While Kim attended Harvard, his father’s ties to USC as an alumnus facilitated a connection to the University studying under the late Thornton School of Music professor and famed cellist Eleanore Schoenfeld during high school. Kim also taught at USC in 2007, designing and co-instructing a weekly seminar at the Gould School of Law. “Beong’s diverse and high-level legal expertise, mission-driven approach to taking on challenges and commitment to public service made him our clear first choice,” Folt told USC News. “He will be an important addition to the USC leadership team and an asset to our entire university community.” As chief of the major frauds section in the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years, Kim directed investigations into health care fraud, securities and investor fraud, government fraud, theft of intellectual property and embezzlement, leading the nation’s largest federal white-collar prosecution section. “It is a privilege to join this remarkable institution, which touches the lives of so many people throughout Southern California and the world,” Kim said to USC News. “USC’s mission has never been more vital and relevant, and I am tremendously excited about working with President Folt and other stakeholders to move that mission forward.” Kim’s search committee comprised Gould School of Law dean Andrew Guzman, Board of Trustee member Oscar Munoz, Ostrow School of Dentistry dean Avishai Sadan, president of faculty of Academic Senate Rebecca Lonergan, Senior Vice President for Human Resources Felicia Washington and Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp. Kim also served as a litigation associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson before moving on to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in L.A. and later serving as partner at Jones Day in L.A. Before his appointment as general counsel of USC, he worked as vice president and assistant general counsel at Kaiser Permanente. Former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill general counsel and vice chancellor Mark Merritt served on the search committee and will continue in his role as an adviser to the University, according to Folt. Vice President and Managing General Counsel Stacy Bratcher, who managed the search committee, will now report to Kim. Corporate lawyer Beong-Soo Kim will serve as senior vice president and general counsel of USC starting July 1, President Carol Folt announced Tuesday. After earning his master’s degree from the London School of Economics, Kim worked for the New York City mayor’s office and later on graduated from Harvard Law School in 1999. Following a clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, Kim returned to Harvard as a teaching fellow. The USC Office of the General Counsel addresses legal issues related to the University, Keck Medicine of USC and other USC-owned entities.
My parents met at a bar owned by former Kansas State quarterback Lynn Dickey, and my dad popped the question in the nosebleed seats at Arrowhead Stadium. As soon as I was born, I was stuffed into a white-and-red onesie and toted to Chiefs training camp. That’s why, last Saturday afternoon, I didn’t believe that the Chiefs would win. I grew up through year after year of the same old disappointment — a stellar start to the season followed by a dramatic crumble into postseason failure. The possibility that the Chiefs could step up and dominate another I was stunned, rewinding the moments with my mom in a series of clipped, all-caps texts. Most of my existence is owed to football — the Kansas City Chiefs in particular. And it meant that I had to face a very real, overwhelming possibility — that, with one more win, the Chiefs will play in the Super Bowl. As a pessimistic fan, part of me will expect the loss from the first snap. But the rest of me simply won’t care. The team taking the field in Arrowhead this season is one of the best we’ve seen in Kansas City in awhile and, for once, we feel that we might have the upper hand for awhile — the best tight end in the league and a baby quarterback who’s changing the way the position’s played. Regardless, I’ve lived through two-loss and two-win seasons, and I’ve loved this team long enough to know that things will be okay. The thing I’ve learned since moving to Los Angeles is that not everyone completely understands what it means to be a fan. It makes sense, really, that in a city privileged with the wealth of stars like Kobe Bryant, with a torrid history of NFL teams that came and went only to return a few years later, fandom would be a casual thing. Los Angeles is a tourist city and its fans’ perspectives follow suit, coming and going like fads, following the ebbs and flows of winning and losing seasons. I couldn’t help it. That team had always been inextricably, permanently part of me. Even my first crush was connected — a boy with shaggy blonde hair named Robbie, who I deemed to be the cutest sixth-grader alive. He also happened to be Kevin Harlan’s son. But to me, being a Chiefs fan runs deeper. It means a quiet Sunday afternoon in Kansas City with a bowl of chili balanced on my lap, my dad holding his iPad up inches from his nose to read off stats. It means nonsensical texts from my mom — “Did you see that?” and “PAT!!!” were two of the most recent — that I automatically understand. I’ve never watched the Super Bowl as an actual fan, instead enjoying the annual excuse to eat a ton of pigs-in-a-blanket and, if need be, shout insults at the Patriots. I’m not even sure how I’ll react if that happens. (Cry? Laugh? Name my first son Patrick, after the Chiefs’ quarterback?) Each fall, as the air became less muggy and dense, my mom hoarded McCormick spice packets to prepare for long Sundays of chili cooking in the Crock-Pot and football blaring in the living room. We always muted the ESPN announcers, preferring the talent on our local radio station — the warm astonishment of Kevin Harlan’s, “Oh baby, whatta play!” and the roaring excitement of Mitch Holthus’ cry, “Touchdown, Kan-sas Cit-y!” The Chiefs weren’t especially good when I was little, but they were good enough to make me fall in love — hard. Maybe too hard. Even as a kid, I was an overly loyal fan. When the Bengals beat us one year, I attempted to boycott a dance competition I was supposed to attend in Cincinnati the following month. (I lost that argument very quickly, but remained bitter through all three days of the trip.) Even after the 2006 season, when we lost Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez and only won two games, the Chiefs were my guys. A lot can be said about what it means to be a fan. Yes, fandom makes people do crazy things — paint their chests, stand knee-deep in snow on a Sunday, travel thousands of miles and name their children after strangers. But folks from the Midwest know it’s different. Don’t get me wrong, our teams normally aren’t all that good. We suffer through losing streaks, losing seasons, losing decades. The sports gods giveth and taketh away heartily in the heart of America — just ask anyone from Cleveland if you don’t believe me — and most of us know that all good things with our teams will come to an end. I didn’t get much time to consider that prospect before one of my friends asked the pessimistic counter — what would I do if they lost? — but my answer was immediate. I won’t care. I mean yes, I’ll be crushed, but it won’t be the type of loss that destroys me as a fan. Most importantly, it means that no matter what, each season, my family and I can count on the same game, the same field and jerseys and colors that feel like home no matter the record or year. Win or lose this Sunday, and every Sunday after that, the Chiefs are still that something I can count on. Julia Poe is a senior writing about her personal connection to sports. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs weekly on Thursdays.