USC Upstate Announces Plans For May Commencement

April 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

The University of South Carolina Upstate will award approximately 850 undergraduate and gradudate degrees at its May Commencement on Tuesday, May 2 at 6:00 p.m. on the Quad behind the John C. Stockwell Administration Building. The ceremony will be broadcast live via streaming video on the USC Upstate website.

Mr. William R. “Bill” Cobb, a 1974 graduate of USC Upstate, will deliver the commencement address. Cobb recently retired as the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of J M Smith, a position he held from 1998 to February 2017. He spent the last 41 years with the J M Smith Corporation, a private health care and technology corporation with annual revenues of $2 billion and 1,000 employees.

The University also will recognize Mr. Thomas R. “Tommy” Young, III with an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service for his service to USC Upstate as a supporter and advocate for higher education throughout South Carolina; for his contribution to the local workforce and economic development; and for his dedication in providing leadership to numerous arts, education, health care and service organizations, thus improving the quality of life in Spartanburg. Young, a 1974 graduate of The Citadel, is the chief executive officer of Young Office Environments, which employs 65 people and has annual sales in excess of $25 million. He also serves as the chairman of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education.

“USC Upstate will continue to build a strong reputation of serving as a critical force in fulfilling regional and state workforce needs and serve as a major engine of social and economic development,” said Dr. Brendan B. Kelly, who was appointed as chancellor of USC Upstate  on March 1. “Nearly 85 percent of our graduates remain in the Upstate region to build successful careers and lives, including a high level of civic engagement and community leadership. With nearly 30,000 alumni, the success and the continued growth of USC Upstate is vital not only to the region but to the entire state.”

For more information regarding the May Commencement, please contact Cindy Evans at (864) 503-5985 or visit