University of South Carolina

Pillars: A jumpstart for new Gamecocks

By Megan Sexton,, 803-777-1421

For rising sophomore Kelsey Cornman, the Pillars for Carolina extended orientation program at the University of South Carolina last summer was a life-changing experience.

“Pillars changed the way I looked at USC,” said Cornman, who is working as an extended mentor for Pillars 2013 this summer. “I learned that it truly was a university that cared about its students' success and involvement. Without Pillars, I wouldn't have had the confidence to become involved in the organizations that are a part of my life today. Most importantly, Pillars helped me form bonds and friendships that I continue to hold close."

Pillars for Carolina is an extended orientation program for incoming first-year students. The program connects current and future leaders in the spirit of USC’s rich history and tradition while developing friendships in a fun environment. By providing participants with exposure to student life at USC before move-in day, Pillars helps ensure a successful transition into college and provides a strong foundation for an exceptional Gamecock experience.

At Pillars, 20 student leaders help incoming freshmen learn what it’s like to be a student at Carolina. The weeklong program includes everything from figuring out the layout of campus to visiting Williams-Brice Stadium to learning the meaning of the Carolinian Creed. The week’s activities are planned by Carolina student leaders who understand the first-year experience and what it means to be a Gamecock.

"Pillars is a great opportunity for incoming students to explore student life before arriving on campus in the fall,” said Mitchell Hammonds, a senior visual communications major from Greenville and executive director of Pillars. “Students who attend the program will get a taste of what being a Gamecock is all about -- discovering personal leadership strengths, learning the chants, cheers and traditions, and building lifelong friendships."

Pillars will take place July 16-20 and is open to about 100 incoming first-year students. Interested students who have been admitted to USC can register online.

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Posted: 06/03/13 @ 1:00 PM | Updated: 06/03/13 @ 3:01 PM | Permalink