USC Upstate Leaders and Students Leave Their Mark On Carolina Day

January 28, 2022 at 4:29 pm

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie Harris, university leaders and a group of 17 students representing various campus organizations and the Student Government Association traveled to Columbia to participate in Carolina Day.

Carolina Day is an annual event organized by the University of South Carolina that enables representatives, advocates and alumni of UofSC system schools to meet with state legislators, express thanks and garner support for higher education.

Read on for highlights from the trip as well as some anecdotes from Spartans who helped spread the word about what it means to #ReimagineUpstate.

  • USC Upstate student ambassadors met in front of the Admin building at 6:30 a.m. and traveled by bus to UofSC’s Pastides Alumni Center, where representatives from other system schools greeted them. Sparty the mascot made his way through the crowd and mingled with the mascots from other system schools.
  • At about 9:30 a.m. USC Upstate students arrived at the State House and began meeting and greeting legislators. They first met with state Rep. Roger Nutt, R-Spartanburg, and then sat in on a Public Education Committee Meeting that featured S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.
  • SGA President Aronde’ Stewart, ’22, attended a private meeting with Gov. Henry McMaster and other SGA presidents from the eight UofSC system schools.
  • USC Upstate Student Ambassadors had lunch at the Palmetto Club with Dr. Harris and several members the Spartanburg and Greenville County legislative delegations. Students shared their individual stories, including what brought them to Upstate. Then, the students captured some memories at a selfie station.
  • “I’ve had an amazing day connecting with people, including several former and current service members, such as myself,” said USC Upstate sophomore Victoria Sands, a single mother of two, full-time student and member of the National Guard.
  • The students ran into Taft Matney, a native of Mauldin and 1997 USC Upstate graduate.
  • After a long day, the group made their way back to campus, satisfied that they had made a positive impression and exemplified what makes USC Upstate a great place to learn, live and work.
  • “It is essential that USC Upstate is involved in advocacy work like this,” said USC Upstate’s Director of Alumni Relations Charlianne Wyatt Nestlen, ’03. “We hope to grow this event and include more alumni in the future. Seeing our students stand apart in their Green was a moment of pride and really made an impact on the day.”

To view all of the images from Carolina Day, click here: