"In bestowing an honorary degree, a university makes an explicit statement to its students and the world about the qualities of character and attainment it admires most.”
This quote by James O. Freedman in his book, Liberal Education and the Public Interest,
explores the obvious yet true significance of an honorary degree.
This scholarly tradition began very early in the 17th
century by Harvard University
and has since been adopted by many universities throughout America
Of course, each university has different criterion for the delegation of the degree but because the reputation of the university is highly affected by the delegates, careful consideration must be taken to ensure the individual is worthy of such an honor.
Discrimination upon religious affiliation, gender and race are no longer issues as universities have opened the eligibility to all individuals provided they fulfill moral and educational criteria.
The University of Southern California
uses many specific methods in order to ensure the successful integration of the honorand into the Trojan Family.
One of the most widely known facts about the University of Southern California
is the concept of the Trojan Family
It is this idea which permeates into all aspects of life at the university and therefore greatly affects who may be eligible for an honorary degree. In order to maintain the consistency of the Trojan Family, only individuals within the family may nominate others for an honorary degree.
It is this restriction which ensures that future family members actually posses the qualities of true Trojan graduate.
Along with precautions taken in nominating an individual for the degree, the actual adjudication of the individual is executed by an Honorary Degree Committee
comprised of individuals in various fields who are “particularly interested in candidates from diverse backgrounds, and whose own accomplishments might serve to highlight areas in which the University has developed exceptional strength.” This process is very effective in applying both the underlying and obvious qualities of a Trojan in the decision process. One of the main features which the committee must weigh is the ability of the honorand to further the university’s mission in: “...the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit.”
The qualities of the recipient must mirror those which all USC students are expected to attain before graduation: faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, and ambitious.
One individual who possesses the qualities set forth by the University and also possesses quite a diverse background is Susan Alinsangan.
A revolutionary woman in the world of advertising, Susan’s work with Chiat/Day
inspired the manner in which products are now being advertised.
Instead of focusing on how much an individual needs a product, Susan’s creativity has produced campaigns in which the consumer feels as if they need the products or brand and thus purchase them.
As a child, Susan was constantly exposed to new environments and cultures which were induced by her father’s career in the military.
The lifestyle which resulted very much shapes how Susan creates and thinks today. Although the name Susan Alinsangan may not immediately stand out among such names such as Bill Gates or Madonna, the work she does is by no means less important or influential. Susan’s objective as Art Director can be compared to the creative duties of an architect.
She must conceptualize the creative concept of the campaign into a house plan which will then be built by smaller teams within the advertising agency and ensure that the house is built to code.
As one can tell, without the overarching duties of an Art Director such as Susan Alinsangan, the campaign would not be completed. In every aspect of her professional and personal life, Susan maintains the qualities which the University of Southern California
instills within each student and employee. One of the more subtle qualities which Susan possesses within her realm of advertising is faith not only to her career but also within her personal life.
Although she recently decided to work as freelancer, it is her faith in her success which allows her to make such bold move without fear of failure. It is also to be noted that in her eleven year vocation at the agency, her full confidence was within the company and the work they produced. This specifically can be seen in the path she took to obtain the high-level position as Art Director.
Susan began her calling as a lower level creative team member but continued to impress the staff. After much recognition of her hard work and dedication to the company through promotions, she finally attained the title Art Director.
Without her continual devotion in the company and herself, she would not have gained the success she has today.
It is this hard work and dedication to one company which demonstrates her faithful qualities which are very indicative of a USC graduate.Susan Alinsangan is not only
a hard worker whom uses her childhood as a starting point in her work ethic but her knowledge of diverse cultures and civilizations allows Susan to view concepts and ideas from a view outside of the normal American perspective.
This innovative technique allows her conceptions to be unique, crisp and effective almost every single time.
Susan’s “think different” campaign for Macintosh was quite risky at the time of it’s inception in its use of images of famous artists, writers, athletes and visionaries with the recognizable bitten apple symbol which has come synonymous with Macintosh
By using influential visionaries such as Einstein, Susan Alinsangan used her scholarly background and techniques to form a campaign which permanently elevated the success of Macintosh in a rather intelligent manner.
This use of influential images demonstrates Susan Alinsangan’s ability to not only effectively advertise and target audiences but the ability to do so while educating the public in intellectual matters.
A quite successful campaign which Susan skillfully created is the famous “silhouette” campaign for a subsidiary
of Macintosh, the ipod
Almost every single person nationally is familiar with the ipod creative campaign which contains a bright colored background, a blacked out silhouette of a dancer in an extravagant pose, and an ipod shaded in bright white. The concept itself may seem incredibly simple but it is the simplicity of it all that attracts such attention.
From TV commercials, to billboards and posters all over the country, the campaign has gained popularity enough for individuals to spoof its successful run.
What lies behind the success of the campaign is the unspoken message it promotes “have fun”.
People observe the advertisements and have a sudden urge to purchase such a product because of the carefree and fluid lifestyle it promotes.
