Students share thoughts on graduation, next steps
The following students were among the 4,958 degree candidates slated for graduation this weekend at USC's Columbia campus.
Andrew Shipes of Lexington, S.C., was wearing Gamecock-patterned pants under his cap and gown as he earned his degree in history. He will start classes again this summer, working on his master’s in teaching, with plans to teach high school social studies.
“Both of my parents went to Carolina. I’m one of those lifelong Gamecocks from Day 1,” he said. “Graduating is a great sense of relief and accomplishment.”
Courtney Marsh from the Isle of Palms, S.C., a South Carolina Honors College student, received her degree in biology. She plans to attend medical school.
“The Honors College is a small school in a big school. They’re my family,” Marsh said. “I liked being grouped with students who are so academically driven and engaged. These are students who have a passion for learning in and out of the classroom.”
Her classmate, Collin-Jamal Smith from Charlotte, N.C., had a similar experience in the Honors College. He will head to medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I was accepted to Ivy League schools, but I came here,” Smith said. “I’ve been very well prepared.”
Morgan Weaver of Lamar, S.C., earned her degree in broadcast journalism. She said the highlight of her education at USC was the senior semester broadcast practicum. “It helped me learn what I want to do and gave me that hands-on experience I needed,” she said.
What will she miss most about Carolina? She didn’t hesitate before answering: “The student section for football games. Nothing comes close.”
Lyvonne Jones from Anderson, S.C., received her degree in anthropology from the College of Arts and Sciences. Her plans include earning her paralegal degree and a master’s in legal studies.
“I started at Clemson and I hated it. I came here and I loved the campus. All of the teachers were really helpful,” Jones said. “I loved it here.”
Kelsey Werder of Raleigh, N.C., earned her Moore School of Business degree in management and marketing. She’ll be heading to Charlotte, N.C., for a management training job with retailer Kohl’s. She said there was never any doubt where she would go to school – both of her parents are USC alums, and her sister is a freshman at Carolina.
“I’m going to miss the people here so much,” she said. “It’s unreal. It feels like we were just freshmen.”
Jerrod McGee from Maysville, S.C., earned his degree in biology. He plans to take a year off from school before attending pharmacy school in 2013.