Footprints

Ronald Tutor Campus Center, University of Southern California.

Dr. Rufs B. Von KleinSmid's Footprints, October 18, 1958:
George Tirebiter's Footprints, October 22, 1947:
Rockazar's Footprints November 29, 1958:

These cement footprints came to the Ronald Tutor Campus Center following a long and interesting history beginning in the mid-20th century. In the late 1940s, Joseph Barbato, manager of the Phelps-Terkel men's clothing store located on West 34th Street and University Avenue (currently the College Academic Services Building on Trousdale Parkway), came up with the idea of memorializing the Trojan athletic heritage by having prominent USC Trojan athletes and coaches, and the canine mascot George TIrebiter, place their footprints in cement in the sidewalk in front of the clothing store. When the store moved to a new building on Hoover Street in 1953, Barbato gave the then-existing twenty-one footprints to the University. In 1957, the SKull and Dagger Society took on the effort to remove those footprints from that location, combine them with the footprints of the new All-American football players, and pace them in a suitable location on campus. Skull and Dagger Society Worthy Grand Master DOnald R. SImonian ('54) and Permanent Master John V. Morley ('33) spearheaded this project, which included more All-American USC football players and other prominent Trojans placing their footprints in cement at half time at various football games that season. The football stars so honored included USC's first All-American, Brice Taylor ('27), Mike ('61) and Marlin McKeever ('61), John Arnett ('57) and Frank N. Gifford ('56). Additionally, USC Chancellor Rufus B. Von KleinSmid, and Trojan mascot Rockazar (the predecessor to Traveler) were memorialized. They sat in storage on campus for over 50 years, waiting for a new home. In 2009, efforts by the Ronald Tutor Campus Center and the Skull and Dagger Society brought the footprints of Dr. von KleinSmid, Rockazar, and Tirebiter out of storage to prepare them for permanent installation. They were finally placed here in the Campus Center in July 2010. (quoted from commemorative catalog produced for the art grand opening on September 30, 2010, p. 18)


Back to: Select Art at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center complex, University of Southern California