UofSC graduates celebrate winter commencement

Thousands of students will earn their degrees at the University of South Carolina’s annual winter commencement ceremony Dec. 17 at the Colonial Life Arena. The ceremony, which begins at 2:30 p.m., will include graduates from bachelor’s, master’s and professional degree programs across the USC system.

The university expects to award approximately 2,283 degrees from the Columbia campus. System December graduates include approximately 226 from USC Aiken, 88 from USC Beaufort, 28 from USC Lancaster, 16 from USC Salkehatchie, 31 from USC Sumter, 10 from USC Union and 529 from USC Upstate.

Three honorary degrees will be conferred this year during the ceremony. They include:

  • Rev. Charles Benjamin Jackson Sr., Doctor of Public Service. Jackson, a Columbia native, is senior pastor at Brookland Baptist Church. Under his leadership, the church has grown to 65 ministries, including the Brookland Center for Community and Economic Change, the Brookland Community Pediatric Center and the Brookland-West Columbia Community and Housing Development Corporation.
  • Dr. Robert M. Califf, Doctor of Public Service. Califf is a cardiologist and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2015-17). A graduate of Columbia’s A.C. Flora High School, Califf is nationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine and clinical research, authoring more than 1,200 peer-reviewed papers.
  • Samuel H. “Sam” Vickers, Doctor of Humane Letters. Vickers is a retired business executive who served as CEO and president/chairman of Design Containers, a Florida-based company that is one of the world’s leading supplier of containers. Vickers, a 1958 graduate of USC, is a former member of the Gamecock football team and is now a noted collector of fine art.

USC President Harris Pastides will deliver remarks to graduates.

USC’s doctoral ceremony will take place at the Koger Center at 9:30 a.m. on Dec.17. Cynthia Davis, an English professor and associate dean for Arts, Humanities and Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences will deliver remarks.

Please note: To provide a safer environment and more expedited entry, USC has established a clear bag policy that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into the Colonial Life Arena for all events, including commencement.

For those who cannot attend, the Colonial Life Arena ceremony will be livestreamed via Facebook at www.facebook.com/uofsc.

For information on parking and free shuttle service to and from the arena, please visit USC’s commencement site.

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