503 Graduates to Receive Degrees from USC Upstate

December 14, 2017 at 4:44 pm

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, the University of South Carolina Upstate will award 503 degrees at its Convocation Honoring December Graduates, which serves as a reminder that USC Upstate is a major regional partner for Spartanburg and the entire Upstate.

“These new alumni, of which seven are earning master’s degrees, will fulfill regional and state workforce needs further cementing USC Upstate’s role as a major engine of social and economic development,” said Chancellor Brendan B. Kelly. “Nearly 80 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.”

An economic impact study conducted by University of South Carolina’s Darla School of Business and released this summer showed that USC Upstate contributed $506 million to the state’s economy, a 30 percent increase from $388.6 million in 2011. Among the eight campuses in the USC System, USC Upstate had the second-highest economic impact in the state behind Columbia ($4.16 billion). In 2017, the University’s contribution to wages and salaries stood at $161.9 million, and the total number of jobs (associated with the measured economic activities) was 4,996.

According to Kelly, “USC Upstate boasts the highest percentage of graduates who continue to live and work in South Carolina among peer institutions in the state, and the vast majority of our alumni live and work in the Upstate. And it is no wonder. Once equipped with the higher education credentials that allow an individual the mobility to move around the country, and weighing the notion of leaving a region like the Upstate of South Carolina, which has growing industry and economic opportunity, and a community like Spartanburg, which is being consistently enhanced by the convergence of community leadership, it is no wonder our graduates seek to make their lives in this incredible place.”

Tuesday’s graduation ceremony will have an especially patriotic element to it as the University, which was designated a Military Friendly Campus in 2016, recognizes 13 active-duty / military veterans and five military dependents among its graduates. In addition, three graduates who are receiving bachelor’s degrees will take the Oath of Office and be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Army. The new officers include Dylan James Bridgeman of Spartanburg, who will go active-duty infantry before becoming a military intelligence officer; and Rachel Elizabeth Clark of Ridgeway and William Daniel Gosnell of Duncan, will be commissioned as active-duty nurses.

“Each of these candidates has demonstrated over the past four years not only the qualities, values and dedication that will make them great officers, but they have excelled within their academic majors, represented the values of this University within the Upstate and beyond, and used their time here well to prepare themselves for the challenges that they will soon face,” said Lt. Col. Albert Yonkovitz, professor of military science for the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program at USC Upstate.

The Convocation Honoring December Graduates will be at 6:45 p.m. at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.