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The information contained in this guide is important for your participation in Commencement Exercises; it should not be construed as evidence that degree requirements have been met. Please read this information thoroughly and share relevant information with your guests.
GRADUATION APPLICATIONIn order for a degree to be granted, students must complete the following:
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VIP Degree candidates are urged to check their Application for Degree or Certificate information available on VIP.
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USC Upstate will honor our May 2015 graduating class (those graduating in May or August) with commencement exercises on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 6:45 p.m. outdoors in the quadrangle (located behind the Stockwell Administration Building).
We expect the convocation to last approximately ninety minutes. USC President Harris Pastides and USC Upstate Chancellor Thomas Moore will preside at convocation.
TICKET REQUIREMENTS - SEVERE WEATHER POLICY
USC Upstate hosts May Commencement outside on the quad and does not regulate the number of guests graduates may invite. However, in the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium and tickets will be required. Therefore, graduates MUST pick up tickets in case of inclement weather.
If the ceremony is moved indoors, the time would remain the same and would begin at 6:45 p.m. Graduates would report no later than 5:30 p.m. to the arena of the auditorium. The decision to implement the severe weather plan will be made by 12:00 noon the day of commencement.
Due to the size of our graduating class, students will receive will three (3) tickets for the auditorium and two (2) tickets to the arena (the lower level of the auditorium). The auditorium tickets provide a live viewing of the ceremony. The arena tickets provide guests a video of the ceremony.
TICKET PICK-UP INFORMATION
Inclement weather graduation tickets at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium will all be General Admission seating. Each graduate will be issued a set number of tickets. Lost tickets cannot be replaced. All persons attending must have a ticket.
STUDENT RECOGNITION AT GRADUATION During the exercises, degree candidates will be asked to stand by row and approach the platform. Marshals will assist the degree candidates during this portion of the event.
Students will hand their name card to the marshal who will in turn hand the card to the announcer. As the name is read, the candidate will walk across the platform and be greeted by President Pastides, Chancellor Moore and the dean of his/her school/college. All degree candidates will return to their seats and are expected to remain seated until the ceremony is concluded. back to top
NAME PRONUNCIATION Each degree candidate will find a name card on his/her assigned seat. The announcer will read the degree candidate's name from this name card. The announcer is typically a faculty member. If a degree candidate anticipates that his/her name may be mispronounced, he/she may write the name phonetically on the top of the name card. The degree candidate will carry this name card to the announcer during the degree candidate recognition portion of the commencement exercises.
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May commencement is a time to celebrate your educational efforts; however, in keeping with the idea that this should be a dignified ceremony, we will conduct a formal graduation. Please adhere to the following guidelines.
Degree candidates will be seated in reserved seating located directly in front of the platform/stage. University faculties will be seated in reserved seating, along with honored dignitaries and special guests. The platform party will be seated on the rose garden terrace in May. All other guests will be able to seat in the unmarked rows behind faculty, students and special guests.
DEGREE CANDIDATES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The University of South Carolina Upstate wants to ensure that all degree candidates may participate in the May commencement exercises. Degree candidates who have special needs, including mobility impairments due to health conditions, or who are unable to walk moderate distances are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services at 864-503-5199 no later than April 1 for commencement.
For questions regarding handicap parking and seating, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 864-503-5199.
GRADUATING WITH HONORS
Honors will be based on the final cumulative grade point average on all collegiate work. The following designations indicate a consistently high level of academic achievement through the student's entire academic career.
Diplomas of those students who achieve honors will be sent to the printer to have the award posted and mailed to the graduate as soon as they are available. Students who have questions about honors must address these concerns with the Records Office prior to the day of the ceremony. Please refer to the USC Upstate catalog for additional information or call the Records Office at 864-503-5220.
HONOR CORDS, STOLES AND MEDALLIONS
Degree candidates are permitted to wear honor cords, stoles, and/or medallions representative of various honor or service societies authorized by the University of South Carolina Upstate. Degree candidates who are eligible to wear honor cords will be contacted by his/her school/college prior to the day of the ceremony.
