USC Salkehatchie has always been proud of its students, particularly those who go beyond what is expected and become true academic achievers. This year, the campus held a special celebration for all academic award and scholarship recipients and the donors who make those recognitions possible. “The idea for the academic reception was twofold,” says Jane Brewer, dean of student services. “First, we wanted to have an event that put our student academic award recipients in the spotlight, not just as a part of the greater commencement exercises.
We felt this was a way to make them the stars of the evening, as the academic awards are such an honor for them. Secondly, we were seeking a way to recognize our scholarship recipients for the coming year, as well as the generous donors who make those scholarships possible.” A total of 46 students were honored at the reception on April 17, 2008, which also marked the awarding of more than $85,000 in scholarships, with additional funds to be granted in the summer months before the fall semester began.
Traditionally, all awards were presented as part of the commencement ceremonies, and scholarships were presented in the recipients’ high schools. In the case of scholarship recipients, that allowed for recognition of new students only. This ceremony provided an opportunity to recognize both incoming freshmen and continuing students who received scholarship funds, in addition to current students who were honored for their academic achievements with awards. Dr. Mark Becker, provost of the University of South Carolina, spoke to the recipients, donors, and guests about the importance of academic excellence and lifelong learning.
He encouraged them not to be afraid of failure and to pursue their dreams and passions. The evening also provided donors an opportunity to meet the recipients in person. Photos of the recipients were taken with their donors and Dean Ann Carmichael. The photos were given as a keepsake to donors. The event was so successful that plans are underway for it to become an annual tradition on the campus.