Recent Stories

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Remembering the Days -- USC during Reconstruction

February 05, 2024, Chris Horn

USC's modern desegregation took place in 1963 when three African American students enrolled at the historically white university — but they actually weren't the first black students in the university's history. For a brief window in the 1870s, USC became the only state-supported public university in the South to open its doors to white and black students alike.

Stevie Malenowski combs through a box of papers and images in Thomas Cooper Library.

USC students bring untold history of Sumter, S.C., to the public

January 31, 2024, Laura Erskine

Public history student Stevie Malenowski spent his summer digitizing images from boxes of archival materials, uncovering the history of the Williams Furniture Company, a staple of Sumter, South Carolina, for decades, alongside specialists at University Libraries. The archival materials are a key resource for a traveling exhibit coming in 2024.

Matt White conducts an ensemble

Matt White's approach for "Lowcountry" has him headed to Spoleto

January 26, 2024, Thom Harman

From a new program home to new music to continued research, Matt White, Jazz Studies Program chair, is rather busy. His novel approach to a 2023 release, “Lowcountry” — incorporating Gullah histories and stories with contemporary jazz — has earned White and his collaborators a chance to perform the piece during the 2024 Spoleto Festival.

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Remembering the Days -- 3 in 1: The Women's Quad

January 22, 2024, Chris Horn

A century ago, USC built its first dormitory for women, whose presence on campus had not been warmly welcomed when they first arrived in the 1890s. While other women's dorms have come and gone on campus, the Women's Quad retains its status as the original location for and the only present location of women's-only residence halls at the university. 

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Remembering the Days -- Flying high: aviation at USC

November 29, 2023, Chris Horn

USC's connections to aviation go higher than you might think. From civilian and military aviator training to the state's only aeronautical engineering degree program, the university has been spreading its wings for decades. One chapter in the story includes a farmboy who flew a plane by himself at age 12.

Cheerleaders run across a football field holding flags spelling out Carolina.

Carolina-Clemson: A rivalry for the ages

November 09, 2023, Maddie Lee

November is a very spirit-packed month this year with USC hosting four home football games to close out the 2023 season, including the annual Carolina vs. Clemson showdown. For over 100 years, the rivalry has been heated and every year a new piece gets added to the colorful history.

Wendy Lower, author of “The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed”

Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation supports conversation about Jewish history

November 07, 2023, Rebekah Friedman

In the spring, audiences at USC had the chance to learn more about Jewish history from award-winning author and Holocaust expert Wendy Lower. Her weeklong fellowship with the university’s Jewish studies program was made possible by a generous gift from the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation.

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Remembering the Days -- The wilderness years: USC sports in the independent era

October 19, 2023, Chris Horn

The two decades between USC's departure from the Atlantic Coast Conference and entry into the Southeastern Conference were a challenging time for Gamecock sports. But USC sports enthusiast Alan Piercy's new book about that era reminds us that a lot of cool things —  including a Heisman Trophy winner and a new iteration of USC's mascot — came about in the midst of those wilderness years. 

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Remembering the Days -- Booked solid: the history of USC Press

October 10, 2023, Chris Horn

For nearly 80 years, the University of South Carolina Press has been publishing books — more than 1,000 and counting — on topics ranging from the history of the Palmetto State to literary figures, cuisine and much more. Pull up a reading chair and learn more about the Press came to be. 

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Remembering the Days -- Double parked: campus parking, parking tickets and the campus shuttle

September 27, 2023, Chris Horn

Visit any urban campus in America and the No. 1 complaint almost always will be the parking situation. Parking at USC became an issue in the 1960s as enrollment skyrocketed. The university dealt with it by building parking garages and adding a campus shuttle system. To enforce the parking rules, there was a regiment of parking officers, which, for nearly half a century, included 'Miss Pat.'

Brynn Lynagh and classmate on Lake Titicaca

Transformative Peru winter session shapes student passions, career plans

August 31, 2023, Hannah Cambre

In 2021, a group of 20 students from across majors and class standings journeyed to Peru to explore the modern day capital city of Lima as well as the ancient Incan capital in Cusco and the sacred site of Machu Picchu. This year, another cohort will return for a winter session to explore the rich history and culture of Peru.

