During President Pastides' Leadership:
One-third of all current alumni received their degrees.
The South Carolina Honors College was named best in the nation.
The student body grew to more than 51,000, up 25 percent since 2008.
The university became the fourth-fastest-growing flagship in the nation.
The African-American graduation rate has risen to more than double the national average, better than 97 percent of universities nationally.
Financial awards for student scholarships and fellowships increased more than 80 percent, to $400,000.
The university entered partnerships with Boeing, Fluor, IBM and Siemens to drive innovation and create jobs.
The university produced more patents annually than 99 percent of all universities in the world.
The university was named one of the top 100 employers in the United States by Forbes.
Freshman applications reached a record high of more than 38,000.
A capital campaign successfully raised $1 billion, and the university's endowment increased 81 percent.
The Darla Moore School of Business earned the No. 1 ranking for undergraduate international business every year.
As the flagship public university for South Carolina, UofSC makes its presence known in the Palmetto State — and with 100,000 degrees awarded during Pastides' tenure and a $5.5 billion economic impact on the state, how could it not? A study on the impact of higher education on the state of South Carolina indicated a $25 return to the state's economy for every dollar invested in higher education. In addition, the University of South Carolina and its alumni drive the state's economy by supporting nearly one in every 35 jobs in South Carolina.
The university was also named one of the top 100 employers in the United States by Forbes, which might help explain why UofSC's faculty seems to get better every year.
47 nationally ranked programs
As the fourth-fastest-growing flagship university in the nation, USC serves more than 50,000 students across eight campuses and boasts 47 nationally ranked academic programs, more than any other university in the state. And now, more than at any time in Carolina's history, people are taking notice.
The South Carolina Honors College has been named the nation's best in "A Review of Fifty Public Honors Colleges," and the Moore School of Business' international business programs have perennially been named No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report. Carolina is one of only 32 public universities to receive both the top-tier research designation and the community engagement designation (Carnegie Foundation), and it's ranked the No. 22 public university for delivering work-ready graduates (The Times Higher Education Global Employability Ranking). In addition, the university has 17 nationally ranked health sciences programs (U.S. News & World Report) and is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 4 in the world for sport science (Shanghai Ranking of World Universities).
Most academically prepared
With multiple campuses across the state, including Palmetto College's four campuses and online degree completion program, access to the university is more flexible than ever, and that has led to a 10,000-student surge in system enrollment since 2008.
The Columbia campus has seen its freshman class grow from 3,800 in 2008 to more than 5,800 in fall 2018, and applications have soared from under 15,000 in 2008 to more than 30,000 in 2018. The record-sized freshman classes arriving these past few years are also among the most academically prepared. Average SAT scores for the freshman class have improved from 1191 in 2008 to 1275 in 2018.
Bigger and better
Despite a severe recession that affected the nation for several years, UofSC has grown at an impressive clip over the past decade under President Pastides. Indeed, Columbia campus enrollment has risen from 27,488 in 2008 to approaching 35,000 in 2018. Enrollment systemwide has risen from 41,518 to nearly 52,000 during the same period. The steady increase in the student body put Carolina in fourth place among the fastest growing flagship universities nationally, according to the Washington Post.
But the university's growth over the last 10 years is reflected in more ways than just the size of the student body. The Columbia campus, in particular, has seen its footprint widen with the opening of several new buildings, including the Darla Moore School of Business, the School of Law, the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, the new Alumni Center and the Football Operations Center (currently under construction). Campus also benefited from multiple large-scale renovation projects, including the former Arnold School of Public Health building on Sumter Street, which became the new home of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
The university's place among the top 3 percent of universities graduating African-American students (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education) is the result of impressive achievements over the past decade. African-American freshmen enrollment has risen 43 percent at USC Columbia since 2016, with a further increase of nearly 20 percent this fall. The university's African-American graduation rate is 75 percent — more than twice the national average (35 percent) and up 17 percent over the past decade. USC has achieved these outcomes through an array of scholarships and programs, including the Gamecock Guarantee, Opportunity Scholars and RaiseMe, which are focused on first-generation and low-income students.
The Student Success Center provides peer tutoring, one-on-one academic coaching and mentoring programs, while Carolina's acclaimed University 101 program helps new students successfully transition to the rigor of college. In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is dedicated to developing campuswide diversity strategies. Since 2013, the university has commemorated the 50th anniversary of its desegregation, placed prominent markers on campus noting the contributions of enslaved craftsmen who built much of the historic corridor of buildings and erected a statue of the institution's first African-American professor.
