The USC Helenes, founded in 1921, is the University of Southern California's oldest all-female service organization.
Known as the Official Hostesses of USC, the Helenes strive to embody the five attributes of the ideal Trojan (faithful, scholarly, skillful, ambitious and courageous—inscribed on the Trojan Shrine) and are prominent within the university and the Los Angeles community for their acts of service.
The official mission statement of the Helenes states:
"It is the mission of the USC Helenes to support the University community. As the 'official hostesses of USC,' we will strengthen the Trojan Family through acts of volunteerism, hospitality and service. United in sisterhood, the women of Helenes will honor tradition, rise to contemporary challenges and strive to build a vibrant future for our organization and for our University."
The vision statement of the Helenes plays on the University acronym, USC: "Unity, Service, Commitment."
In 1921 Arabella De Oliviera established the USC Helenes as an all-female service organization. Originally the Helenes were called the Amazons and membership was reserved for upper classmen. The lower classmen involved were divided into two groups: the Chimes and the Spurs. When the Amazons changed their name in 1969 to the "Helenes," the three separate branches became one, unified organization. The name change was implemented to keep with the Trojan theme of the University and was inspired by the iconic Helen of Troy.
The organization recently celebrated 92 years of service and tradition at USC and continues to be a presence on campus and in the surrounding LA area.
As of Spring 2014, Lily Chowana-Bandhu and Erica Lovano McCann serve as the Helenes faculty advisors.