AIKEN, SC (12/20/2017) "This has been an extraordinary year at USC Aiken.
"Once again, we have made a difference in students' lives, contributed to myriad disciplines through scholarship and original research, and deepened connections and partnerships throughout the area.
"Our accomplishments this year are many and include: earning a #1 ranking from U.S. News & World Report -- for the 13th time; contributing to the local economy by pumping more than $281 million into region; receiving numerous honors for our support of veteran and military students; expanding STEM education in the region by hosting 84,000 visitors to the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center; increasing campus safety by dedicating a new pedestrian bridge; expanding student opportunities by adding more academic options; and expanding student understanding of global issues by strengthening our connections abroad.
"During the university's annual Snowflake Serenade to honor donors and partners, Kevin Chuisseu, a business administration graduate student from Cameroon, thanked our donors for investing in USC Aiken students and the university. He is a shining example of our diverse student body, made up of students from 32 countries and 36 states. More than 40 percent of our students are the first in their families to attend college, and 80 percent of our students are residents of South Carolina.
"Kevin mentioned to donors that having an opportunity to attend USC Aiken made his academic dreams come true.
"With that in mind, I want to recognize and thank our talented faculty and staff for their devotion to our students and for their tireless efforts.
"I also want to thank our students for their curiosity and drive, their open minds, and their commitment to learning.
"All of this, together with a powerful sense of community, makes USC Aiken a vibrant place to work and to learn.
"As both this semester and 2017 draw to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish our community a joyous holiday and a peaceful, healthy, and happy new year.
"I look forward to working with the campus community, state legislators, generous donors, business and industry partners, alumni and Pacer supporters to make 2018 USC Aiken's brightest year yet."