May 29, 2012
Launch Parties Unify Carolina
Carolina’s Promise Parties Unite Alumni, Friends in 28 Cities Worldwide
Live from CBS Television Studios in Los Angeles May 10, President Harris Pastides
prevailed upon alumni and friends in 28 cities to “pull out all the stops” in their support of Carolina’s Promise.
Under an iconic Hollywood sign “that represents ambition and success,” Pastides called the location “the perfect metaphor for Carolina’s Promise,” the most ambitious capital campaign in the University’s history. Carolina’s Promise now exceeds $557 million, its ultimate goal of $1 billion more visible by the day. The campaign will transform the University by delivering unprecedented levels of student support, faculty support, program support and enhancements, capital projects, and research initiatives to Carolina.
Pastides gave a shout-out to Gamecock Nation alumni and friends in 27 other cities—across eight Carolina campuses from Aiken to Columbia to Union, in cities coast to coast including New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and San Diego—and “to our Gamecock faithful in Santiago, Chile.” Launch Party guests were united by the ability to greet others using social media, and by the campaign’s shared vision: to create new educational opportunities, advance discoveries, and improve lives at home and globally.
“We promise to advance the stature of the University and its programs without compromising the warmth and positive University culture that we’ve become famous for,” the president said. “And we’ll never turn our backs on those who need an education the most.” The University’s ability to keep a top-notch Carolina education accessible and affordable depends on Carolina’s Promise, he added, which means enhanced efforts to “pull out all the stops, to ramp up the level of excitement, and to help us reach our goal of $1 billion.”
After the President's speech the audience was wowed with a live performance from USC Lancaster graduate Julie Roberts '99 rendition of her hit song "Sweet Carolina".
Leadership Opportunities: A Major Campaign Focus
The ability of Carolina’s Promise to advance student and faculty leadership opportunities of benefit to communities locally, regionally, and globally was a centerpiece of Launch Party presentation.
Carolina’s Promise Campaign Committee Chair David T. Seaton, ’84
, who is CEO and chair of Fluor Corp. in Irving, Texas, said Carolina’s Promise will succeed through donor investment that intersects the University with areas of future growth. These areas, which include President Pastides’ campaign initiatives on Leadership, Energy, Biotherapeutics, Aerospace, The Rule of Law, and P-20 Education, will require bold visionaries in order to succeed—the kind Carolina is known to produce.
“Isn’t that true of what our University is all about,” Seaton offered, “producing the leaders of tomorrow in disciplines and areas that collectively are focused on improving the quality of life all of us will enjoy today and well into the future?”
“It’s time for all members of the Gamecock Nation to come home and support Carolina’s Promise,” Seaton added.
Lee Bussell, ’82
, president of the My Carolina Alumni Association, said a “more inspired and stronger University leadership today” is placing an unprecedented effort on building “practiced leaders.”
“It’s just not good enough to educate; we’ve got to be able to create the leaders that not only take this institution forward within our local communities, but within our state, nation, and on a global basis.”
Bussell lauded his alma mater for creating a new program that starting next year, will require all incoming students to practice leadership skills along one of four pathways: research and discovery, peer and professional engagement, community engagement, and global engagement. “This leadership edge gives a degree from the University of South Carolina an added value for students, parents, and our communities.”
Social Media: Positive Comments on Launch Parties Abound
At Launch Parties within each of the 28 cities where Deans, University representatives, and My Carolina Alumni Association presidents greeted guests, opportunities were also given to participate by entering “likes,” comments and photos on the Carolina’s Promise Facebook page. Many took advantage of the opportunity, adding the positive wrinkle of social media to the events.
A Facebook post from former Student Body President Andrew Gaeckle, ’09
, International Studies, read: “Wonderful DC Launch Party for Carolina’s Promise last night at the National Press Club. Thank you (School of Music) Dean Tayloe Harding for being with us and all the Gamecocks who came out with their support.” Gaeckle is president of Washington’s My Carolina Alumni Club.
A post from a supported dubbed “Houston Gamecock” offered: “We had an awesome party in Houston with (South Carolina Honors College Director of Development) Chappell Suber Wilson and (Darla Moore School of Business) Dean Hildy Teegen! So proud to be part of Gamecock Nation and a groundbreaking campaign.”
From the USC-Beaufort campus, Gail Barbee Ankney wrote: “USCB is happy and proud to call Carolina home! USCB supports the promise! Do you?”
- Larry Di Giovanni Development Communications