S.C. Speaker: Hope is 'fundamental' to American dream
University of South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood of Acworth, Ga., hopes to play professional football. Crystal Glover of Orangeburg is hoping to work in a hospital. Ian Stuart came to Carolina from Dallas, Texas, hoped for a job and found one in nuclear energy.
Their hopes and dreams are but a few among the 2,500 other graduates from the university’s eight campuses who received their degrees during the December commencement ceremony Monday (Dec. 14) at the Colonial Life Arena.
Robert William “Bobby” Harrell, Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives, told graduates, “Hope is fundamental to the American dream … As long as you continue to embrace hope, you’ll stay young. Don’t forget to dream.”
Harrell, who was awarded an honorary degree of public service during the ceremony, shared three bits of advice with the graduates as they headed out on a journey “more exciting, more fun and more rewarding” than the journey that they had just completed.
“The first is don’t forget your faith … every president of the United States would tell you that, even though he was the most powerful person on the planet, there were many times when he needed someone even more powerful to lean on for support,” he said.
The second lesson: “Don’t forget to keep the home fires burning. Don’t forget your family … the most important obligation that you will ever have on this earth is to your family,” he said.
“The third thing is ‘don’t forget to dream.’ What life is worth living without a dream?”
Norwood, recently named first-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, has long had a dream of playing professional football. The first step toward that dream will begin in January. “I’ll be training in Boca Raton, Florida,” said Norwood, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Sitting three seats away from Norwood, Adam Neumeister of Warrington, Pa., is planning to travel abroad and work overseas. Neumeister, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, said he was drawn to Carolina “for business and football, and it’s been great.”
Glover said she doesn’t feel the pinch yet of not having a job. She has a fellowship at Palmetto Health Richland and plans to put her master’s degree in public health to work one day as the director of operations for a hospital unit. “I might be more nervous about the job market if I didn’t have this fellowship,” said Glover, whose mother, Dr. Saundra Glover, is a researcher and professor at the university’s Arnold School of Public Health.
“She is my inspiration,” Glover said.
Stuart, who majored in mechanical engineering, will work for a nuclear consulting firm in Aiken. He said he’ll miss the football games and the life of being a student.
“But my family is glad that I’m off their payroll,” he said.
The university also awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree to Joe Huddleston, executive director of the Multistate Tax Commission, and an honorary doctor of science degree to Dr. Claude Bouchard, whose pioneering research into genetic predisposition to fitness and obesity spawned an entire line of study.
Earlier in the afternoon, the university awarded 86 doctoral degrees in a ceremony at the Koger Center.