December 19 Bicentennial Celebration and Closing Ceremony
ast, present and future came together on December 19, 2001, as the University of South Carolina celebrated its much-anticipated bicentennial after a year of commemorative events and activities held throughout the state. The Bicentennial Celebration and Closing Ceremony began with a special convocation of University family on the Horseshoe, followed by a procession to the State House, where the celebration's final public ceremony took place.
More than 300 University faculty, staff, students and alumni gathered on the Horseshoe in front of Rutledge Chapel for the convocation. The brief program included remarks by Bicentennial Executive Committee Chair Thorne Compton, President John Palms, Student Body President Corey Ford, Bicentennial Education Outreach Committee Chair Kappy Hubbard, Richland County Council Chair Kit Smith, and Lexington County Council Vice President Smokey Davis. A highlight of the program was the presentation of awards to the eighth- and eleventh-grade winners of the Bicentennial Essay Contest by Mrs. Hubbard and President Palms.
Following the convocation, the entire Horseshoe assembly processed from the Horseshoe down Sumter Street to the south side of the State House for the closing ceremony. Governor Jim Hodges and members of the General Assembly joined University representatives to commemorate the chartering of South Carolina College on December 19, 1801 and to usher in USC's third century of service to the people of the state. Senator Nikki Setzler and Speaker of the House David Wilkins read from the 1801 and 1906 charters, and members of the legislature joined with Senator John Courson to present a special 2001 resolution to President Palms and Board of Trustees Chair Mack Whittle.