Grads Celebrate with Parade
Aiken, SC (06/30/2020) — The University of South Carolina Aiken held a Pacer Graduation Parade and Celebration in honor of the Class of 2020.
Students decorated their cars, and families and friends lined the traffic circle on Scholar Loop as grads paraded across campus. As each graduate's name was announced, Dr. Sandra Jordan, chancellor, presented a diploma cover.
"It was so special to me to have the ceremony we had," said McKenzie Bray, an exercise and sports science major.
"It was definitely different than we all thought it would be but special nonetheless."
Originally, the university planned to conduct its annual commencement ceremony May 6, but COVID-19 thwarted those plans. Earlier this spring, the university rescheduled the May ceremony for mid-August, but University of South Carolina System-wide leadership later decided against any in-person graduation events. UofSC Aiken faculty, staff and students planned the parade and celebration as an alternative. Additionally, on May 6, the university claimed the date as Pacer Day and produced a number of virtual recognitions, including a proclamation from the mayor, Rick Osbon, who is also an alumnus.
"I'm honored to be part of a university that continually tried to make sure we were being honored and represented," Bray said.
At the beginning of the event, Darius Ross, an early education major, encouraged his classmates to be Pacer Strong.
A slogan that has become evident for us in this time.
Changes made so swiftly that it seems surreal.
Everything taken out of normality, but..
Remember, we're Pacer Strong.
Stay hopeful for our future.
Today is only the beginning of our journey.
Rejoice in knowing that we are a class of game-changers.
Our future is bright and success if imminent.
Now is our time.
Go change the world; it's waiting on you!
"Class of 2020, remember, we're Pacer Strong," Ross added.
Highlights from the Pacer Graduation Parade and Celebration, including the speech presented by the Outstanding Senior Student, Kelsey Spurlin Yarbrough, can be found at www.usca.edu/parade .