Given the chance nearly a decade ago, Matthew Talley would have liked to attend a party similar to the one he's hosting this weekend.
The Huntington Beach resident transferred to USC after his freshman year at Purdue. He had applied to his university of choice as a high school senior and didn't get in, then reapplied successfully while braving the Indiana cold.
When he finally got word of his acceptance, the start of fall semester was a week away. As a result, Talley joined the Trojan ranks without knowing anyone on campus or having a proper orientation.
This Saturday, Talley, who runs Group 11 Advisors, a business consulting firm, hopes to give that initiation to a few dozen members of this year's freshman class. He and his family will donate their Huntington Harbour home for SCend Off 2011, a reception for incoming USC students and their families, as well as alumni.
"(Attending USC) is one of the most challenging things you've ever done in your life," Talley said. "But the end is so rewarding."
Saturday's program will include speeches by USC alumnus Daniel Yi, a Port of Long Beach communications officer and former Los Angeles Times reporter; Richard Flory, director of research at the USC Center for Religion & Civic Culture; Monish Tyagi, USC's undergraduate student body president; and Carol Fox, past president of the USC Alumni Assn.
Talley, who earned a bachelor's in business, serves as the young alumni chairman for the USC Alumni Club of Huntington Beach.
President Diane Andrew, a 1977 USC graduate, said the club has actively recruited alumni as well as friends, parents and other family. Her son, Will, is a junior and football player at USC.
Andrew said she wants to impress on incoming students that USC is one of the more challenging universities around.
"It's not a cakewalk," she said. "You're not at a junior college."
If You Go
What: SCend Off 2011
Where: Talley residence, 4012 Figaro Circle, Huntington Beach
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free, but donations welcome