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College of Arts and Sciences

  • Dorcas Larry

Graduation fulfills a promise

When Dorcas Larry transferred twice and took time off from college to travel the world, some people told her it would be too difficult to come back and finish. But she was determined to complete her degree. 

After all, she promised. 

I made my late grandmother a promise that, as her youngest grandchild, I would be the first to finish college,” she says. 

She is fulfilling that promise this month. Larry is one of more than 400 students graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Larry, who grew up in Columbia, attended two smaller colleges in South Carolina before taking a break from college for two and a half years. Ultimately, she came home and enrolled at the University of South Carolina. She already knew what major she wanted. 

“I chose African American Studies because it’s a sacred part of American history that needs to be protected, preserved, and correctly shared to everyone,” says Larry. 

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She thrived in the African American Studies program. She was on the Dean’s List twice and enjoyed being in student organizations. 

“My experience here at UofSC has been nothing less than fantastic,” she says. “I was nervous that I would be lost in the mix and just seen as a number, but that is far from true. The amount of resources UofSC offers to its students is endless. Whatever you need, you are sure to find it here. 

Although Larry is graduating, she is also looking ahead to coming back to UofSC. In January, she will begin the university’s six-month paralegal studies certificate program. Once she completes that, she plans to work as a paralegal in Maryland while earning a master’s degree in African American Studies at Morgan State University. Eventually, she hopes to earn a doctoral degree and become a professor. 

I have encountered so many wonderful professors here in the African American Studies department,” Larry says. “One day, I want to be the influence for my students that they were for me. 

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