USC Aiken formally inducts the Class of 2027 during Freshman Convocation

Hundreds of new freshmen gathered around the historic quad fountain at the University of South Carolina Aiken on Aug. 23 as they awaited their official induction into the Class of 2027.

The more than 600 students started their official introduction to campus with the traditional walk from the quad fountain to the Convocation Center for the annual Freshman Convocation ceremony. The event, which began in 2016, was designed to inspire and motivate students before the school year starts.

As part of the event, Dr. Brian Parr, professor of exercise and sports science, addressed the students, "To make the most of this experience you need to make the most of this opportunity."

Parr also mentors undergraduate students in exercise science research."This is your best chance to get out of your comfort zone and try new things," he said.

Chancellor Daniel Heimmermann and Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Thayer McGahee also gave remarks along with Student Government Association President Judson Pickett Jr.

"The most successful students are the ones that ask for help," McGahee said.

Javier Escartin, a sophomore majoring in exercise and sports science who hopes to eventually pursue a career as a physician's assistant, was one of the keynote speakers, "As a student I encourage you to strive towards your goals and make our community better."

Alli Bishop, a freshman nursing major from Saint Louis, Missouri, said, "My whole family works in health care. I've always had a passion for taking care of people."

Molly Davis, also a freshman nursing major, said she chose her major because she loves anatomy and USC Aiken's nursing program.

Rory Schuler, a freshman biology major, said she hopes to make an impact in the medical field. Schuler and Bishop are also athletes on the women's volleyball team.

The ceremony ended as the freshmen were divided into their schools and colleges to learn more about their majors. They also had the opportunity to purchase textbooks, receive their student IDs and parking passes.

USC Aiken classes started on Thursday, Aug. 24. 

For more information, contact Angela Saxon,