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photo of a holiday card depicting a front door with decorations and the words Happy Holidays University of South Carolina on it

Winning holiday card design captures spirit of the season

When it came time to choose the winning artwork in USC’s first Holiday Card Design Contest, President Michael Amiridis and First Lady Ero Aggelopoulou-Amiridis liked the idea of focusing on home.

“The contest is a great opportunity to celebrate our students’ creativity and highlight their talent,” the first lady said. “Choosing from many impressive entries was difficult, but the winning design captures the spirit of the season at our new home on the Horseshoe.”

It seems fitting, then, that the winning artist, Emma Jackson, drew inspiration for her watercolor design from the iconic President’s House and also from a favorite HGTV show, Home Town, in which the hosts give new homeowners a watercolor painting of their house. 

“It’s such a small yet heartwarming gesture,” said Jackson, a graduate student in the Arnold School of Public Health.

Although she had never worked with watercolors before, Jackson saw the contest as a chance to try something new.

“You don’t have to be particularly skilled to enjoy being creative.”

She said her new hobby is a reprieve from the stresses of graduate school, plus it earned her a $500 gift card and the opportunity to meet the president and first lady and have her art featured on their 2022 holiday greeting card.

More than 40 students participated in the contest, submitting nearly 70 different designs. The runners-up, Kenzie Delposen and Abigail Rasmussen, each won $250 gift cards.