A man of many talents
By Page Ivey, 803-777-3085
It is unlikely that any students graduating from the University of South Carolina in May 2014 don't know classmate Chase Mizzell.
A native of St. George, S.C., and resident of Folly Beach, S.C., Mizzell has been a high-profile fixture on the Columbia campus since he arrived as a bow-tied freshman. He has served as student body president and vice president, the Mic Man at Carolina football games and was most recently one of three graduating seniors to receive the university's highest undergraduate honor, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
"The man for whom the award is named is often remembered by his character and commitment to serving others," Mizzell says. "I see the Sullivan Award not only as a celebration, but as a challenge to uphold and continue that legacy."
Mizzell was quick to get involved on campus, joining the Freshman Council of Student Government and creating a program that donates unsold food from university cafeterias to local shelters. Second Servings donates more than 30,000 meals to shelters each academic year.
"From the moment I took my first step onto the Horseshoe, I have relentlessly pursued opportunities to make an impact on the people and world around me," Mizzell says.
As a university ambassador, he has welcomed hundreds of students and their families to campus, and as Mic Man, he has roused thousands of Gamecock fans to their feet in Williams-Brice Stadium.
"Growing up, I always had the Gamecock family spirit, but being here and learning about the Carolinian Creed made me fall in love with what this university stands for," Mizzell says. "I've been blown away by the opportunities here."
Early in his college career when he realized he spent nearly an hour every day walking to and from classes, Mizzell challenged himself to use that time to meet three new people.
"I've heard amazing things, and I hope I've made an impact on folks, maybe a small pivot in where they are headed," he says. "I hope the small moments you take to challenge people give them the opportunity to think about where they want to go."
Getting to know all those students also helped Mizzell be elected student body vice president, then president, as well as the 2012 homecoming king.
A member of the Honors College, Mizzell, also has been recognized as a Darla Moore School of Business Emerging Leader. He has traveled abroad as a Kremlin Fellow and, as a GREEN Renewable Energy Fellow, he went to Costa Rica on a sustainable entrepreneurship trip. He is well on his way to being an entrepreneur, having started a business with classmates to create a smartphone app that strives to foster local communities by letting folks in a set geographic area interact with each other.
"Carolina has given me invaluable opportunities to learn from individuals," Mizzell says. "Each person's story inspires me to learn, grow and serve more. Each experience – each relationship – has profoundly shaped me, as a person and as a Carolinian."
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