The reason for the evening is to witness the presentation of the awards honoring the written word’s contribution to the art of motion pictures. This always-exquisite evening is the signature event of the USC Friends of the Libraries and always is sold out.
This year’s Scripter Award went to author Ben Mezrich for his book, “The Accidental Billionaires: The founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal,” and the film, “The Social Network,” with Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter.
The evening, which was expertly produced by Toni Miller, began with a VIP reception hosted by the university’s dean of libraries, Catherine Quinlan.
Quinlan is a dynamic woman who navigated easily about the room meeting, greeting and charming a host of guests including USC supporters, library donors and celebs like Nancy Sinatra, who was emcee for the award portion of the ceremony.
Yes, Nancy was wearing her boots. She later pointed out that when she was briefly a student at USC, those boots did walk through the very same library where we were sitting. By the way, she was studying for a final in her Italian class — which she said she failed.
A little-known fact was revealed Friday night: She is a cousin to Madeline Puzo, dean of the USC School of Theatre. Just keeping things in the Italian family.
The dinner and award ceremony were in the awe-inspiring Los Angeles Times Reference Room with its gold and blue-coffered ceiling, designed by John D. Smeraldi, who also worked on the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.
Glenn Sonneberg, USC Trustee and president of the board of USC Libraries, greeted guests and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin announced the Scripter winners.