Photo from USC News Making money · Through USC Senior Vice President for Advancement Albert R. Checcio’s work with Campaign for USC, the University has raised more than $6.6 billion, surpassing previous goals.USC Senior Vice President for Advancement Albert R. Checcio announced he will be retiring June 30, after eight years at the University.Since he first began working at the University in 2010, Checcio has supervised Campaign for USC – the largest fundraising campaign to be held by an institution of higher education – since before its official launch in 2011. Checcio was able to surpass his $6 billion goal by raising $6.6 billion nearly 18 months in advance, according to a press release. The campaign continues to receive support from the USC community.“Mr. Checcio has been instrumental in the continued growth of USC through the numerous transformative gifts that have forever altered the landscape of our University,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias told USC News. “He has pursued a highly tactical fundraising plan, while strengthening our commitment to professionalism throughout his entire department.”Under Checcio’s management, the Campaign for USC received more than 365,000 contributions, according to USC News. These contributions included $374 million for endowed student scholarships and fellowships, $1.3 billion for health sciences and $1.6 billion for faculty positions and research endowments.Checcio said in an email to the Daily Trojan that the greatest contribution he made to the University was “professionalizing the advancement program by establishing industry best practices and recruiting very talented people.”Checcio’s work with Campaign for USC has aided $700 million for the creation of USC Village and supported the $270 million renovations for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.Recently, there has also been greater participation among different members of the alumni network. Two-thirds of the gifted money were from non-USC alumni who supported the University’s mission. With the growing total, $2.3 billion were donated by alumni and $2 billion by the parents of USC students.“As he and his family move forward, so does USC Advancement, and we are eager to build on the solid fundraising foundation he has built for our Trojan Family,” Nikias told USC News. “Our campaign has already achieved its original goal, and we have extended it for five more years. Our success — and the impact it has on our work for generations to come — will always have its roots in Mr. Checcio’s dedication and foresight.”As Checcio moves forward with his retirement plan, he said he hopes that USC’s academic ascent will continue and the University will become firmly established and recognized as one of the top 10 universities in the United States.
Tanev, 27, is a versatile, energetic checking-line forward with a decent offensive touch. He should be a good depth addition to the Penguins and his annual average salary ($3.5 million) isn’t bad. The problem, however, is the contract term.Locking up a third liner to a six-year deal rarely happens in today’s salary-cap world. It also creates another conundrum for the Penguins: Restricted free agents Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger require new contracts, but Rutherford has a little over $1.5-million in cap space remaining. Another cost-cutting deal is necessary. MORE: Full list of free-agent signings and the best available playersHere’s a look at the best and worst signings from the opening day of the 2019 free-agent period:The BestNashville Predators sign Matt DucheneAfter finishing last season with the league’s worst power play and one of the lowest offenses (19th overall), the Predators required more scoring punch. Kyle Turris’ struggles also spotlighted their need for a reliable second-line center. Signing Duchene to a seven-year, $56-million contract addressed both issues.Duchene, 28, just completed a career-best 31-goal season split between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets. He was also among the Jackets’ leading scorers in this year’s postseason, with 10 points in as many games.Some observers projected Duchene would received over $9 million annually on the open market. The Preds got him for $1 million less per season.Dallas Stars sign Joe PavelskiPavelski spent his entire NHL career (13 years) with the San Jose Sharks. Their big investment last month in Erik Karlsson left them with little room to re-sign the 34-year-old forward. San Jose’s loss was the Stars’ gain, with Dallas inking the former Sharks captain to a to a three-year, $21-million contract.Coming off a 38-goal performance, Pavelski proved he still has lots left in the tank. He brings invaluable scoring depth and experienced leadership to the Stars roster.While the $7-million annual salary-cap hit seems a bit high for player of his age, it’s off-set by the reasonable three-year term. If Pavelski maintains a 30-goal pace, this should be a worthwhile investment.Chicago Blackhawks sign Robin LehnerThe New York Islanders passing up re-signing Lehner baffled hockey fans. The 27-year-old goaltender enjoyed a career-best performance in 2018-19, winning the Masterton Trophy and becoming a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. He backstopped the Isles into the playoffs and an opening-round sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins.Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman wasted little time snapping him up on a one-year, $5-million contract. With long-time starter Corey Crawford hampered by injuries and a year away from UFA status, the Blackhawks needed help between the pipes.Lehner becomes an affordable insurance option if Crawford is sidelined again this season. If he plays well enough, he could earn a lucrative long-term extension from the Blackhawks.The WorstNew York Islanders sign Semyon VarlamovSoon after the Blackhawks inked Lehner, the Islanders announced they signed Varlamov to a four-year, $20-million contract. With 213 wins, a 2.68 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage, the 31-year-old has solid career stats. However, this could prove a risky move.During his tenure with the Colorado Avalanche, Varlamov was plagued by groin and knee injuries. Inconsistency also cost him the starter’s role last season to Philipp Grubauer.Playing for Isles goalie guru Mitch Korn could improve Varlamov’s performance. Sharing the workload with Thomas Greiss might also alleviate the injury concerns. Varlamov could also mentor promising Russian netminder Ilya Sorokin down the road. Nevertheless, the decision to pass on a younger, healthier Vezina finalist for a brittle veteran may one day haunt the Isles.Minnesota Wild sign Mats ZuccarelloThroughout last season, Wild GM Paul Fenton made moves to bring more skilled youth into his aging lineup. However, his signing of Zuccarello to a five-year, $30-million deal was a step in the opposite direction.Zuccarello is a skilled, speedy right wing with five 49-plus point seasons on his resume. Despite a difficult final season with the New York Rangers and suffering a broken arm following a trade to the Dallas Stars, he tied with Tyler Seguin as the Stars’ leading postseason scorer.However, Zuccarello turns 32 in September. He’ll be pushing 37 when this deal with the Wild is completed. As he ages he’ll have difficulty maintaining a 49-point pace. It’s too much money invested for too long in an aging talent.Pittsburgh Penguins sign Brandon TanevPenguins GM Jim Rutherford has spent the off-season shedding salary. He shipped Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes and Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks in cost-cutting deals. However, signing Tanev to a six-year, $21-million contract raised eyebrows around the league. The annual July 1 start to the NHL free-agent period always produces a frenzy of contract signings, and this year was no different.Some teams made some good moves to shore up their rosters, while others made additions that could be considered risky — or even downright bad.
The Kangaroos are training at St George’s Park National Football Centre, the home of the England Football Association, which opened in 2012 and boasts state-of-the-art facilities.”They’ve got 14 fields here, the recovery centre’s unbelievable, the gym’s crazy. It’s just – I’ve never been a part of anything that looks this amazing,” Woods said.”So we’ve got some really good resources to use, so we’ve got to back it up and play some good footy now.”It’s just crazy being here. The things we’re surrounded by, it’s unbelievable.”Woods missed Australia’s 26-6 win over New Zealand in Perth earlier this month due to his wedding, but is expected to be recalled when the Four Nations begins this weekend.The Wests Tigers skipper and NSW Origin star may have five Tests to his name so far but still admits he is in awe of some of the talent in the Kangaroos squad.”You look around and you see the likes of Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Matty Scott – it’s just crazy. You’re playing the best of the best,” he said.”So you sit there and pinch yourself some days but then again you’re thinking, ‘well I’ve got a job to do here as well’.”So I’m really looking forward to each game, and can’t wait to play with the boys.”Australia takes on Scotland on Saturday morning (6am AEDT) to kick off the 2016 Four Nations, with England facing New Zealand in the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian time.