On January 1, 1973, First Lady Pat Nixon participated in the Rose Bowl Parade as a Guest of Honor for the University of Southern California. This was a homecoming for Mrs. Nixon, an alumna who grew-up in Artesia, just twenty miles outside of Los Angeles.
When asked how she felt about the honor, Mrs. Nixon remarked,
I certainly will appreciate this all the rest of my life.
Mrs. Nixon entered USC as Patrica Ryan in 1934 on a research fellowship. Throughout her time as a student she held various jobs and shared a two-bedroom apartment with her two brothers. In 1937, she graduated cum laude earning the equivalent of a master’s degree. She was the first First Lady to achieve this accomplishment.
In 2017, USC honored Pat Nixon, 80 years after her graduation, with a celebration and special exhibit titled The Trojan First Lady: Celebrating 80 Years of USC’s Global Ambassador. Melanie Eisenhower, Pat Nixon’s granddaughter, spoke at the celebration.
On New Year’s Day, 1973, Pat Nixon’s alma mater, the USC Trojans went on to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes, 42-17, achieving an undefeated season.