Below are quotes and visual assets accessible for media that covered USC’s University Medallion event. The medallion was awarded on Monday to Holocaust survivors and supporters of USC Shoah Foundation. We ask that you please credit USC for the enclosed assets if they are used in your coverage.

Contact: Emily Gersema at or 213-712-3168; Kate Canada Obregon at; USC Media Relations at or 213-740-2215.

USC President Carol Folt on Monday, March 25, bestowed the prestigious University Medallion upon Holocaust survivors who have bravely shared their testimonies with USC Shoah Foundation since the foundation began 30 years ago.

Among the more than 260 attendees at the event were an estimated 30 Holocaust survivors and their families.

“Your testimonies are an irreplaceable record of a dark time in history that we, the world, must never forget. And we will never forget,” said USC President Carol Folt before she bequeathed the medallion. “One survivor said, ‘It is my duty to speak for 6 million.’ And I say: It’s our duty to ensure your voices are heard by 6 billion.”

The 56,000 survivors whose testimonies are preserved at the USC Shoah Foundation are only the fourth recipients of the University Medallion in USC’s history.

The weight of the moment was made clear by the founder of USC Shoah Foundation, Steven Spielberg. The foundation was formed 30 years ago, in 1994, after the release of Spielberg’s acclaimed film, Schindler’s List.

“I am increasingly alarmed that we may be condemned to repeat history — to once again have to fight for the very right to be Jewish,” said Spielberg. “In the face of brutality and persecution, we have always been a resilient and compassionate people who understand the power of empathy to combat fear.

“We can rage against the heinous acts committed by the terrorists of October 7th and also decry the killing of innocent women and children in Gaza,” Spielberg added. “This makes us a unique force for good in the world and is why we are here today to celebrate the work of the Shoah Foundation, which is more crucial now than it was in 1994.”

University Medallion

“The University Medallion is a symbol of USC’s lasting commitment to use these visual and oral histories to educate, to enlighten and to shape a future without hate,” Folt said.

The University Medallion has only been given three times in the history of USC, most recently in 2017. It is the university’s highest honor and is awarded to those who have made a profound impact on our community.

Past recipients of the medallion have included:

About USC Shoah Foundation
Its core purpose is to give opportunity to survivors and witnesses to the Shoah — the genocide of the Jews — to tell their own stories in their own words in audio-visual interviews, preserve their testimonies, and make them accessible for research, education, and outreach for the betterment of humankind in perpetuity.

Visual Assets

Event photos, credit USC/Sean Dube

Special USC Shoah Foundation video, credit USC Shoah Foundation

Event video footagecredit USC. Speakers in sequence with time stamps:

  • [Time 00:12 – 11:57]: USC President Carol Folt
  • [Time 26:16 – 36:00] Steven Spielberg, director of Schindler’s List and founder of the USC Shoah Foundation
  • [Time 36:23 – 42:10] Celina Biniaz, Holocaust survivor
  • [Time 45:27-47:17] Awarding of the University Medallion
  • [Time 47:20 – 56:20] Joel Citron, chairman of the Board of Councilors for USC Shoah Foundation
  • [Time 56:36 – 1:03:40] Robert Williams, executive director of USC Shoah Foundation
  • [Time 1:04:08 – 1:21:08] Shaul Ladany, Holocaust survivor who also survived the 1972 Munich massacre, with USC student and USC women’s track athlete Rae-Anne Serville

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