USD’s 50,000th graduate will collect her diploma this May. The Alumni Association held a contest for graduating seniors to compete for the title of the “honorary 50,000th alumnus” to commemorate this milestone. One of the application questions was “What will you treasure most about your USD experience?” Winner Amanda Rausch, a psychology major and English minor, wrote, “I can truly say that USD has given me the best four years of my life. I will never forget the first day I moved into Maher Hall, kissed my parents good-bye, and sat on the balcony with my new roommates watching the sun set over Mission Bay and the ocean.” Rausch has made the most of her college years; in addition to maintaining a strong GPA, she served as a tour guide for Undergraduate Admissions, worked as a peer adviser and counselor for the Office of Student Learning and Initiatives, was elected vice president of chapter relations for her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and much, much more. In fact, Rausch says, “I am so dedicated to the university that I have decided not to leave, due to my recent acceptance into the Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program.”

Violence in Mexico related to drug trafficking was the topic on Capitol Hill in late March; that’s when USD professor David Shirk testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. While Trans-Border Institute director Shirk disagreed with statements by Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) that Mexico was more dangerous than Iraq, he did stress the need for the United States to redouble its efforts to address the southbound flow of weapons and cash. For more on Shirk’s work with the Trans-Border Institute, go to

Pope Benedict XVI recently named Bishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, auxiliary bishop of San Diego, to be the bishop of the Diocese of Oakland. A 1978 alumnus of the University of San Diego, Cordileone will be resigning as representative of the Diocese of San Diego on USD’s board of trustees, a post which he has held since 2006.

USD’s undergraduate business programs have been ranked in the top three in California by BusinessWeek magazine. The School of Business Administration, which has ranked in the top 50 for three years in a row, rose 18 spots this year to No. 29, the largest jump on the magazine’s list. The rise was due in part to its ranking of 11th in corporate recruiter satisfaction with students. And for the second year in a row, USD students gave faculty an A+ for their teaching efforts. The magazine lauded the school’s “strong focus on accounting, where jobs are still plentiful” and called it a close-knit program (that) helps students feel at home,” adding that improved recruiting efforts are starting to pay off. For more about the School of Business, go to www.

The first annual USD Wine Classic will be held on July 26 at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Garden of the Sea. Featuring wines from USD family vintners, the event benefits the Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund. Participating wineries include Clos La Chance, Villa Creek Cellars, Husch Vineyards and many others. Along with wine tents, attendees can enjoy a string quartet and gourmet food stations. For more, go to or call  (619) 260-4819 .