Torero Tidbits: Alcalá Award Winners; Grad Recognition; Summer Connections

Pala, Adams Earn Prestigious Alcalá Award

One traditional honor for two USD undergraduate students in the graduating class is receiving the Alcalá Award. Given to one male and one female, the Alcalá Award recognizes seniors who’ve achieved the balanced and holistic development that is the goal of a USD education.

In 2020, however, delivery of this award is different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing USD to cancel its May in-person commencement ceremony, this year’s award winners are being notified and celebrated with a video message by USD President James T. Harris. Traditionally, the president announces the award recipients in on-the-spot fashion at graduation —unbeknownst to the winner at the in-person graduation ceremony until their name is called.

This year's outstanding recipients are Anthony James Pala (Alcala Club, Student Philanthropy Council, Greek Life, NROTC, Computer Science major) and Clare Adams (Women's Rowing, Torero Ambassadors Club, community volunteer engagement, International Relations and Spanish double major, biology minor).

Following graduation, Pala will be commissioned as a Navy Ensign among 38 officers in the Spring 2020 NROTC San Diego Commissioning Ceremony livestream at 10 a.m. on May 22 and will continue with his military training as a Surface Warfare Officer. Adams, meanwhile, has signed with the Peace Corps and will begin her post-USD graduation time in Kenya.

Graduation Recognition Ceremonies Next Week

Two USD entities, the TRiO McNair Scholars program and the Black Student Resource Commons, will be conducting virtual recognition ceremonies for their class of 2020 graduates on May 28 and 29, respectively.

The 12th annual McNair Scholars recognition and awards event will be live on Zoom from 12:30-1:15 p.m. this next Thursday. The program has 15 graduating seniors and many of them have secured their plans for post-USD graduation educational destinations. Both graduating students and faculty mentors will be honored at this event.

The Black Graduate Recognition Ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. next Friday and is expected to be shown on YouTube Live. This is a wonderful opportunity for students — graduate, law and undergraduate grads — to celebrate their accomplishments. Be sure to sign up by Friday, May 22. To register and to get more information, email

Stay Connected to USD This Summer

Even as the school calendar for the spring semester ends and graduating seniors have now taken their final classes — virtual or otherwise — and final exams, that is no reason to disconnect from your university.

Simply by visiting the USD website,, is a chance to learn about #TorerosTogether stories of USD’s compassionate changemakers or view the Summer 2020 USD Magazine digital issue, find out about virtual USD Alumni Association happenings on its event calendar or check out virtual offerings such as Alumni Zoom Trips, USD Chats with Charles, Webinars and, for the kids, be sure to download the newest Tiny Toreros Story Time Podcast.

Summer school classes begin June 1 — virtual only — but also one of the biggest educational experiences will take place June 13 when entrepreneurs from around the world share their ideas and compete in the virtual finals of the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge. Register today to have access to this decade-plus event.

Another important and fun event in June is the 42nd annual USD Sports Banquet. Taking place June 11 at 6 p.m., this year’s event — which is USD Athletics’ largest fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting the Torero Scholar-Athlete Fund — will be a one-hour, YouTube Live show. One of the highlights is a draw down game with a grand prize of up to $10,000. Learn how to purchase draw down tickets here.

The Career Development Center is always a great visit for current and graduating students and alumni to find resources for internships, career opportunities and other resources. Find out how to stay in contact with the center, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone

Video by USD Digital Communications


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