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USCL provides an ‘educational awakening’

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Walt Collins

Late last year, the University of South Carolina Lancaster archivist posted on the USCL Facebook page a 1963 clipping from The Lancaster News.

Mrs. T.W. Boyce urged the citizens of Lancaster to support the continued growth of the four-year-old extension of USCL by donating money for the construction of Hubbard Hall.

In her brief yet convincing appeal, Mrs. Boyce mentioned the contributions of community benefactors associated with Springs Industries. She noted all of the good those individuals and that organization had helped bring about in this community, and that, true to form, Springs helped put “the college campaign over the hump.”

She suggested at the end of her article that the newspaper run a pledge card so that all can give something as a show of support for the community’s “educational awakening.”

Mrs. Boyce, an educator, had the foresight to understand the value and the potential of what was unfolding in Lancaster. She added, “A college education – the magic key that opens the door to a better life – is no longer just something to be dreamed about, but a delightful and challenging reality to all who seriously seek it.”

It would have been difficult in the early 1960s to imagine the physical plant we delight in today. The narrow parcel of land between S.C. 9 Bypass and Hubbard Drive cradles the heart of a campus which exists to better the lives of those who come here to study and grow.

And while we prepare to cut the ribbon and dedicate the brand new Founders Hall next month – it, too, a testament to community generosity and the promise of better futures – we understand clearly that the university is powerless to change lives without the dedication and excellence of its past and present faculty and professional staff.

Through their efforts and guidance students’ lives are enriched, lessons are taught and support is extended. USCL’s transformative power remains anchored in its people.

When classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 21, USCL will mark its 56th year of service in our region. It goes without saying that we are proud to occupy a new classroom and faculty office building.

In addition to our longstanding associate degree offerings, students now have their choice of seven bachelor degree completion programs available locally through Palmetto College, a collaboration of all of USC’s campuses.

USCL faculty and staff members are dedicated to the highest ideals of academic excellence and service. Students benefit from personal interaction with faculty whose primary focus is classroom instruction.

Moreover, our smaller campus affords students leadership and development opportunities that students often find less accessible at larger schools.

This year USCL students will have opportunities to hear visiting authors, travel while earning academic credit, participate in collegiate athletics, provide community service, perform with our award-winning theatre program and so much more.

These extracurricular and extramural experiences are vital components of a well-rounded education.

In the words of Mrs. Boyce, USCL continues to offer that “delightful and challenging reality to all who seriously seek it.”

Walt Collins is dean of the University of South Carolina Lancaster