By Zach Driver | November 11, 2019
The College of Engineering and Computing welcomed back more than 200 alumni and friends during the first weekend of November to celebrate the past, embrace the future and reconnect with classmates.
The event packed weekend kicked off with a meeting of the Young Alumni Board, which hosted its first ever Food Truck Block Party on Friday night. Guests then returned on Saturday morning for a BBQ brunch and awards ceremony before a Gamecock victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.
At the homecoming brunch on Saturday, the CEC honored alumni Wayne Vermullen, ’96 Mechanical Engineering, and Eric Hatch, ’15 Computer Information Systems with the Distinguished Alumnus and Outstanding Young Alumnus awards, respectively.
Vermullen is a general manager at Dominion Energy focusing on safety, reliability, efficiency, cost management and innovation. The Lexington local said he was proud to represent the college and to see how the college has impacted the state through innovation.
“The University of South Carolina has always been home to me,” said Vermullen. “I grew up on Gamecock sports and dreamed of one day graduating with a degree in engineering. It’s with great pride and humility that I accept the Distinguished Alumni of the Year award. I’m a proud Gamecock who is blessed to be supported by a wonderful family, a strong education and a supportive employer. Thank you for this great honor.”
Hatch is a founding member of the Young Alumni Board and works at Boeing in North Charleston. He said the board has been an amazing opportunity to continue his relationship with classmates and other alumni.
“I truly enjoy the opportunities I have to stay engaged with the University of South Carolina’s College of Engineering and Computing,” said Hatch. “I’m proud to be a CEC Gamecock alumnus, and I’m extremely excited to see the college continue to flourish and foster an innovative environment. While having any excuse to come back to campus is its own reward, I’m extremely grateful to the college and humbled to receive this recognition.”
The Young Alumni Board plans to host more events in the spring to engage alumni and teach current students the value of growing a professional network. The group is also working on a new alumni society where all engineering graduates can be a part of something bigger once they graduate.