USCA community “Remembers the Times” during Homecoming Weekend

The University of South Carolina Aiken buzzed with nostalgia and pride as past and current Pacers convened for the university’s annual homecoming celebration on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Spirit Run

The weekend kicked off at 7 a.m. with the inaugural Spirit Run to raise money for the Sandy Rogers and Scotty Richardson Memorial Scholarship. This was USCA’s first 5K/Fun Run in honor of two officers who tragically lost their lives in 2011 and 2012. The event was a fun, family-friendly event for all ages.

"Any race that sponsors a fallen hero, the benefit outweighs the pain of running," said 5K racer Robin McGee. According to Dr. Forrest Anderson, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at USCA, the event raised at least $11,000 for the scholarship fund, which is expected to be awarded in the Fall 2024 semester to one student with an interest in criminology.

Family members of Rogers and Richardson also took part in the race. "Something like this would make Scotty proud. Knowing [the Spirit Run] supports a good cause and benefits someone's education would make him proud," said Ken Richardson, Scotty Richardson's brother.

Jenny Johnson, Roger’s sister, mentioned that Sandy would be glad to know that USCA is giving away the scholarship because she wouldn’t have wanted to be forgotten.

Portrait Unveiling of Chancellor Emeritus Sandra Jordan

Over in the Business and Education Building, Chancellor Emeritus Sandra Jordan returned to campus for the unveiling of her portrait in the Chancellor’s Office Suite. The event acknowledged her contributions to USCA such as the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, the South Carolina National Guard investment, and the Aiken Scholars Academy. “You never accomplish anything on your own,” Jordan said. “You’re always partnering with people and learning from others. We had tremendous partners such as the Savannah River Site, the National Guard, the National Lab, and more.”

The portrait was painted by artist Joseph Daily. “The process was quite unique for me. The original artist, John Walker, who was commissioned to paint the portrait passed away suddenly from cancer,” Daily said. “His wife was kind enough to think of me in connection to the painting and connect me with USCA.” Daily said that he’s immensely grateful for the connection he’s built with Jordan and her willingness to work with him. “I was able to integrate the photos that I took along with the photos that John took and it was a beautiful collaboration.”

Jordan served as USCA’s fourth chancellor from 2012 until 2021. She was also the university’s first female chancellor.

Homecoming Tailgate

Outside the Convocation Center, over 100 individuals assembled for the Homecoming Tailgate, an event hosted by the USCA Black Alumni Council. A melting pot of students, fraternities, and sororities gathered in unity, fostering a sense of camaraderie and fellowship. The occasion was a testament to the authentic spirit of togetherness that defines the USCA community.

During the event, the USCA Aiken Alumni Association presented the Core 4 award receipts. Each year, distinguished alumni are selected to win the award.

Recipients included:

  • Antauwn Wade, 2022 graduate with a degree in Art
  • Deborah Poole, 1989 graduate with a degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Crystal Simpkins, 2003 graduate with a degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Areon Atkinson, 2002 graduate with a degree in Sociology

Homecoming King and Queen Crowned

Crowds cheered at the Convocation Center as the titles of Homecoming King and Queen were bestowed upon two phenomenal juniors. Judson Picket, an exercise and sports science major, and Lauren King, a nursing major, were crowned the 2024 Homecoming King and Queen. The announcement was the highlight of this past weekend's men's basketball game.

For more information, contact Angela Saxon -