With 200-plus years of history, high-achieving students, nationally respected faculty, and an innovative new research district, the University of South Carolina is a rising star.
With more than 200 years of history and tradition, the University of South Carolina is redefining itself for decades to come. There's never been a better time to be at South Carolina, the state's flagship university and one of only 62 public universities to receive the Carnegie Foundation's highest designation for research.
The University is located in the heart of South Carolina in the capital city of Columbia, which is the nexus of government, a thriving arts and culture center, a venue for big-time Southeastern Conference intercollegiate athletics, and a community that is reinventing itself with redevelopment projects citywide. Much of the development is tied to land along the scenic, slow-moving Congaree River. Working with government, business, and community leaders, South Carolina has developed a unified plan for the University's growth westward to the banks of the river, an expansion that will include the Innovista research and innovation district.
Innovista (architectural rendering, top) represents a new vision for research by creating a vibrant, urban community where students and researchers, including those from private firms, will live, work, learn, and play. Innovista will represent the University's core research—hydrogen fuel cells and alternative energy, nanoscience and technology, biomedical and public health, the environment, and technology and software—but will include other initiatives and business partners that serve the knowledge economy and create high-paying jobs. Innovista's first private tenants include a leading developer of software applications for the insurance industry, the maker of high-tech, patented search software, and an Italian firm that specializes in precision measurement systems and quality control.
By attracting similar companies and jobs—and by capitalizing on an attractive location for restaurants and residential and retail space—Innovista will help drive the economy and increase per-capita income in the city and state. Recreational space will include a world-class waterfront park along the Congaree River and a new stadium for the Gamecocks' nationally ranked baseball program. “Greenway” paths for biking, walking, and running already line much of the river area. Innovista's eight million square feet of research, office, and retail space will blend seamlessly with the Congaree Vista, the city's nearby entertainment district of restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries.
Chartered in 1801, Carolina began classes in 1805 with nine students and a single building, Rutledge College. As the campus grew and buildings were added during the next 50 years, a horseshoe layout was adopted. Today, the Horseshoe is on the National Register of Historic Places, with 10 of its 11 buildings dating to the 19th century. Those renovated buildings house, among other areas, the South Carolina Honors College and Undergraduate Admissions, representing much of the University's current and future lifeblood.
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