March 19 – A Message from the Dean: Updates on Commencement and Thornton Reopening

Dear Thornton Community:

Yesterday, President Folt announced that USC has received permission from state authorities to host in-person commencement celebrations this spring for the graduating classes of both 2020 and 2021.

This is an exciting development, but restrictions remain. The in-person ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. To accommodate the State’s restrictions on density and rules for cleaning following each event, USC will need to schedule graduation ceremonies twice a day from May 14 to May 25. State public health guidelines also currently require that access to the ceremonies be limited to individuals currently residing in California.

For more information, please read the message from President Folt.

Thornton Reopening Update

As indicated in my last message on Friday, March 12, USC Thornton has begun to offer initial practice reservations for our students most in need, and we hope to open further in the near future.

Practice Space Request Submission

For contact tracing and record-keeping purposes, Thornton requires submission of a “Space Request Form” for all who wish to be considered for access. If you have not already done so, please fill out the form on the following link to begin the request process:  USC Thornton Majors: Practice Space Request Form

First Phase of Reopening

Though this current reopening phase cannot yet include the Thornton Gateway Practice Facility, we are using other spaces to address urgent individual practice needs by current Thornton majors who are living in the area closest to campus and who are experiencing the most extreme hardships, largely falling into one of these two categories:

Some examples:

We have not been able to grant all access requests in this first phase of reopening. While all concerns being submitted are certainly valid, we’re limited by the small number of initially approved spaces. Other requestors will be placed on a waitlist and will be contacted as further opportunities become available.

Forthcoming Announcement – March 26

We are elated to begin opening areas of our facilities, and we are keenly hopeful that more practice space can be added before the end of the semester. Music Operations staff will be in touch to provide details as they become available. A second round of requests is currently being vetted for approval, and we should have more information next Friday, March 26.

Please direct questions about the Thornton campus restart to

As always, stay safe and be well.

Rob Cutietta
Dean, USC Thornton School of Music