University of South Carolina

Sotomayor among commencement speakers

More than 4,800 students from the Columbia campus are expected to receive their degrees at the University of South Carolina’s spring commencement ceremonies May 6 - 7.

The university expects to award 4,866 degrees from the Columbia campus, including four associate’s degrees, 3,103 baccalaureate degrees, 209 law degrees, 81 medicine degrees, 105 pharmacy degrees, 59 graduate certificates, 1,166 master’s degrees, 33 specialist’s degrees and 106 doctoral degrees.

Also receiving degrees this spring will be the graduates of the university’s regional and four-year campuses: Aiken – 294 baccalaureate and 7 master’s degrees; Beaufort – 143 baccalaureate degrees; Lancaster – 115 associate’s degrees; Salkehatchie – 181 associate’s degrees; Sumter – 63 associate’s degrees; Union – 39 associate’s degrees; and Upstate – 651 baccalaureate degree and eight master’s degrees.

The commencement ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 6, when 209 students from the USC School of Law gather on the historic Horseshoe to receive their degrees. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has represented South Carolina in the U.S. Senate since 2002, will address the graduates.

At 12:30 p.m., the USC School of Medicine will hold commencement exercises at the Koger Center for the Arts, where 81 graduates will be awarded their medical degrees. U.S. Surgeon Gen. Regina M. Benjamin will deliver the commencement and receive an honorary degree of doctor of public service.

At 3 p.m. Friday in the Colonial Life Arena, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will address graduates from Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, College of Nursing, S.C. College of Pharmacy and the Arnold School of Public Health. Justice Sotomayor, who in 2009 became the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court, will receive an honorary degree of doctor of laws.

On Saturday, May 7, former U.S. Ambassador to China and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. will address graduates of the South Carolina Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences. The ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. in the Colonial Life Arena. Also at the ceremony, G. Bryant Wright, pastor and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

At 1 p.m. Saturday in the Koger Center, Mark Smith, a Carolina Distinguished Professor of history, will address doctoral candidates in the Koger Center. Smith is an authority on the history of the U.S. South, slavery and the history of the five senses. He has written or edited more than a dozen books.

At 3 p.m. business leader M. Edward Sellers will address graduates of the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computing, the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management, the Fort Jackson Military Base Program, Interdisciplinary Programs, Palmetto Programs, the School of Music and the College of Social Work. Sellers will also receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Sellers is chairman of New Carolina, a non-profit council of leadership in business, academia and government whose mission is to drive a long-term economic development strategy for South Carolina. He is vice chair of the Palmetto Institute, a non-profit research and educational organization aimed at creating a business, community, political and educational climate that will increase per-capita income of South Carolinians.

The commencement ceremonies in the Colonial Life Arena will be streamed live at


By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 04/28/11 @ 4:00 PM | Updated: 05/04/11 @ 4:05 PM | Permalink

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