The University of South Carolina Upstate will hold its Convocation Honoring December Graduates on Tuesday, December 13 at 3 p.m. at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. The University will award degrees to 445 graduates.
“USC Upstate is committed to fulfilling regional and state workforce needs and thus the university is a major engine of social and economic development,” said Interim Chancellor Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, who is the first woman to serve in this role. “The university offers many degrees that help students to transition easily to careers in the Upstate region, which is extremely beneficial to these graduates, most of which remain in the Upstate region.”
According to Fitzpatrick, USC Upstate is situated in one of the fastest growing regions of our state with a strong industry presence, which employs a vast majority of the 26,500 citizens who earned degrees from the University.
“The success and the continued growth of USC Upstate is vital not only to the region but to the entire state,” said Fitzpatrick.
USC Upstate will present the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Todd Horne who earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2005. He is vice president of business development at Clayton Construction Company, Inc. where he identifies and develops relationships with industry professionals to generate new business opportunities. Clayton Construction is a commercial construction company that specializes in turn-key construction projects in the Southeast.
Horne was hired to expand the company’s focus by seeking out clients in the private sector: retail groups, large industrial enterprises, health care and churches. Clayton Construction has been named one of the fastest-growing in the state, with 32 employees and record revenues of $43 million in 2015 – up from about $8 million when Horne joined the team.
In addition to his role with the construction company, Horne took a leadership role with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. He set a personal goal to achieve the position of chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors before he reached age 40. In 2016, Horne managed to fulfill his dreams of leading the Chamber at the young age of 33. Horne, working alongside Chamber President Allen Smith, put a youthful spin on leadership in Spartanburg, and showed potential residents and businesses that Spartanburg is a city on the rise. Serving as chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce has afforded Horne the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses throughout the Spartanburg community.
Horne is actively involved with the Spartanburg West Rotary, Hub Bub, Ten at the Top, and the USC Upstate Alumni Association. Horne has received numerous awards including Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year, Leadership Spartanburg Emerging Leader Award, Leadership Spartanburg Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year.