Reese has a different message. He spent years presiding over divorce cases before "no fault" provisions freed us. "Back then you had to have grounds," he said: Adultery, cruelty, desertion, neglect, habitual intemperance.
"Desi had plenty of grounds," he said, laughing. "But she recognized and put up with them." And when she fell ill and needed years of round-the-clock care, he made sure she had the best of everything.
"I've got your back" is still what matters, he said. "If you know that — and if you mean that — you can forgive and move on."
Now, Reese is no more of a relationship guru than he is an expert in education. But he has a knack for finding common sense in the gobbledygook of problem-solving. And he knows the value of loyalty. That's what fed his marriage, prompted his gift to USC, led him to look out for boys less fortunate than he.