Message from President Pastides

Dear Carolina Family:
Last night, South Carolina was rocked by a senseless act of violence, a heinous crime motivated by hate. Nine innocent victims lost their lives at the Emanuel AME Church, a place of peace, during a time of prayerful reflection.
Tragedy is never easy. Just as our state rallied around USC in our time of need, let us do the same for those who are suffering today. Let’s pray for them, let’s comfort them, let’s mourn with them. Our university joins the chorus of those who grieve for the victims of this crime.
Patricia and I are deeply troubled and saddened by these events and I know all of you in the Carolina family are as well. During times of great strife it is most appropriate to reflect on the values we hold dear. May the tenets of the Carolinian Creed guide us and may the legacy of Senator Clementa Pinckney—his commitment to family, church and community—be a call for justice.
Senator Pinckney was a Gamecock, an ardent supporter of USC and a friend to higher education. He received his masters in public administration from our Columbia campus in 1999 and delivered a keynote address to the graduates of that program in 2010. He held his Senator-for-a-Day speaking contest at USC-Beaufort and has been a vocal advocate for the Sandsharks. He has been a committed public servant. His leadership and commitment to community will be greatly missed.
Cynthia Graham Hurd received her master’s in library and information science from Columbia in 1989 and served as a public librarian in Charleston County. She committed her life to educating the community, in her own words, “helping people find answers.” A Gamecock with a service heart, she also served on the board of the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston.
Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons served several AME churches, guided many with his wisdom and remained committed to the church even in retirement. He was a war veteran, a proud family man and a Gamecock, having received his Master of Social Work in 1973. The Simmons Family said, “Although he died at the hands of hate, he lived in the hands of love.”
Our Carolina Family is more enriched having known them all.