National commercial features USCL

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The Native American studies program and the Catawba pottery collection at the University of South Carolina Lancaster is getting some coast-to-coast exposure.

It is being featured as one of three segments in a national television commercial for the University of South Carolina that is getting airplay during Gamecocks sporting events. It is also broadcast during “The Steve Spurrier Show.”

The commercial is part of the “This is Our USC” campaign that highlights higher education opportunities at the eight USC regional campuses. 

USCL Dean Dr. John Catalano said he has gotten phone calls from Texas and New York about it.

“The best part is USCL leads off,” Catalano said. “Thank goodness we have a university president who understands the value of and promotes our USC campus system.” 

The commercial includes footage of the USCL pottery collection and professor Stephen Criswell, director of the Native American Studies Program and associate professor of English, along with students Chandler Baxley, Donald Kirkley, Adriana Gonzalez, Khori Hunter and Beckee Garris.

Garris, 64, who is a nontraditional student at USCL, also works for the Catawba Indian Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Office. 

“That program is the reason I’m there to start with,” Garris said. “It’s nice that USCL has taken the lead and initiative to start the first Native American studies program in the state.”

The USCL segment was filmed June 20 near the campus picnic shelter. 

USCL holds the world’s largest collection of Catawba Indian pottery, along with the largest grouping of Native American archival materials within South Carolina. 

Garris said the commercial has gotten a positive response from members of the Catawba Indian Nation.

“I’ve been surprised by the number of people who have seen it,” she said. 

To view the video, visit the USC Lancaster Web site at http://usclancaster.sc.edu.