SDA students during the New Student Convocation 2021

School of Dramatic Arts welcomes families on campus for 2021-22 school year

SDA students during the New Student Convocation 2021 (Photo courtesy of Zachary Steel)

Sheer excitement was felt all around this week as the School of Dramatic Arts community reunited, and met, collectively in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic to celebrate a new school year. From families tearfully sending their student off for their first or second year of college to familiar smiles of faculty, staff and students returning to old stomping grounds, Welcome Week has been a joyful and bustling occasion for the Trojan and SDA family.

The 2021-22 school year activities commenced this week with students moving in until Wednesday and the Fall Welcome Experience — events hosted by USC Intentional Programs during the first six weeks — which kicked off that evening. On Thursday morning, incoming USC students gathered at Alumni Park for the university’s semesterly tradition of New Student Convocation to celebrate all of the Trojan Family’s newest members.

“Here we stand as the epitome of the Trojan. Resilient and hopeful,” said Anita Dashiell-Sparks, SDA professor of theatre practice, and associate dean of equity, diversity and inclusion, during her Convocation address. “USC and the world is waiting to see who you are and what it is that you contribute to.”

SDA faculty and staff during a parent social for Welcome Week 2021
SDA faculty and staff during one of the parent socials for Welcome Week 2021. (Photo courtesy of Elsbeth M. Collins)

The School of Dramatic Arts began its festivities on Tuesday, including parent socials and new student welcomes for the classes of 2024 and 2025. New students were also able to partake in one of the School’s in-person annual traditions: a class photo on the steps leading to the Bing Theatre.

“Our daughter is rooming with three SDA sophomores, all from different parts of the country. They’ve been talking online over the last year, so the first time they met was yesterday, and they immediately hit it off — for having only spoken over Zoom, they just clicked,” parent Susan Schaaf shared.

“This is just such a great opportunity for our son on such a great campus; you can’t beat it,” said another parent, Marlou Hollens.

The incoming SDA classes of 2024 and 2025 collectively welcomed more than 280 students. Read more about the admits of USC 2021.