Megan Mulligan of Belton has a job waiting for her next week. She starts Thursday as a teaching assistant in a first- and second-grade classroom at Pontiac Elementary School in Richland County. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in education at Saturday’s commencement.
“I’m excited, nervous and relieved it’s finally here,” Mulligan said. “I’ve loved every aspect of it.”
Sitting on the same row was Shanovia Owens of Allendale, who earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology. She spent her first two years at USC-Salkehatchie before transferring to Columbia and plans to go to graduate school in professional counseling.
“I’m the first in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree,” Owens said. “My family’s all here. They’re pretty proud of me.”
USC President Harris Pastides welcomed the graduates, calling them the first class to graduate following the baseball team’s national championship earlier this summer. He spoke of the team’s inspirational march through the College World Series, playing in multiple elimination games – at one point down to its last strike – before rallying to win.