The good times never end for the Milken alumni at USC. The natural assumption is that after graduation, everyone drifts apart. No more lunch dates, hellos in the hallways, or activities together. You might think that at college you probably won’t be as involved in Jewish life. These college students beg to differ.
For starters, there are a ton of Milken alumni attending USC. “It's not uncommon to introduce yourself to people, tell them you're from Milken, and have them respond, "Isn't everyone here?” commented Leigh Jacobson ‘12. A big percentage of graduates choose to attend USC for a number of reasons, ranging from scholarships, the location, and a school wide acceptance of Israel. There might be another factor influencing this decision, however. The high density of Milken students is a major benefit for some applicants.
“I know that if I ever need anything, I have tons of people that are there to help,” said Deborah Halimi ‘12.
You might think that having all of these people from your old high school might hinder your ability to branch out socially. And while it’s nice to see all of your old friends, wouldn’t you already be sick of them? Noah Cherner ‘12 thinks otherwise. “You're constantly surrounding yourself with new cultures and people... it's nice to have a sense of comfort knowing you're surrounded by people you're used to.”
These students do offer more than just a feeling of familiarity on campus. They also provide a large network, since they are in a wide range of classes, activities, and clubs. Both Noah and Leigh interact constantly with other Milken Alumni through the Greek system. Most students said they do keep in touch with other alumni regularly. “I'm texting with Leigh Jacobson as I write this!” exclaimed Halimi. It is also common to see a large group of alumni getting together for lunch at the campus center. The main occurrence, however, is seeing fellow alumni on campus. “Just a few minutes ago I was walking to my class and bumped into a Milken student on the way," said freshman Emily Kolker ‘13.
Another benefit of having fellow alumni on campus is connecting with the students that you might not have known in high school. “It's almost like there's an unspoken agreement to look out for other Milken kids. Many older Milken alums would reach out to me or greet me enthusiastically,” Jacobson added.
Of course Milken students have a big name around the Jewish community at USC. You can find them at the campus Hillel, Chabad, TAMID Israel investment and consulting club, in Jewish fraternities, Trojans for Israel, and SC Students for Israel. “I am blown away by the amount of Jewish organizations that exist here," said Kolker. There are also Israel rallies and holiday activities constantly going on around campus.
While it is impossible for Milken to extend completely after high school, it is safe to say that the community lives on at USC.