Instructions for the Ceremony

Graduate Information & Instructions

Commencement is a time for celebration and reflection. In an effort to keep order and safety for graduates, faculty/staff, and guests, we ask that you read the information provided and follow the instructions. 

April 30th & May 1st, 2021
Recreation Center, Bluffton Campus
One University Blvd, Bluffton, SC

****Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, everyone attending 2021 Spring Commencement must wear a face covering that completely covers the mouth and nose.

Commencement Girl Smiling

Faculty/Staff Instructions & Information

Commencement 2021. With space restrictions in place, each Commencement ceremony will be attended by the Provost and Dean as representation for the Faculty.

Guest Instructions & Information

We are delighted you plan to join us to celebrate your graduate's accomplishments.  Captioning is available when viewing the streamed version of the ceremony online via your personal handheld electronic device. Please access the streamed version via the commencement website. Public wifi is available on campus during the ceremony and in the Sand Shark Recreation Center. A limited number of handheld electronic devices are available for use. Graduates should email no later than April 2, 2021 to request one.

The University of South Carolina honors each degree candidate’s accomplishment by reading their name, as they listed it, during the Commencement ceremony. Each student is personally greeted by the Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

During the degree conferral, each degree recipient’s family and friends would like to hear their graduate’s name read as they cross the stage.  Please hold your applause until the last name is read.  Guests will have a special time to celebrate their graduate’s achievements after the last name is called. In keeping with the solemn nature of the ceremony, guests are asked not to bring or use noisemakers.  Disruptive guests may be asked to leave the ceremony.

University of South Carolina Alma Mater

You may want to review the alma mater, because you'll be singing it with the Chancellor before you walk across the stage.

When the chancellor closes the ceremony following the awarding of all degrees, the audience is asked to rise for the singing of the first verse of the Alma Mater after which the platform party will recess.  The Alma Mater is always sung with heads uncovered.  The tune is Flow Gently, Sweet Afton.

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.

"We Hail Thee Carolina"   

We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise;   
With loyal devotion, remembering the days,   
When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be; 
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!
   Since pilgrims of learning, we entered thy walls
   And found dearest comrades in thy classic halls;   
We've honored and loved thee as sons faithfully; 
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!   
Generations of sons have rejoiced to proclaim   
Thy watchword of service, thy beauty and fame   
For ages to come shall their rallying cry be; 
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!  
 Fair shrine of high honor and truth, thou shalt still   
Blaze forth as a beacon, thy mission fulfill;   
And crowned by all hearts in a new jubilee; 
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

"We Hail Thee, Carolina" was written by  Professor George Wauchope 
of the English Department in 1911 and was adopted as  the Alma Mater in 1912.