August 2017 Message from the President

August 2017 

Dear Students, 

Greetings from YOUR University of South Carolina! I hope you've been enjoying the summer and are also looking forward to the new academic year. 

Those of you who are incoming freshmen might feel differently than returning students this summer ... asking yourself, "When will this summer end so I can start college?" This is the last time you will feel that way about the summer months! Our returning students know how quickly time passes during their college years. 

I urge you to set your goals high and to measure success not only by whether you did or didn't achieve them, but to also allow yourself credit for getting close to a goal that was set with a high bar.


Anyone who has participated in scouting is familiar with the motto, "Be prepared." Indeed, preparation has always been key to my own personal success. It's helpful for one to be intelligent, creative and experienced, but I've found that careful preparation and good work habits are just as essential to success and fulfillment. 

Part of your preparation for the year ahead should include setting a specific set of goals. I urge you to set your goals high and to measure success not only by whether you did or didn't achieve them, but to also allow yourself credit for getting close to a goal that was set with a high bar. For example, at USC we have a Dean's List but we also have a President's List. While being listed on either is quite impressive, why not set your goal at the highest level? 

Another goal that I would like you to consider next semester is to get to know at least one of your professors extremely well. You could do this in a number of ways. For example, you could ask if you might assist with her or his research. In addition to getting to know them, you might learn something in-depth about an interesting topic. It might also serve you well later on, particularly if you need a strong letter of reference someday. It may surprise you to know that I am still in touch with quite a few of my former students from my days as a full-time professor. I have had the opportunity to see many of them grow as persons and as professionals and occasionally I even receive pictures of their families. I cherish these contacts and hope that you also will cultivate some faculty relationships with your USC professors. 

Of course, in the end, your goals must be your own, not mine, but I advise you to make them explicit. A good overarching goal would be to make this upcoming year the best one in your life. It's all within your grasp but it's unlikely to "just happen." You have to make it happen. 

Our exceptional staff members across campus have been working hard all summer in preparation for your return.


I know you are particularly well-prepared to have a great time outside of the classroom as well. Our exceptional staff members across campus have been working hard all summer in preparation for your return. They are planning events for you to enjoy or participate in throughout the year. We'll have exhibitions, plays, art, music and dance performances, lots of important guest speakers and, of course, a full year of sports programming. We're extremely excited about our fall sports — including our football opening day in Charlotte on September 2. But don't forget about volleyball, men's and women's soccer, equestrian as well as swimming and diving. later in the semester, I hope you will join me at the Colonial Life Arena as we raise a banner celebrating our Men's Final Four and Women's National Championship teams. 

Finally, Mother Nature is planning to herald your return by providing a total solar eclipse which will be seen directly over our campus. What a welcome! So enjoy a few more moments with your friends and family before heading to the University of South Carolina for the fall semester. Patricia and I are excited to welcome you back and especially happy to greet and meet our new freshmen and transfer students. We love being part of the Carolina family and I know you will find a home away from home right here on our historic campus. Take care. We'll see you soon. 

Go Gamecocks!   

Harris Pastides