Erika Jordan: New USC Alumni Association director

Erika Jordan earned a master’s degree from USC Price after spending eight years working at USC Marshall. (Photo/Dave Green, Boston University)


Erika Jordan returns to USC as associate senior vice president of alumni relations

The USC Price School of Public Policy alumna grew up in Los Angeles and knew long ago she “bled Cardinal and Gold.”

June 28, 2024 By Greg Hernandez

Los Angeles native and USC alumna Erika Jordan was just getting used to harsh Boston winters when the position of associate senior vice president of USC Alumni Relations became vacant. Jordan immediately felt like she was being called home.

“It was one of those times that you sort of get chills and think, ‘OK, this is something I have to do,’” said Jordan, who had been vice president of alumni engagement at Boston University since 2021. “Nobody in the world can deny that USC has the strongest alumni base in the country.”

As head of the USC Alumni Association, Jordan will be tasked with engaging alumni and continuing to build a culture of volunteerism and philanthropy among the Trojan Family. She begins Aug. 6.

“As we enter the second century of the USC Alumni Association, I am excited to have Erika leading this next chapter of alumni engagement,” USC President Carol Folt said. “Under her direction, we will continue to foster vibrant alumni relations and celebrate the sense of connection and belonging that defines the most engaged and talented alumni group in the world: the Trojan Family.”

Jordan earned a master’s degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy after spending eight years working at the USC Marshall School of Business and eventually becoming director of alumni relations and annual giving. She then spent six years at the University of California, Irvine, as assistant vice chancellor for alumni and constituent engagement before moving across the country to work at B.U.

“Deepening engagement is something that I’ve just always been naturally pretty good at,” Jordan said. “I’ve had this sense of bringing community together — of building community. When I came to USC, it was almost like I was able to put the pieces together for my life and I felt destined to do engagement.”

Jordan said one of her biggest priorities will be to further grow a “strong and impactful” volunteer network among USC alumni and to make sure people are aware of the depth of resources the Alumni Association provides.

“I want to make sure that USC is always a place where alumni can always stay plugged in and we can continue to provide value,” she said. “Once you get people engaged, they often want to give back their time and talent to our students and support in other ways.”

Deep Trojan connections for new USC Alumni Association director

For Jordan, returning to Southern California and to USC’s University Park Campus means being close to family and friends again. She grew up in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of L.A. and often attended Trojan football games with her family.

“I actually spent a lot of time on campus in various kinds of college prep programs growing up,” she said. “So, I’ve always been familiar with the USC campus.”

When it came time to go to college, Jordan chose to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. She returned to L.A. a few years after graduation from Howard to work as a special events coordinator for Fulfillment Fund, a nonprofit that works to help students from educationally and economically under-resourced communities make it to college. In 2007, she was hired as an events coordinator at USC Marshall.

Erika Jordan at commencement in 2018
Erika Jordan celebrates her USC commencement in 2018. (Photo/Courtesy of Erika Jordan)

She vividly remembers the moment six months into her time working at USC Marshall that the depth of her school spirit revealed itself.

“I was doing an event for USC Marshall, the Trojan Marching Band came out at the end and a wave of emotion came over me,” Jordan said. “That’s when I knew I bled Cardinal and Gold.”

New USC Alumni Association director: Road to becoming a Trojan alumna

After leaving USC Marshall as a staff member in 2015, Jordan became a graduate student at USC Price. In 2018, she earned an executive master’s degree in leadership. Although she had worked with Trojan alumni, becoming one herself had a profound effect on her.

“There were 30 of us in our cohort, and our group stayed so connected the whole way through,” Jordan said. “Toward the end of our time, we all became very emotional about having to move on with our lives after two years.”

To stay connected, the cohort created a challenge coin for those in the group.

“I carry it with me all the time,” Jordan said. “My challenge coin reminds me of what USC — the people and the place itself — has given to me.”

Trojan community impressed

Scott Rabenold, USC’s senior vice president for university advancement, said he could tell immediately that Jordan’s enthusiasm and drive would be the ideal qualities to keep alumni across the globe connected with USC.

“Erika truly believes in the power and promise of the Trojan Family,” Rabenold said. “She’s a leader with tremendous passion for the importance of alumni engagement and volunteerism. With a broad range of experience and knowledge in this field, she is well-prepared to lead us into the next century for the USC Alumni Association.”

USC Alumni Association Board of Governors President Daniel Prince said he is excited to have Jordan back at USC in a role for which she is perfectly suited.

“She has deep experience in alumni relations, strong connections to the university, and is a proven leader who will usher in the next great era of our Alumni Association,” Prince said. “I look forward to working closely with Erika and the rest of our excellent team in the years ahead.”

USC Board of Trustees members John Iino and Nadine Watt, who have both served as president of the Alumni Association’s Board of Governors in recent years, praised Jordan’s accomplishments at USC and other major universities.

Iino spent the last six months overseeing alumni relations, including the USCAA Transition Task Force, an advisory group that also served as the search committee that led to Jordan’s appointment.

“I’m excited to witness the USCAA’s growth under Erika’s stewardship,” Iino said. “She is a passionate, innovative and proven leader who has successfully navigated alumni affairs. Most of all, she is a proud member of the Trojan Family who will inspire all of us to achieve our highest potential.”

Said Watt: “This is an exciting time for Erika to lead such a dynamic team. She has such an impressive record as a leader, and I’m quite confident the Alumni Association is in excellent hands. It is so wonderful that she has accepted this important role within the Trojan Family.”