Susan’s skill in creating an aesthetically pleasing campaign which effectively endorses a product surely reveals the skillful aspect of a USC graduate.While her career is a large portion of her life, her personal life does take precedence and in that regard she has much courage and ambition in being both a mother and an Art Director of such a large and successful firm.
This courage is also exhibited by her determination to gain such a prominent position despite the biases present in society against woman and other ethnicities.
Regardless of the intolerance which she may have
faced, her courage allowed to face this and become quite successful.
In conjuction with her courage, Susan demonstrates a insatiable drive and vision within her career.
Mike W. Martin discusses in his essay "Meaningful Work: Rethinking Professional Ethics
,” that there is a doctrine of separate spheres with a distinction between the moral ideas connected with ones private life and the economic and self-interested values of professional life with few moral restrictions. A libertarian outlook upon this subject demonstrates that individuals will always "seek personal gain and not the good of others, certainly not the good of the wider public...self-seeking individuals benefit the community without intending, trying, or even wanting to do so." Susan is one of those individuals that recognize exactly what her job is and why she does it. It is not merely to impress her coworkers and others in her field (that is just a by-product) what her real goal is to make herself happy. As Susan stated in a recent interview posted on YouTube
, "I don't mess around and I don't tolerate anybody else wasting my time...don't get in my way, you're either there to help me or you're there to get in my way." Susan knows what she wants and caters her job to those desires. After having children she realizes that the time she has to do work has drastically decreased therefore every second must be more efficient and managed well.
The courage and ambition demonstrated by Susan’s personal and professional life truly mimic those qualities embedded in the hard-working graduates of USC.The true meaning behind the description of this very interesting figure head is one of relevant academic proceedings.
It has become a tradition of many prestigious colleges to distribute honorary degrees to individuals which they feel have demonstrated in themselves the qualities that an alumnus/a possess.
In the case of the University of Southern California
, these qualities are outlined on the USC Honorary Degree Website
There have been many deserving recipients of this honor in the past and Susan is no exception.
USC does not discount any creative or “out of the ordinary” individuals that are nominated as possible honorands.
One of the main goals for the distribution of the degrees is “to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements in scholarship, the professions, or other creative activities, whether or not they are widely known by the general public.”
All recipients of this degree are expected to speak at Spring Commencement and therefore must have remarkable speech skills.
There are four questions which must be answered when an application is received and placed before the Honorary Degree Committee:
· What is the specific content of the nominee's contribution?
· What is original about that contribution?
· Of all possible contributors to the field of endeavor, why is this nominee of exceptional merit?
· Why is the field of the nominee especially appropriate to USC?
Susan Alinsangan is prime candidate for this an honorary degree from USC in Fine Arts. Her work as artistic director for ipod significantly raised awareness of the product on a national level. Although it may be a simplistic campaign, it is the execution of the concept which provides a bold but straightforward approach to advertising which revolutionized ipod’s image into a household name. What these advertisements do is present a lifestyle. Instead of convincing the consumer that they need a specific product (in this case an ipod), these advertisements invoke emotion in the consumer which makes the consumer want to have an ipod. The use of dancers who are not typical conservative Americans or formally trained ballerinas, puts the consumer in the commercials. Also, the use of silhouettes makes the dancers less identifiable which furthers the consumers’ belief that they can be a part of the fun presented in the ad. To take it to the extreme, the ipod commercials demonstrate individuals who are not afraid to break loose and have fun and people wish they had that ability.
Susan is remarkable not only for her original ideas and creative talent but also for her drive and passion for her work. She is a mother but still manages to balance that lifestyle with the hectic schedule of work. After working for Chiat\Day for eleven years, she left to work freelance in order to ensure a schedule that is tailored to her daily activities. Her position before becoming a freelancer is a rather coveted job which requires much talent and knowledge in the field. What is remarkable is that Susan rose to that power from a graphic designer. She has received numerous awards and recognition of her work including: a Cannes Gold Lion, the Sweepstakes Belding, two Grand Effies and the Grand Kelly. Her hard work and motivation allowed her steady rise into a superior position within the company. Regardless of her stature at 4’11’’, she is a rather intimidating woman who is not afraid to use her power to her advantage. She sets her eyes on a goal and does everything in her power to execute that. It should also to be commended that she has been able to overcome any obstacles that may have presented themselves on her way to the top. She is not only a mother and an art director but also an avid photographer and uses her travels as an outlet for this leisure pursuit. She is also a very interesting speaker who uses tonal and contextual variations to capture the attention of the spectators. In being an art director, often times she has to pitch a creative campaign to the client and in doing so must convince the client to choose the campaign. This form of persuasive argument serves as a great background to provide an inspirational and entertaining speech.
The field of advertising is important in all areas of the country and most of the world and provides insight into the culture and lives of the society in which it is contained. The community of Los Angeles possesses a particular affinity to advertising because of Los Angeles lifestyle and obsession with culture. Throughout Los Angeles and the United States, billboards lie in abundance. So often they are looked over in the crowd of the interstate. What Susan Alinsangan did was revolutionize the way that individuals viewed advertisements and instead of forgetting the last billboard that one saw, people began to talk about the silhouette ads and thus beginning the cycle of the earliest forms of advertisement, word of mouth.