University of South Carolina

Jon Huntsman Jr.
Jon Huntsman Jr.

A USC day of celebration: Spring commencement

Benjamin, who holds the rank of a three-star admiral, said the title she prefers is “doctor.” She told the new doctors they have been well prepared to go out and serve their communities.

“As physicians we are truly, truly blessed,” she said. “There is no other profession like it. There is nothing like the look on a mother’s face when you tell her (that) her baby’s going to be OK. Whether her baby is 3 or 33, that look is going to be the same.”

Brooke Hollins is one of the new graduates who will be heading to Palmetto Health Richland, where she will pursue a career in internal medicine.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve accomplished something that’s going to benefit society as a whole. I think I speak for all of us when I say that,” she said. You go to medical school to alleviate suffering and help your fellow man.”

Bachelor’s and Master’s Commencement (first of three)

At the Friday (May 6) afternoon commencement, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor urged graduates to hold tight to the values they learned from their families and loved ones as they start their journey into the world.

“You may be among the largest audiences I’ve ever addressed. This is a bit awesome,” she said to the crowd at the Colonial Life Arena, where students from the Darla Moore School of Business, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, College of Nursing, S.C. College of Pharmacy and Arnold School of Public Health received their degrees.

Sotomayor received an honorary doctor of laws degree and called the experience one of those special moments in her life when she had to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.

Sotomayor, who grew up in a public housing complex in the South Bronx, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2009, becoming the first Hispanic to serve on the country’s highest court.

She told graduates the story of “two remarkable mothers” – her own mother, a young widow raising two children in New York after moving from Puerto Rico, and the mother of a friend who grew up in the small town of Ninety Six, S.C.

While coming from such different backgrounds, both mothers sacrificed, worked hard, were passionate about education and instilled solid values in their children.

“Many of your families have made numerous sacrifices for you to make it to this point today. Even those of you who grew up in more fortunate circumstances than I have been guided to this momentous point in your lives by the values you have learned from your families and loved ones,” she said. “Everything we value -- education, hard work, generosity, service on behalf of others -- we’ve learned from our loved ones.”

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