Qualifications for Membership – The following are the qualifications for consideration for election to membership in the Skull and Dagger Society. Specific criteria for each of the three classes of membership (students, faculty/staff/ administration and alumni/honorary) are listed below. However, all candidates for membership must meet most of the following criteria:

1. Quiet, “behind-the-scenes” service on behalf of the University of Southern California.

2. Significant individual leadership of a campus organization, which has served to improved the organization or activity.

3. Individual actions, which have brought fame and honor to the University.

4. An understanding and respect for the University of Southern California, its history and traditions.

Students – Students (both graduate and undergraduate) are normally considered for membership at the end of their final year of matriculation or year of eligibility at the University.

A student nominee, through his or her own individual efforts, must have improved or excelled in the organization, activity, or position in which he or she served in a significant leadership capacity. The student must have either excelled in one area of student activities, such as serving as an editor or president (or the equivalent) of major campus-wide organizations or have shown a significant record of leadership in a large variety of different organizations and groups.

However, simply having been the president of a campus organization is not sufficient for selection. The student must have improved or contributed to the betterment of the organization or activity he or she lead and left the organization in a better condition than the way he or she found it.

Academic Accomplishments, while considered in concert with other activities, are not a sole qualification for membership. However, academic excellence is demanded.

Student Athletes must demonstrate leadership in a number of the following categories: membership on a National Championship team, team captain, individual NCAA championship, All-American honors, academic excellence, leadership on USC Athletics student committees, significant leadership in other campus organizations, significant community service, compelling personal story, and/or national organization involvement or other responsibilities.

Graduate and Professional School Students – A graduate student nominee must demonstrate significant leadership in graduate student organizations, such as serving as president of the school student body or class officer or creating or leading a significant community service. Significant undergraduate leadership (especially at USC) will be looked upon favorably.

Faculty/Staff/Administration – Faculty/Staff/Administration nominees are generally considered for their outstanding service to the students of the University or the University itself. Those honored have always gone above and beyond the call of duty to help students, the University or both over the course of many years with the University.

A nominee in this category must generally have completed a minimum of five years of service at the University.

Alumni/Honorary – Alumni and Honorary (non-alumni) nominees must demonstrate a continuing and long-term commitment to and effort on behalf of the University by working with student groups or University volunteer or support organizations

These nominees may also be considered for their outstanding service to the community by accomplishments in both the private and public sectors, the accomplishment of which brings fame and honor to the University.

Honorary nominees must demonstrate evidence of substantial commitment and loyalty to the University.

Nomination Guidelines

Faculty/alumni nominations are due on December 31, 2023; student nominations are due on January 31, 2024.

The nominator should provide sufficient information on the nominee on the Nomination Form to insure that the Selection Committee is able to have a full picture of the work and accomplishments of the nominee. Nominators should NOT presume that Selection Committee members are familiar with any nominee.

If available without directly notifying the nominee of your intent to nominate him or her, a copy of their resume is often very helpful to the Selection Committee.

The nominator should clearly and specifically answer all the questions listed on the Nomination Form.

Please DO NOT discuss this nomination with the nominee. New members of the Society are selected for their quiet, behind-the-scenes service to the University and its students. The Selection Committee takes an extremely dim view of individuals who “campaign” for their own selection into the Society by trying to arrange their nomination, asking Society members to “lobby” for them, or nominators or nominees attempting to contact members of the Selection Committee regarding a nominee.

Those selected for membership must attend either the initiation breakfast or other initiation activities.

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