“Let me tell you about the real Pat… the Pat I knew and loved for over half a century.”

–Richard Nixon

USC’s motto, PALMAM QUI MERUIT FERAT, can be loosely translated as “let whoever earns the palm bear it.” Patricia Ryan Nixon earned her palm, and during her 81 years of life she certainly bore it. It can truly be said that Pat Nixon embodied the American Dream; she came from the deepest valleys and rose to the highest mountaintops, she overcame personal tragedies and trials to accomplish mightily, and she earned the respect and admiration of millions across the world.

She was known for her warm smile, friendly handshake, hearty laugh, and compassion for humanity. Perhaps it was during her time at USC that she adopted the “we can do more” spirit that would define her life and career. She was consistently ranked as one of the most admired women in the world, 14 times by Gallup and 22 times by Good Housekeeping Magazine. She earned her palm, she bore it, and she served as an inspiration to those in the 81 countries she visited who called her “Madame Ambassador.”