USC Aiken on Track to Welcome a Record Number of New Freshman

Freshman convocation is Wednesday, August 23 at 9 a.m.

When incoming freshman step onto the USC Aiken campus as members of the class of 2027, they are on track to be the largest freshman class in USC Aiken history.

On Wednesday, August 23, more than 644 students will take the traditional walk from USC Aiken's historic Quad fountain, located in the center of campus, to its Convocation Center for the university's annual Freshman Convocation ceremony. Last year's freshman class totaled 552.

The annual event, which began in 2016, was designed to mimic graduation and help inspire and motivate students to begin thinking about graduation and their future.

While a majority of USC Aiken students hail from South Carolina and Georgia, other top states include North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas, along with students from California and New York. This year's freshman class also includes four international students. Final class numbers will be available in October.

Parking and Other Directions for Media:

Media may park in visitor spaces in the circular driveway at the Penland Administration Building, 471 University Parkway (main campus entrance). The Quad Fountain is located behind the administration building.

Parking is also available at the USC Convocation Center, 2049 Champion Way.

Order of Events:

9 a.m.:Incoming freshmen gather at the USC Aiken Quad fountain located at the center of the main campus, behind the Penland Administration Building, 471 University Parkway.

The processional will be led by this year's highest-ranking freshmen, Keaton Whitney, Graniteville, South Carolina, a graduate of North Augusta High School who plans to major in chemistry, and Mia Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida, a graduate of Tocoi Creek High School, who plans to major in mechanical engineering.

9:45 a.m.:Arrival at the USC Aiken Convocation Center, 2049 Champion Way.

10 a.m.:Freshman Convocation begins. Speakers include:

  • Dr. Thayer McGahee, interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs
  • Dr. Daniel Heimmerman, chancellor
  • Keynote speaker Dr. Brian Parr, professor, exercise and sports science
  • Student speaker Charlton Judson Pickett, Jr., president of the Student Government Association
  • Student speaker Javier Vazquez Escartin, sophomore, exercise and sports science major

11:15 a.m.:Freshman are sorted into schools and colleges, followed by open houses at various campus locations.

1 to 5 p.m.:Special Convocation Day cohort inductions include: Celebrity Pacesetters, Teaching Fellows, Honors Program Students, Veteran and Military Students, Pacer LIFE, and Commuting Students.

For more information, contact Angela Saxon,