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ICYMI: Ten big things happening at the university

August 30, 2023, Lauryn Jiles

The university never sleeps, but it does slow down a bit during the summer. With the start of the fall semester, here’s a reminder of some recent happenings that you might have missed, plus a heads up about some major upcoming events.

Terence Weik at the Kinsler cemetery site in Blythewood, S.C.

USC researcher's Black cemeteries project aims to restore lost ancestral connections

June 07, 2023, Rose Cisneros

For Terrance Weik, the gravesite of his great-grandmother was a sacred place: Her headstone memorialized a place where he could remember her and those who came before. Weik is working on research and preservation efforts at three burial grounds across South Carolina: sites in Blythewood, Daufuskie Island and Hilton Head.

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Remembering the Days -- Rutledge Chapel wedding bells

May 18, 2023, Chris Horn

An integral part of the oldest building on campus, the Rutledge Chapel has been in continuous use since 1805 and has a rich history of its own. But that history is still being written as, every year, alumni say their wedding vows inside the venerable chapel's walls.

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Remembering the Days -- The campus during wartime

May 11, 2023, Chris Horn

Since its founding in 1801, the University of South Carolina, its students and alumni have been profoundly affected by wars, most notably the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. As Memorial Day draws near, it is a fitting time to remember.

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Remembering the Days -- 'Believe It or Not!'

May 01, 2023, Chris Horn

Decades ago, an illustrator named Robert L. Ripley presented tales of the strange, the bizarre and the unexpected — and challenged the public to 'believe it or not!' In that spirit, here are three such tales from the University of South Carolina's past.

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Remembering the Days -- Remembering the pioneers

April 17, 2023, Chris Horn

Sixty years ago, the University of South Carolina opened its doors to all students, regardless of race, when it enrolled three Black students — Henrie Monteith, Robert Anderson and James Solomon. But what was campus life like for the Black students who immediately followed in their footsteps in 1964 and beyond?

Honoree Amber Guyton kneels over her brick and smiles

Meet the Black alumnae whose contributions are commemorated on the Horseshoe

March 14, 2023, Rebekah Friedman

As a tribute to the Black alumnae featured in the student-produced documentary The Backbone, USC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion installed 18 personalized bricks on the Horseshoe. The honorees' stories span seven decades of university history.

Bobby Donalds leans on a large stack of document boxes.

Bringing civil rights history to life

February 22, 2023, Carol J.G. Ward

As a respected scholar of Southern history and African American culture, Bobby Donaldson has served as a consultant for museum exhibitions, archival collections, oral history initiatives, documentary films and historic preservation projects. He also has been recognized for his teaching and community outreach. He credits his parents and educators — from his elementary school librarian to a “drill sergeant” professor at Wesleyan University to his mentors and colleagues at USC — for inspiring his career.

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Remembering the Days -- Message in a bottle

February 16, 2023, Chris Horn

USC students in 1977 buried an eclectic assortment of items for a time capsule that was unearthed in 2001 as part of the university's bicentennial celebration. That same year, another time capsule was buried on the Horseshoe — with its own treasure trove of items — with an opening scheduled for 2051.

Doctoral Candidate, Constance Caddell goes through SC NAACP records.

New age treasure hunters reveal lost stories of Black life in South Carolina

February 14, 2023, Alexis Watts

New age treasure hunters, part of the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program, are saving crucial historical information buried in old publications that are being preserved and presented online. The newspapers reveal stories from the state’s Black residents and rural communities, often overlooked by larger news outlets. 

Medics giving medical attention to a patient during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

75 years later, film collection enriches history of WWII

February 13, 2023, Carol J.G. Ward

The University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections in a partnership with the History Division of the Marine Corps is digitizing films shot by more than 50 Marine combat cameramen during the Battle of Iwo Jima, which began Feb. 19, 1945. The goal is to provide public access to the video and expand historical understanding.

President Amiridis cheers on the Gamecocks as they play against SC State.

