President Pastides' Independence Day statement

July 4, 2014

Independence Day is essential for all Americans. Let's pause this weekend to reflect on the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the revolution that gave liberty to millions who came to our great land.

The values and ideals established by our founding fathers in the Declaration, Constitution and Federalist Papers serve as the foundation for our democracy—a way of life that demands informed and educated participatory citizenship, civil discourse and civic engagement. It is essential that we study their words, learn their principles and allow them to guide us as individuals and as a nation.

Earlier this week, the Movoto Real Estate Blog ranked South Carolina as the most patriotic state in the country—an honor for which all Gamecocks and all South Carolinians should be proud. In our state, we have an opportunity to come together as educators and elected officials to ensure every undergraduate student has the opportunity to delve deeper into the foundational documents of our country. As I wrote earlier this year, USC is proud to be a part of these efforts and I look forward to working with college presidents and our General Assembly to accomplish this goal.