In a world teeming with things to read, you are processing this sentence, for which I’m grateful. I would be surprised, except I’ve met so many of you, and it’s clear that alumni and friends of the South Carolina Honors College are not the usual lot. You, like me, like many others, found some life-altering, life-enhancing experiences at USC and in the Honors College. You’re interested in how things are going — is the Honors College still the nation’s best? Are we continuing to get amazing students? Do we need anything from you?
Yes, yes, and yes, amen.
The SCHC continues to thrive and get even better. We’re now at about 2,300 students, with 47 staff members, offering about 600 honors courses each year and supporting undergraduate research, internships, study abroad, service learning and the senior thesis. We’re still the best. Our students are cause for optimism about the future, even in these challenging times.
Examples? Universities are allowed to nominate only four students for the Goldwater Scholars competition, one of the most prestigious. We’ve had winners for 31 consecutive years, with more winners than any Ivy except Harvard and Penn. This past year, all four of our nominees won. Whoa.
The NOAA Hollings Award is arguably the most prestigious environmental science award for undergraduates in the world. Over the past five years, the top Ivy League school has produced seven winners. We’ve had 27. We’re No. 3 in Hollings winners over the entire history of the award.
Just to pick one more data point, SCHC alumni who graduated last year are attending the following law schools this year: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgetown, George Mason, Penn, Emory, Vanderbilt, William and Mary, UCLA, Seton Hall, American University and Pace.
Job placements, charitable and volunteer work, medical school acceptances, Hollywood screenwriters — I could go on about our student outcomes, but you get the point. The Honors College is doing what our visionary founders imagined, and perhaps even more. Your interest and support are greatly appreciated. Hope to see you on campus!