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Obituaries


Theodore E. Harris
, 86, emeritus professor of mathematics, died Nov. 3. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Harris was an expert in probability theory. His work focused on stochastic processes, including such areas as the general theory of Markov processes; the theory of branching processes and applications such as inventory problems; Monte Carlo methods; and cosmic ray cascades.
Harris joined the USC College faculty in 1966 and taught in the mathematics department until 1989, when he retired.

“Professor Harris made groundbreaking and far-reaching contributions to the theory of probability and stochastic processes,” said Gary Rosen, professor and chair of math. “At the same time he was an immensely popular instructor, extremely modest and so unassuming that if you ever met him you would never have guessed that he was by far the most famous and celebrated member of our department.”

In addition to his election to the NAS, Harris received many distinctions during his career, including being elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1985, Harris received the Albert S. Raubenheimer Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship, teaching and service at USC.

He earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1946 and 1947, respectively, and a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Texas in 1939.


John A. Schutz, emeritus professor of history, died in November. He was 86. Schutz’ work focused on colonial America.

“John Schutz devoted many years of his life to USC, as a faculty member and as dean of the Social Science Division of the College,” said Steven Ross, professor and chair of history. “He will be missed by all who knew him.”

Schutz received a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA. After graduating in 1945, he began teaching at the California Institute of Technology. In 1953, he took a faculty position at Whittier College, where he taught until joining the USC College faculty in 1965. During his 29 years at USC, Schutz also served as the chair of the history department.

Schutz wrote numerous books and essays including The Promise of America (Dickinson, 1970) and The Dawning of America (Forum Press, 1981). In 2001, Liberty Press reissued Schutz’ The Spur of Fame: Dialogues of John Adams and Benjamin Rush. Schutz served as president of both the American Historical Association and the American Studies Association.

He is survived by his sister Rosemary Di Salvo; nephews Joseph, John and George Di Salvo; and niece Catherine Padgett.


Rima Akkad Monla (B.A., International Relations, ’95), died Nov. 9 in a terrorist bombing in Amman, Jordan. She was attending a wedding with her father, Moustapha Akkad, who also died in the attack. Akkad, a successful film producer,  attended USC briefly in the 1950s.

International Relations Professor Laurie Brand remembers Monla as an enthusiastic student who sought Brand’s advice about continuing her studies of the Middle East after graduation. Monla enrolled in a master’s degree program in Middle East studies at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. It was there she met and married her husband, Ziad Monla. The couple had two sons, 4 and 2 years old.

Continuing their friendship over the years, Brand visited Monla and her family while on sabbatical in Lebanon in 2002 and 2003. “She was very devoted to her kids and her family,” Brand said.  “She was full of life. She loved her kids, loved her family and loved living in Lebanon.”