Year in review '22: In with the old, in with the new

December 14, 2022, Communications and Marketing

Did campus feel just a little bit livelier this year? A touch more spirited? A tad more optimistic? We thought so, too — and not only because we named a new president back in January. Yeah, that was one heck of a way to ring in the new year, and it set the tone for the months ahead, but in the end, 2022 was about all of us, from the President’s House to Russell House, from Colonial Life to Williams-Brice. It was about respecting tradition, rediscovering our identity, remembering our past and reimagining our future. In 2022, the University of South Carolina reminded us all what it means to be USC.

Beth Bernstein, Michael Amiridis and Bill Stern smile at the camera during a reception

Supporters celebrate success of Anne Frank Center

December 01, 2022, Jeff Stensland

The University of South Carolina hosted a reception on Wednesday (Nov. 30) to thank those who supported the establishment of the Anne Frank Center on the Columbia campus and its ongoing mission to educate visitors about antisemitism and other forms of discrimination. Reception attendees included university President Michael Amiridis, former President Harris Pastides, state Rep. Beth Bernstein, S.C. Ports Authority Chairman Bill Stern and former state Sen. Joel Laurie.

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Remembering the Days -- The Duel of 1833

November 14, 2022, Chris Horn

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton engaged in an infamous duel in 1804, and a number of South Carolina College students nearly got tangled up in duels in the years before the Civil War. History records only one duel  involving South Carolina College students that ended in fatality — and this is the strange story of that tragedy. 

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Remembering the Days -- Palmetto Ivy: How the Honors College came to be

October 31, 2022, Chris Horn

USC's Honors College was established in the 1970s around the time that several other of the nation's first honors colleges came into being. But the South Carolina Honors College would eventually emerge as one of the nation's best, boasting hundreds of honors courses and attracting some of the best students from the Palmetto State and beyond. 

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Students honor past Homecoming queen

October 27, 2022, Téa Smith

In 1974, Gail Bush Diggs became just the second Black woman to be named Homecoming Queen at the University of South Carolina. The announcement of her selection on the football field 48 years ago was greeted with racial abuse and she never received the traditional scepter that went with title. Students, looking to rectify that slight, will honor Diggs with the scepter at this year's Homecoming.

James Clyburn speaks to the media against a backdrop that says

University establishes Clyburn endowed chair through $1.5 million gift from Boeing

October 20, 2022, Abe Danaher

The Boeing Co. has provided the University of South Carolina with a $1.5 million gift to establish the James E. and Emily E. Clyburn Endowed Chair of Public Service and Civic Engagement Fund. This endowed chair, awarded to associate professor Bobby Donaldson, will allow the university’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research to further its programming and outreach initiatives within the university community and across the state.

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Remembering the Days -- First things first

October 17, 2022, Chris Horn

Curtis Frye, head coach of field and track head at USC, knows a thing or two about coming in first place and being the first to do something. He's done all of those in his time at Carolina, including bringing home the university's first-ever national championship trophy. Perhaps most importantly, Coach Frye understands the importance of putting first things first. 

Booker T. Washington alumni look at display

New agreement with National Park Service advances UofSC's role in telling civil rights history

September 28, 2022, Alexis Watts

Under a five-year agreement with the National Park Service, the center will receive $3.4 million to expand the center’s existing work in civil rights education and scholarly research, including support for exhibits and programming at South Carolina sites in the African American Civil Rights Network. The center will help to grow the network in South Carolina by serving as a resource to property owners, community leaders and organizations interested in joining the network.

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Remembering the Days -- Grand Tourino: the Visitor Center

September 27, 2022, Chris Horn

Every year, tens of thousands of prospective students and their families visit the University of South Carolina for a campus tour. Here's the story of how the university's Visitor Center came to be, as well as a peek behind the curtains at some unscripted moments in the lives of campus tour guides. 

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Remembering the Days -- The not-so-secret gardens

September 26, 2022, Chris Horn

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world … is a garden.” When Frances Hodgson Burnett penned those words more than a century ago in her classic children’s book The Secret Garden, there probably were very few, perhaps not any flower gardens on the University of South Carolina campus. But we’ve made up for it in the past 50 years or so. On this short tour, you'll learn the history of several not-so-secret gardens on campus and what's planted in each one. 

