Posted on: September 25, 2017
Hello students, parents, alumni, faculty, and friends,
Fall is officially here, and I hope the season is treating you well and bringing cooler weather.
With the start of the new school year, the energy on campus has been inspiring and enthusiastic as University of South Carolina welcomed its largest freshman class ever. The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management played a big part in the record breaking with more than 700 new students — adding up to our largest total class size to date of more than 2,300 students.
Our steady growth is an indicator of our nationally ranked programs and faculty excellence, as well as the rewarding career success that is being taken to new heights by our 24,000 alumni around the world.
To support our expanding student body, we are proud to have welcomed 13 new and exceptionally talented faculty and staff before the start of this school year. They have already proven to be a tremendous addition, and together we’re providing students with a one-of-a-kind education experience.
The beginning of the school year was also marked with a wonderful series of visits from some of our corporate partners and guest speakers, such as Marriott International, Belk, Kohl’s, Target, SportsBusiness Journal, and the Carolina Panthers — with many more to come throughout the year. Connecting students with industry professionals is a cornerstone of our education model, and the college recently hired a new director for corporate engagement to grow these initiatives.
Our supportive alumni network also plays a very important role in mentoring the next generation of leaders. This week we will have our semi-annual Alumni Society Career Night, where more than 300 students in our Marnie Pearce Professionalism Seminar will practice their networking skills with alumni and industry friends. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered over the years. Your participation makes a difference in students’ lives.
Another area of growth for HRSM is participation in study abroad. The college hosts a variety of global classrooms each year, and we’ve had a 10 percent increase in HRSM student participation in the past year. International travel nurtures personal and professional growth and provides a great perspective on the global nature of our industries, so I hope participation continues to grow. There are five HRSM-led study abroad courses coming up this Maymester in places such as Italy, Chile, France, Germany and the Galapagos Islands, and travel scholarship applications will be available soon.
With 2018 on the horizon, I’m looking forward to moving our growing college from the Coliseum to the Close-Hipp Building. Our scheduled move date is summer of 2019, and renovations to Close-Hipp will begin next year to prepare for our arrival. One of the most notable renovations will be the addition of the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Culinary Laboratory on the first floor of the building. I look forward to sharing more about the move as the date approaches, and the college is continuing to work on plans and partnerships to make our new home an elite environment for education.
For all the HRSM parents, I hope to meet you at our Parents Weekend Lunch at McCutchen House on October 6. For our alumni, I look forward to seeing you at the HRSM Alumni Homecoming Party on October 27 — it’s always a great time and all for a good cause. For our faculty, friends, and students, please don't hesitate to say hello or stop by whenever you are on campus or send me an email if you ever need anything. I hope everyone has a great fall semester and a winning football season.