1936 Olympics


Every gold medal winner from the 1936 Olympics was presented with an oak seedling to take back to his or her home country to plant and spread the word about the Olympic spirit. Of the 24 gold medals awarded to US athletes in 1936 (including eight to athletes from the LA area), only six of these trees are still known to exist nationwide, and until recently, two of these trees were located at USC.


The two trees that came to USC were planted in Associates Park between Bovard Admn. Bldg. and the Physical Education Bldg. They remained practically unknown to the campus for many years until one of them died in 2002 from root rot. A mature replacement oak has been planted and a new plaque, with the names of the four members of the relay team, is now at its base.

If you're not sure where Bovard & the Phys. Ed. bldgs are, Associates Park is directly across (north) from the Bookstore.

From the official report of the XI Games.

1936 Olympic Trees


  • (2) - at USC for Ken Carpenter (discus); Foy Draper & Frank Wyfoff (4x100 relay) [one of these is a replacement tree for the one that died, the other is original]
  • (1) - at Ohio State University for Jesse Owens (100, 200)
  • (1) - at James Ford Rhodes High School, Cleveland OH for Jesse Owens (long jump, 4x100 relay)
  • (1) - in a Koreatown backyard (N. Hobart Blvd.) for Cornelius Johnson (high jump)
  • (1) - at the University of Georgia for Forrest Towns (110 hurdles)
  • (1) - at Connellsville High School, Connellsville, PA for John Woodruff (800)

One item of interest, Ralph Metcalfe would later graduate from USC with his Masters degree.