludwig has spent the last two years as executive director of USC Spirit and Traditions, and has worked 34 years in USC Recreational Sports. He said he is flattered by the award but does not think such an honor should be handed to any one faculty member in particular.“There’s just so many staff that assist everybody, in particular with me in recreation sports for those years,” Ludwig said. “I had a great, great, great staff, and great student support and great support from Student Affairs to create a great program and great facilities.”Last year’s winner, Mariano Elepano, said receiving the award was an extraordinary experience, and he was glad to see Ludwig get it this year.Elepano headed this year’s advisory committee, which is in charge of compiling a list of the top three faculty choices for the award. The list is then sent to the university president, who decides the winner.“Don deserves it,” Elepano said. “When I came to school here, he was around already and he has a lot of interaction with the community.”Diane Schrader, coordinator of the award process, said 42 staff members were nominated this year, making Ludwig’s win a testament to his contributions to the school.“These are people that really love ’SC, and it shows in what their colleagues say about them and the programs they’re involved in,” Schrader said. “What the panel saw in [Ludwig] was unparalleled enthusiasm for serving students and others at USC.”Ludwig is involved in a number of campus programs, including Swim with Mike and is the executive director of Spirituality and Sports. He advises the Recreational Sports Department and assists incoming freshmen, transfers and parents, teaching them everything there is to know about Trojan traditions.“Don was my first supervisor when I came to USC,” said Jennifer Siu, director of Recreational Sports and former colleague of Ludwig’s. “You always want to have a good supervisor and I did. He is one of the most dedicated and loyal individuals on campus.”Varun Soni, the dean of Religious Life, recently worked with Ludwig on “Giving it All, On and Off the Field,” a discussion about athletes and philanthropy that included a panel with former USC football player Matt Leinart.“It’s his dedication to the Trojan Family,” Soni said of what made Ludwig win the award. “He always brings that spirit of generosity to whatever he does.”Friends and faculty said they think no one is more deserving.“He epitomizes what the university asks for from staff,” Siu said. “It’s long overdue.”Schrader said Ludwig is so committed to USC that at the mention of Ludwig, another faculty member responded with “Oh, Fight On!”“This year will be President Sample’s last award recipient,” Schrader said. “So it’s nice that it’s going to Don, who’s been here for so long.”Ludwig said he was honored to receive such recognition.“It’s a great honor to receive the award his last year of being president,” he said. “For [Sample] to be able to give it to me within the last few months [of his presidency] is unique.”As for his future plans, Ludwig said he hasn’t set anything in stone. He said he’s enjoying his job thoroughly and has no plans of retiring any time soon.“It depends on who you talk to,” Ludwig joked. “If you want to talk to me, someday I’d like to retire. If you talk to my wife, she wouldn’t want me at home as much.”last_img read more

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