Diplomas will not be distributed during the commencement exercises.
ANNOUNCEMENT CARDS AND INVITATIONS
Commencement announcement cards and personalized invitation cards may be purchased in the University’s Bookstore. Your announcements and/or invitations should be mailed early so your guests will receive them two weeks before your ceremony. For information on how to purchase announcements/invitations cards, you may visit the University Bookstore; telephone them at 864-503-5167; or visit their Web site.
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Caps, gowns, tassels, and academic hoods may be purchased in the University’s Bookstore. For information on how to purchase caps, gowns, and tassels, you may visit the University Bookstore; telephone them at 864-503-5167; or visit their Web site.
Professional, multi-camera commemorative videos that will include the individual recognition of each degree candidate, will be available for purchase through the Office of Media Services. For more information, or to order, you may wish to contact TeresaTruesdale at 864-503-5564, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professional photographers will photograph each degree candidate as he/she is greeted by Chancellor Moore. Complimentary photograph proofs will be sent to the degree candidate at his/her permanent address approximately 30 working days after the commencement/convocation exercises. Additional photographs may be purchased upon receipt of the proof. No prior arrangements are necessary for this service; all degree candidates will be photographed during the ceremony. There is absolutely no obligation to purchase any photographs. Families and guests will not be permitted on the event floor for photographs during the ceremonies.
There will also be a professional photographer available to take still cap and gown photographs of the degree candidates on this special day. This photographer will be located in the lobby of the G. B. Hodge Center from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Grad Images at (800) 261-2576.
When the Chancellor closes the commencement exercises following the awarding of the degrees, the audience is asked to rise for the singing of the first verse only of the Alma Mater. The words of the song were penned by Professor George Wauchope of the English Department in 1911 and were adopted in 1912 and are printed in the commencement program. The tune is that of Flow Gently, Sweet Afton. "Here's a health, Carolina!" is a phrase which is repeated in Carolina's Alma Mater. Over the years, the custom has arisen of raising the right hand, with the fingers cupped, when the phrase "Here's a health, Carolina!", occurs, as if offering a toast. The Alma Mater is always sung with heads uncovered.
Transcript requests must be in writing and signed by the student to whom the record belongs. To obtain an official transcript of your University of South Carolina Upstate academic record, you may send a written request to the Office of the University Registrar, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208-0001 or FAX 803-777-6349. You may also download the Transcript Request form online. Please include your name, student ID number and last term of attendance. There is an $8.00 charge for each copy. Please also be sure to request that we mail your transcript after your degree is posted.
Your academic dean will verify that all graduation requirements have been met and approve your graduation. If you request that your transcript be held until after your degree is posted, it will be mailed as soon as the approval is received from your academic dean, your current semester grades are recorded and your degree is posted. According to University policy, transcripts will be held if all financial obligations to the University of South Carolina are not properly satisfied. If you think you may have an unsatisfied debt, telephone the Financial Services Office at 864-503-5335.
The University of South Carolina Upstate Alumni Association is a service organization established by the University to promote the interests of the institution and to develop and maintain a close bond between the University and its alumni. As you pursue life and career opportunities, USC Upstate encourages you to be an active member in the USC Upstate Alumni Association.
Your membership is FREE and offers many campus privileges. As an alumnus, you will have access to career services, alumni directory, the library and a one year membership to the wellness center. You will also receive our Upstate Magazine and invitations to special alumni activities and events.
At USC Upstate, we make a special effort to reach out to our graduates wherever they are. To be proactive with your future, stay connected with us by updating your contact information through our web site and becoming a member of our Online Community.
The Career Center serves as a comprehensive career information center providing programs to enhance the career development of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. You may wish to telephone the Career Center at 864-503-5392, or visit their web site.
If you have any questions regarding the commencement exercises, you may wish to telephone the University Registrar's Office at 864-503-5220, visit the Office of the University Registrar's website, or read the graduation Frequently Asked Questions.
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of USC Upstate. Comments or Complaints?