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Remembering the Days -- The Myth of Commodore Capstone

August 25, 2022, Chris Horn

What building on the University of South Carolina campus was named for a Confederate navy commodore and commemorated on a picture postcard? It's a trick question! A high-rise residence hall was featured on a postcard in the late 1960s, and the caption on the postcard said the building was named in honor of alumnus Epaminondas J. Capstone, a Confederate commodore. But separate fact from fiction is the real story.

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Remembering the Days -- Sink or Swim: the freshman lifesaver course

August 22, 2022, Chris Horn

Fifty years ago, it wasn't uncommon to hear professors give the "look to your left, look to your right — one of you will have failed by the end of the semester" speech. But exactly 50 years ago, Carolina tried something different: a course designed to help freshmen feel like they belonged along with the academic tools they needed to succeed. It was called University 101, and it became model for hundreds of colleges across the country.

brick exterior of Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, South Carolina

Grant advances UofSC's efforts to create destination for preserving, teaching civil rights history

June 20, 2022, Carol J.G. Ward

The University of South Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research will receive $500,000 in federal funding to further its mission to preserve civil rights history and tell critical stories of the movement. The African American Civil Rights grant administered by the National Park Service will be used to continue rehabilitation and preservation of the historic Booker T. Washington Auditorium Building.

Letters in air mail envelopes from Otto Frank to Cara Wilson-Granat spread on a table.

Letters from Anne Frank's father, Otto Frank, donated to UofSC Anne Frank Center

June 08, 2022, Alexis Watts

The Anne Frank Center located at the University of South Carolina is now home to 100 letters and cards written by Otto Frank, the father of Holocaust victim and world-renowned diarist Anne Frank. The donation comes as the world honors her life and legacy on the 75th anniversary of the publication of her diary and her birthday on June 12.

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Remembering the Days -- Fair play: the 50th anniversary of Title IX

June 03, 2022, Chris Horn

Women's college sports barely on the radar in the early 1970s, but Title IX changed everything by leveling the playing field for men's and women's sports at the collegiate level. Meet two of the first 18 women to receive athletics scholarships at the University of South Carolina, which is now a national leader in parity for its men's and women's sports programs.

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Remembering the Days -- A Memorial Day tribute

May 20, 2022, Chris Horn

Eighty-one graduates of the University of South Carolina have died in military service since the Spanish-American War at the close of the 19th century. In observance of Memorial Day, we remember three who died serving their country in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War.

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Remembering the Days -- High-rise hijinks, life in the Towers

May 03, 2022, Chris Horn

Pranks and pratfalls are part of life in any college residence hall, but one dormitory complex at the University of South Carolina seemed to have more than its fair share. Stories about life in the Towers, also known as the Honeycombs and the Veilblocks, are now almost the stuff of legend. Here are a few anecdotes from yesteryear about those long-gone dorms. 

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Remembering the Days -- The grass whisperer, Sarge Frye

April 19, 2022, Chris Horn

Sarge Frye knew how to make grass grow, and for five decades he made sure the University of South Carolina's athletic fields were green and trimmed. But much more than that, Sarge had a heart for people and connected with everyone he met. It's why his name continues to be synonymous with Gamecock sports. 

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Remembering the Days: Write me a letter

March 28, 2022, Chris Horn

Long before texting, Facetime and email were a thing, university students sat down with pen and paper to ask their parents for money, beg forgiveness when they got in trouble and invite someone special for a date. This quaint assortment of letters from University of South Carolina students of yesteryear covers all of those topics and more.

a Black man holds signs protesting segregation

UofSC to expand civil rights education with $1.5 million gift from Williams to fund civil rights exhibits, programs and collections

February 15, 2022, Peggy Binette

A $1.5 million gift from Williams, an energy infrastructure company, will enhance the University of South Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research’s ability to share South Carolina’s important role in the broader national movement.

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Essay collection sheds light on the largely unknown history of Black people at UofSC

January 31, 2022, Chris Horn

The University of South Carolina desegregated in 1963, but the history of Black people on campus extends back to the university’s beginning in the early 19th century. In 10 illuminating essays edited by Robert Greene II and Tyler Parry, Invisible No More (USC Press 2021) tells that story.

