Convocation Ceremony

New Student Convocation

Every August, the University of South Carolina invites the new academic class to the Colonial Life Arena for New Student Convocation, a ceremony commemorating your inclusion as a new student at the university.

The Convocation Ceremony

Convocation is defined as the coming together of the members of a group — a formal assemblage. Our new student convocation is the first formal gathering of your academic class and marks a new beginning, a special time for our faculty and students. Convocation opens with an academic procession, led by the student body president carrying the university mace, followed by the Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor of the Year; the provost, who is the university’s chief academic officer; representatives of the university’s schools and colleges; the university’s vice presidents and other members of the university leadership team.

After the hour-long ceremony, attend the reception on the concourse level of the Colonial Life Arena, where you and your friends can personally meet the provost and other university administrators.


students taking a selfie with the president

Student Participation

The primary participants in convocation are you and your classmates, who have come to South Carolina from all over the United States and around the world. Carolina is now your new “home." This day is all about you. Parents are not required to attend, but you may invite your family or friends or anyone with whom you want to share this experience. You will receive an invitation by mail during the latter portion of July. Once you receive the invitation, please complete the RSVP and indicate approximately how many guests will be attending with you.

faculty in academic regalia

Faculty Participation

Faculty are encouraged to RSVP and participate in new student convocation. Faculty are asked to honor this occasion by wearing their academic regalia and processing into the arena to be recognized as a group. As with commencement, faculty will gather in Locker Room No. 3 on the lower level of the arena to robe and then process in. After the ceremony, feel free to mingle with your colleagues and your new students at the reception.

Colonial Life Arena

Location and Parking

If you are on campus, you are encouraged to walk to the Colonial Life Arena. Residence Life staff will be escorting students from their residence halls to the arena. If driving, students, faculty and guests can park in the AD3 lot on Greene Street or find visitor hourly parking by entering the Discovery Plaza Garage on Park Street. Normal hourly garage rates will apply.