Michael D. Amiridis became the 30th president of the University of South Carolina on July 1, 2022. The Presidential Investiture Ceremony to formally install him in office will take place Friday, January 20, 2023, at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia, South Carolina.
Academic traditions are a hallmark of higher education institutions. The University of South Carolina is home to traditions dating back more than 200 years. Regalia worn at commencement and other formal events dates back to medieval European universities. The president’s medallion and chain of office, the president’s regalia, the university mace and the university seal are all physical symbols of the institution.
The president’s medallion and chain of office designate the wearer as the temporary embodiment of the institution’s power and authority. The gift of the medallion accompanied the gift of the mace, and the linked silver chain of office was commissioned in 1991 by the Presidential Candidate Search Committee.
The president’s gown is black with four garnet velvet bars on the sleeves. Presidents are the only academics entitled to wear the fourth bar. Two garnet velvet panels are trimmed with antique-gold cording and embroidered with the university seal. The hood is edged in garnet velvet and lined with garnet-and-black silk. The regalia is completed by a black velvet tam with an antique-gold tassel.
The gleaming silver-and-gilt mace is nearly four feet long and features the seals of the university, the State of South Carolina and the United States. From the middle arises a stylistic representation of the State Tree, the palmetto. Adopted in 1967, the mace is carried in procession on occasions of outstanding importance, such as commencements, convocations and formal dedications.