Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 11.44.20 PM.png

Allen Wallace photos

It was a long time coming, but the smiles and cheers from the University of South Carolina Class of 2020 said it was worth it.

The university hosted a special recognition ceremony Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium for the graduates, whose in-person commencement was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

Dennis Pruitt, the university’s vice president for student affairs and vice provost for academic support, presided over the ceremony, joking with the more than 800 graduates in attendance that “I am the temporary head of the University of South Carolina for the next two hours.”

“You will forever be known as the COVID Class of 2020,” Pruitt told the group, complimenting their resilience, adaptability and kindness through the difficult times of the pandemic. “Thank you for rising to the occasion.”

2020-21 Graduate Student Association President Maggie Carson and the past two student body presidents, Luke Rankin and Issy Rushton, also spoke.

“Your time is now. Go and make more history,” Rushton told her fellow Gamecocks.

In keeping with university tradition, each graduate in attendance walked across the stage for individual recognition, exchanging a fist bump (with handshakes still discouraged) with Pruitt.

The ceremony was also streamed live online for those unable to attend in person.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.