Instructions for the Ceremony

Graduate Information & Instructions

Graduation 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. 

Spring 2024 Commencement
April 26th, 2024 @ 5:30pm
Library Plaza, Bluffton Campus
One University Blvd, Bluffton, SC


Graduates should arrive approximately 1.5 hours and no later than 60 minutes prior to the start of their ceremony. Graduates should arrive wearing their cap and gown on. Specific check-in information will be provided as we get closer to Commencement.

Group of Attendees

Faculty Instructions & Information

Spring 2024 Commencement. Faculty that wish to join the procession during the ceremony of their corresponding major will be provided with check-in instructions and location closer to the events. Faculty needing to rent regalia should reach out to Kenyatta Porterfield at the Shark's Cove Campus Store.

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 10, 2024 to request one.

The University of South Carolina honors each degree candidate’s accomplishment by reading their name, as they listed it, during the 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

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.