Raising a toast to the University of South Carolina
The excitement and spectacle of Gamecock game days are hard to beat when it comes to athletic events. But there are few moments that will make a USC alumnus’ heart swell with pride more than raising a toast to their university as the last line of the alma mater is sung.
Just more than a century ago, in 1911, George A. Wauchope, an English professor at USC, wrote the alma mater’s lyrics and set it to Robert Burns’ “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton.” Ever since, its singing at athletic events has been one of the university’s most revered traditions.
Over the years, it has become custom to raise the right hand, with fingers cupped, as “Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee” is sung, as if offering a toast to the university. It’s an action that unites Gamecock Nation.