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South Carolina Honors College

Honors presents alumni awards at 2023 Homecoming Brunch

Nothing says homecoming more than alumni returning to their alma mater and reconnecting with one another over good food and even better memories. That is why the South Carolina Honors College has hosted their annual Alumni Homecoming Brunch for alumni and their families for over 20 years. The brunch is held on the same day as the homecoming football game so alumni can enjoy a great meal before joining current Gamecocks in cheering on USC.

This year’s brunch was held at Capstone House and offered chances to win prizes, a photo booth with Cocky, a breakfast buffet and a mimosa bar for alumni while they socialized with one another. The alumni that attended the brunch ranged from people that graduated last May to people that graduated decades ago. 

Alumnus Steven Kanczewski has gone to the homecoming brunch almost every year since he graduated. He comes back because of the chance to reconnect with past classmates and friends.

“There’s certain people that I only ever see reliably once a year at this event, but that’s what keeps me coming back to the Honors College brunch,” Kanczewski said.

During the event, Dean Steven Lynn gave a speech recognizing the alumni in attendance for all of their accomplishments and was followed by the presentation of the 2023 Distinguished Honors Alumni Award and Distinguished Young Honors Alumni Award.

Linda Stephens

These awards are the highest recognition the Honors College gives to alumni for what they have accomplished and the impact they’ve had on their communities and the Honors College.

Judge Linda Stephens, class of 1973 and Carolina Scholar, won the 2023 Distinguished Honors Alumni Award for her multitude of accomplishments including mentoring women in the legal field and working on animal welfare. When Stephens was told she won the award, she could not believe it. 

“I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds,” Stephens said. “My heart was pounding. I thought I must not be reading the email accurately.”

Nick Riley

Nick Riley, class of 2012, won the 2023 Distinguished Young Honors Alumni Award. During his time at SCHC, he was a McNair Scholar for his outstanding academic achievements, and he later went on to achieve a Ph.D. in chemistry. Riley credits the Honors College in helping him set and achieve goals like his doctorate.

“The people who were making this reality happen at every stage — the administrators, professors, the donors (big and small) and my fellow students — they all shaped the goals I set out for my time at USC and beyond,” Riley said.

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