Letters to the Editor: At long last, USC valedictorian Asna Tabassum gets her due

Asna Tabassum smiles in her cap and gown.
USC valedictorian Asna Tabassum attends the Viterbi School of Engineering graduation ceremony in Los Angeles on Friday.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thank you for publishing the inspiring picture of a joyful Asna Tabassum, USC’s 2024 valedictorian, on the front page of your May 11 print edition. (“Silenced USC valedictorian walked the stage and the crowd reaction was anything but silent,” May 10)

To all the forces of violence and hate who sought to suppress her voice, and to the embodiments of cowardice in the USC administration who refused to defend her and instead canceled her commencement address: You have lost. Tabassum’s example of courage and her call for justice have made their way around the world.

Laurie Brand, Los Angeles


The writer is a professor emerita of political science, international relations and Middle East studies at USC.


To the editor: My son graduated from USC this weekend after four years of hard work.

I would like to recognize and thank the Los Angeles Police Department, the university leadership and most importantly the staff of USC for providing a safe, meaningful, high-quality event focused on the students’ achievements.

This has been a difficult and uncertain time, and my family and I greatly appreciate USC’s thoughtful decision making, careful planning and support of the students.

Jan Nimick, Templeton, Calif.


To the editor: Graduation ceremonies are meant to affirm a monumental milestone in an individual’s life. Not everyone can afford the opportunity to receive a higher education.

It’s unbelievable that acts against humanity in another part of the world could have such a profound impact domestically.

Wayne E. Williams, Camden, N.J.