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Remembering the Days: #UofSCLove

January 31, 2022, Chris Horn

When we think back to our college days, some of us remember old boyfriends and girlfriends or maybe former roommates that we still stay in touch with. And for some, college is where they met that special someone — the person with whom they fell in love and then, quite possibly, lived happily ever after.

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Remembering the Days: The lecture hall that never was

January 10, 2022, Chris Horn

When it was dedicated in 1855, the building we now know as Longstreet Theater was already a disappointment. The audience gathered could scarcely understand what was being said because of the poor acoustics. So how did this echo chamber eventually become the premier stage for live theater at the university? Sound engineering!

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Remembering the Days: The Great Biscuit Rebellion

December 07, 2021, Chris Horn

For much of the first half of the 19th century, students at South Carolina College were not pleased with the quality of food served on campus. In 1852, the wormy biscuits and rancid meat were too much to stomach, so the students issued an ultimatum — that ultimately gave them a case of indigestion.

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Remembering the Days: Remembering Havilah Babcock

November 15, 2021, Chris Horn

He loved fly fishing and bird hunting and wrote numerous tales about both of those sporting passions. And when he wasn't doing those things, Havilah Babcock was in the classroom, a favorite English professor for generations of students at the University of South Carolina.

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Remembering the Days: A natural history stroll across campus

November 02, 2021, Chris Horn

Were there always so many squirrels on the Horseshoe? And how else has campus changed in the past 200 years in regards to insects, birds, snakes and such? Take a stroll with naturalist-in-residence Rudy Mancke to learn what's changed and still changing in the natural world of campus. 

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Remembering the Days: South by southwest, the university's expansion into Ward One and Wheeler Hill

October 14, 2021, Chris Horn

Like other universities across the nation, the University of South Carolina needed more land in the 1960s to keep up with skyrocketing student enrollment brought on by the Baby Boom. In a previous episode, we talked about the campus migration that created the east campus in the middle of the University Hill neighborhood. This episode explores the underpinnings of the campus expansion into Ward One and Wheeler Hill, which were largely obliterated by 'urban renewal' efforts that acquired more land for the university.

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Remembering the Days: Harry Walker, the underdog who won

October 03, 2021, Chris Horn

When students at the University of South Carolina elected a new Student Government president in 1971, the event made national news. That's because, just eight years after the university was desegregated, an African American student won the election, riding a wave of support from white and Black students who were tired of the "establishment" and "the system."

Artist's rendition of ancient buildings made of mudbricks with explosion in sky

A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it

September 21, 2021, Christopher Moore

About 3,600 years ago, a giant space rock exploded in a massive fireball in the atmosphere above an ancient Middle Eastern city. The explosion destroyed the city, killing its 8,000 inhabitants and setting off a massive shockwave that ripped through the city and surrounding areas. University of South Carolina archaeologist Christopher Moore and his colleagues explain for The Conversation how they know how this actually happened near the Dead Sea in Jordan thousands of years ago.

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Remembering the Days: If it ain't swaying, we ain't playing

August 23, 2021, Chris Horn

When the Gamecocks take to the football field every fall, Williams-Brice Stadium roars with the full-throated spirit of 80,000-plus diehard fans, a battalion of marching band members, cheerleaders, baton twirlers and dancers and a hyperkinetic mascot, Cocky. It’s a far cry from the first football game played on the University of South Carolina campus in 1898 when a few hundred fans huddled on simple wooden bleachers beside a field situated where the Russell House Student Union now stands.

archival image of marjorie weber sitting at a desk in education classroom circa 1969

Gamecock family affair

August 23, 2021, Savannah Bennett

Marjorie Weber was a widow in her 40s when she decided to return to college to earn her teaching degree from the University of South Carolina where her late husband had been an education professor. She also served as a starting point for a string of family members attending South Carolina, including a granddaughter and two great-granddaughters, who are current education students. They are among the hundreds of students who follow family members to become Gamecocks each year. 

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Remembering the Days: What's in a name?

August 09, 2021, Chris Horn

Since its inception more than 200 years ago, the University of South Carolina has had three different names and several nicknames. But Juliet was right — that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.