It was 80 degrees on the USC Horseshoe the other day. With scattered sunbathers and
We call the balmy days of late February and early March our recruiting season. Families
from Ohio and Pennsylvania traipse south, shedding layers as they approach the warmth
of Columbia and our campus. They include high school seniors on the cusp of making
the biggest decision of their 18-year-old lives. Or juniors hopping from campus to
campus trying to decide where they will apply later this year.
I meet with these families whenever I can. If there’s a tour passing through our
building, I’m not shy about hijacking it. Have you seen our broadcast studio? Our
digital photo lab?
Check the view from the roof terrace. Don’t miss Davis College.
I have a litany for prospective students. The key word is “fit.” What’s a good fit
for you? Not mom or dad, though they may have a financial interest. Big school or
small school? In-state or out-of-state? Public or private? Urban or cow pasture?
(Subtle.) ACC basketball or SEC football? That should be the easy one. Ok, better
when we have winning seasons.
This works for faculty recruits, too. It’s especially effective when they are coming
from Syracuse or Michigan. When do azaleas bloom north of the Mason-Dixon line?
Our directors, Andrea Tanner and David Lankes, are having strong faculty recruiting
seasons. We’ll tell you more about them when they show up for fall semester in the
balmy days of August.
Spring break is this week, as we send out our March eNews message. It’s more than
just a harbinger of spring. It’s a signal that the semester is speeding by. Faculty
adjust their courses to squeeze in all they’d hoped to complete in the semester.
Freshmen start to recognize that they just might survive their first year of college.
At least, we hope they are seeing signs of success. Seniors eye the nearing of the
graduation date they’ve circled on their calendars. Some may be a bit panicky. Some
may be on autopilot. Some are already nostalgic for the best four years of their
lives they are about to leave behind. Some can hardly wait to dash into their next
The college is, of course, open for business over spring break. So, if you are spring
breaking yourselves, drop by and see SLIS, SJMC and USC in full bloom. You probably
won’t have to duck Frisbees, as I did the other day.
One of my senior broadcast journalism students told me she’s going on a cruise. Nice.
I’ll be working on the college’s annual planning document, our Blueprint for Academic
Excellence. It’s due right after spring break. But I hope to do it from an undisclosed
location where I can also keep an eye on the budding arrival of spring.