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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Charles Richardson speaks at the May 2019 Hooding and Cording Ceremony

Hooding and Cording Ceremony May 2019

The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management celebrated its largest graduating class ever in May 2019. On Friday, May 10, the college held it's Hooding and Cording Ceremony for honors students and graduate students, prior to the university commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

Posted on May 14, 2019
By Bryony Wardell,

With families and friends in town and soon-to-be alumni ready to wear their caps and gowns, graduation day is undoubtedly the most special day on campus at the University of South Carolina. During the May 2019 graduation weekend, the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) had an extra special celebration for honors graduates as it conferred degrees on its largest graduating class in the college's history. 

The weekend kicked off with the College of HRSM's Hooding and Cording Ceremony for graduate students and undergraduate students graduating with honors. The event was held at the Koger Center for the Arts on May 10, with more than 500 students, families, friends and faculty and staff in attendance. 

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Charles Richardson. A physician, philanthropist and visionary serial inventor of life-saving medical technology, Dr. Richardson has advanced development and innovation of the left-ventricular assist device (LVAD), right-ventricular assist device (RVAD) and the total implantable, electric Total Artificial Heart (TAH). Dr. Richardson received his Doctor of Medicine from Central America Health Sciences University School of Medicine, his Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and his Bachelor of Science from Winston-Salem State University.

While he has dedicated his career to advancing medical knowledge and innovation, Dr. Richardson shares a passion with the College of HRSM — helping people live happier, fuller lives. 

"Be creative, be fearless, and be proud of your accomplishments," Dr. Richardson said to the graduating seniors. "Push through your moments of self-doubt, and listen to those who see your full potential even when you can’t see it."

Dr. Richardson shared his personal story of overcoming obstacles in life, the important role his grandmother played in pushing him to become a doctor, and how he went against the grain to create ideas that no one else was doing. 

"I drew an artificial heart with the electrical monitoring design on a pizza box. I still have that pizza box. It was my first invention idea I had put on a paper. Twenty years later, among other technologies and ventures, I am standing in front of you all proud and fearless," Dr. Richardson said. "One of my mentors once told me during my medical school years: You will see maybe 30 thousand patients in your career as a doctor, but you can treat millions with ideas and inventions."

The event included the awarding of each student's honors cords or graduate degree hood regalia, which was given out by the College of HRSM dean and faculty. A dessert reception followed for families and friends to celebrate before the university commencement ceremony the following morning, which was the final graduation address given by South Carolina President Harris Pastides. 

Congratulations to all of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management graduating students!  

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