It's been a decade of success for USC students competing for the nation's top fellowships and scholarships: more than 60 National Science Foundation research fellowship recipients, 66 Fulbright Student Scholars, 45 NOAA Hollings Scholars and so on. Add in a 2017 Rhodes Scholar plus two Truman Scholars and two Gates Cambridge Scholars, and you have an enviable list of successful student scholars, all of them assisted by USC's Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs.
With its three most prestigious scholarships — Carolina Scholars, McNair Scholars and Stamps Scholars — USC attracts some of the nation's best, most well-rounded students, and their presence draws another tier of top scholars. Together, many of them compete for top national scholarships, bringing further attention to the opportunities available at Carolina.
Partners in research
USC has a long history of partnering with industry on vital research, and the past decade has seen a number of important collaborations. Not long after it opened, the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research inked a sizable research contract with Boeing to conduct materials research, and faculty members and staff continue to work with other aerospace firms.
The university also made a deal with IBM to create what has become the Center for Applied Innovation, where university, IBM and private sector researchers — including Fluor Corporation — will use technology for a host of real-world applications. Initial projects include developing ways to enhance and personalize tools in higher education, make aircraft more reliable and supply chains more efficient. A recent gift of software and hardware, valued at more than $620 million, from the German conglomerate Siemens is giving the College of Engineering and Computing the tools to take its digital manufacturing design to new levels, while also giving students hands-on exposure to leading-edge technology.
Faculty members at Carolina have been making a difference in the laboratory since the 19th century, but the past decade has seen significant research in virtually every field, from the health sciences to aerospace. Stroke research in the School of Medicine and Arnold School of Public Health has improved treatment and recovery outcomes in South Carolina, and the CarolinaTIP program, administered through the College of Education, is helping retain S.C. teachers in their critical first years in the classroom.
Data analytics-based research programs in public health, engineering, computer science and nursing are focused on improving HIV medical care for the state's vulnerable HIV-positive population, making military helicopters safer and providing better hospital care to prevent costly and needless readmissions.
The university has also enjoyed a spike in sponsored awards funding, which rose from $206.1 million in 2008 to $258.1 million in 2018. Record levels of federal awards were achieved in 2014, 2015 and 2016. USC has been among the top 1 percent of patent-producing universities in the world every year since 2012.
One of America's Best
What does the University of South Carolina have in common with Costco, Google and recreational equipment retailer REI? They're all ranked prominently in Forbes' most recent "America's Best Employers."
Thirty thousand workers offered their opinions about their employers and other companies/institutions they would recommend outside of their own. After their responses were compiled by the research firm Statista, Carolina emerged in the top 100 employers — the only Southeastern Conference university on the list. Chalk it up to a beautiful campus and that garnet-and-black pride.
With more than 320 degree options, "best value" rankings in Kiplinger's, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and Money, and the No. 1-ranked international business programs in the nation, USC is a first-choice destination for many students. Add in an exciting array of student clubs, SEC sporting events and leadership development opportunities, as well as the On Your Time program, which makes it easier to graduate in four years, and it's little wonder so many prospective students were interested in vying for one of the 5,800 spots in the Class of 2022.
To accommodate that interest, USC has announced plans to demolish several aging residence halls in the coming years and replace them through a public-private partnership development called Campus Village. The project will provide on-campus housing opportunities and amenities for a larger portion of the student body.
With a little help from 137,000 friends
Carolina's Promise, the first $1 billion capital campaign in state history, publicly launched in November 2011. Though some thought the goal was too ambitious, President Pastides felt the Carolina community was ready for the test. Guided by the university's strategic plan, the campaign zeroed in on seven key areas: quality, leadership, innovation, diversity, access, global competitiveness and community engagement.
By the time the campaign ended in 2015, nearly 137,000 donors put the $1 billion campaign more than $43 million beyond its original goal. "Together, we have accomplished something that very few universities nationwide have ever done," President Pastides said. The successful campaign no doubt improved the bottom line on the university's endowment, which grew from $425.1 million in 2008 to $770.7 million in 2017.
No. 1 for a reason
The Darla Moore School of Business' international business program has been synonymous with excellence for nearly 30 years. Now ranked No. 1 in international business at the graduate and undergraduate levels by U.S. News & World Report, the Moore School offers other business degree programs that are highly sought after, including operations and supply chain management, accounting, finance, marketing, management, economics, real estate, and risk management and insurance.
The Moore School has remained competitive by consistently maintaining a rigorous curriculum and progression standards. The school has recently dialed up requirements for all business majors to take additional courses in data analytics, while offering a certificate in analytics at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2014, the school moved to the campus' west corridor, where its Platinum LEED-certified building stands as a testament to the university's commitment to sustainability.