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Students, Faculty Honor Slain USC Professor In Campus Ceremony

EXPOSITION PARK ( — Hundreds of USC students, faculty members and administrators gathered in the center of campus Monday to honor a psychology professor who was fatally stabbed.

Psychology professor Bosco Tjan, 53, was stabbed 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Seeley G. Mudd building in the 3600 block of McClintock Avenue, authorities said.

professor-tjan USC fatally stabbed
(credit: USC)

Tjan was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"May each of us, as members of the Trojan family, resolve to bring comfort and support to his wife and child," USC President C.L. Max Nikias said during the ceremony near the Tommy Trojan statue on campus.

Tjan was an expert on perception, vision and vision cognition and helped found the USC Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center, where he served as co-director.

He is survived by his wife and son.

"We've really lost an incredible mind and extremely generous person," said Irving Biederman, Howard Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Image Understanding Laboratory. "You could not ask for a better colleague. He was brilliant, knowledgeable and helpful to others."

Many students came to the statue to mourn the slain professor.

"He was just so so lovely, and he was so kind and generous with his time," said Tjan's former student Shilla Nassi.

Graduate student Helga Mayzar says she that when she had a problem with her VISA two years ago during Christmas break, Tjan helped her through the months-long process.

"He followed up with the USC administration and with the people in the embassy to resolve the issue," Mayzar said. "He scheduled a weekly video chat with me to make sure that I was doing okay."

Tjan was a renowned expert in his field of vision loss research, but was remembered by students as a humble and gracious mentor.

"You can talk to him about anything and forget that he's kind of worldwide famous and a genius, you know?" Mayzar said. "He would make you feel like he's there in the moment with you.  And to help you."

Student Hillary Dorton said the professor asked everyone to simply call him by his first name.

Tjan's alleged assailant was identified as David Jonathan Brown, 28, of Los Angeles.

Brown was arrested Friday on suspicion of murder. His bail was set at $1 million.

The killing occurred on the final day of classes before finals.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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