Parents & Guests

December Convocation Exercises are Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

Table of Contents

  1. Ceremony Tickets
  2. Senior Tradition
  3. Senior Class Gift
  4. Convocation Center Directions
  5. Senior Celebration Brunch
  6. Commencement Information Session
  7. Guest Arrival and Seating
  8. If You Are Bringing Children
  9. Ceremony Etiquette
  10. Unable to Attend? No Problem!
  11. Photos & DVDs
  12. Graduation Merchandise

Ceremony Tickets

For December Graduates

Tickets are not required for the December Ceremony, but each student must complete a Graduation Update Form in order to participate in the ceremony. You must complete the form found at the link below and return it to the Alumni Office in the Pickens-Salley House.


For May and August Graduates

Each degree candidate who has indicated they will participate in the ceremony will receive 8 (eight) tickets.  Tickets will be available in the Pickens-Salley House, between April 19th and May 3rd, from 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.  You must complete the form found at the link below and present the form in person.

Graduate Update Form

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Senior Class Gift

Graduating students have the opportunity to participate in the traditional Senior Gift.

It is a wonderful way to stay connected to USC Aiken while receiving information on career opportunities and other ways to be involved.

With a $25 donation, graduates will receive a Class of 2018 T-shirt, a special gift and one year membership to the Alumni Association. To participate, complete this form and  bring both the form and your donation to the Alumni Relations Office in the Pickens-Salley House.

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The Senior Tradition

Graduates and their guests are invited to participate in the Senior Tradition on Friday, November 30th, 2018, where they can enjoy dinner, great company, and conversation.  Each graduate will also receive a gift to celebrate their graduation.

Tickets for graduates will be $5.00 (this includes admission for themselves and one faculty/staff invite); graduates can purchase additional guest tickets for $10.00.  All graduates who purchase a ticket may invite the faculty or staff member who has made the biggest impact on their college career to join in the celebration!

Tickets for the Senior Tradition are sold at Grad Finale and in the Student Life Office.  For more information, please call 803-641-3634 or email Ahmed Samaha at

Event Details

Date : November 30, 2018

Time : 5:00-7:00pm

Place : Pickens-Salley House

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Convocation Center Directions

Address : 2049 Champion Way, Aiken, SC 29801

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Senior Celebration Brunch

Graduation Brunch for Parents and Family

On Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., the University will host the Senior Celebration Brunch in the Convocation Center Practice Gyms. 

An invitation to this event has or will be sent to graduating seniors and their families from the Office of Alumni Relations. The brunch will give students and their invited guests the opportunity to view the Convocation Center, meet with faculty, and spend part of a very special day together. There will be opportunities for guests to have photos taken of graduates and their faculty members during this event.

Graduates receive a free Brunch ticket.  Additional Brunch tickets are $10 per person ($5 for children ages 2-6). These tickets are purchased in advance from the Alumni Relations Office in the Pickens-Salley House. Space is limited, so please purchase family tickets in advance using any of the below methods:

  • Call the Office of Alumni Relations at 803.641.3408
  • Mail your check (payable to Aiken Partnership) to Alumni Relations - 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801. Please enclose this form.
  • Brunch tickets can be purchased at the Pickens-Salley House on the USC Aiken campus; the address is 471 University Parkway, Aiken, South Carolina 29801.

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Commencement Information Session

On Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 11:30 a.m., immediately following the Senior Celebration Brunch, graduates and their guests are invited to learn a little bit about the Commencement ceremony that night.

This short 20 minute information session will take place on the floor of the Convocation Center and will feature information about photography opportunities, the order of the program, and other relevant information to help make the ceremony as smooth and stress free as possible.  Graduates can also work with the person who will be reading names to make sure his/her name is pronounced correctly.

For more information about this session, please contact Ahmed Samaha, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life, at or 803-641-3411.

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Guest Arrival and Seating

There is one area of the parking lot designated "by invitation only" for members of the Platform Party. Click here to view a map of the parking area.

For May Commencement, all guests need a ticket for entry. If they are bringing children, each child (including babies) must have a ticket as well.

Parents and guests should use the main front doors leading into the lobby.

Guests must be on time and seated no later than 5:45 p.m. The doors to the arena area will close at 5:50 p.m. for the processional. The ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Seating for the Individuals with Hearing Impairments

If a member of your party needs a sign language interpreter for hearing impairment reasons, please contact Ahmed Samaha, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Services, at or call 803-641-3411. A request must be made by November 23, 2018  for an interpreter to be present.

If an interpreter is requested, there will be a special area of the Convocation Center offering unobstructed views of the sign language interpreter. If a member of your party needs to be seated in this section, someone else in your group may accompany that person; however, due to the limited amount of seating in this area, not everyone in your party can be accommodated in this section.

See a map of the Convocation Center with hearing impaired seating

Family and Friends Who Are Unable to Attend

Parents who are unable to attend may send their graduate a special letter or message through our Alumni Relations Office. See instructions for sending a message to a graduate (under "Unable to Attend?).

Family and friends who are unable to attend can still be part of the event by watching a live stream of the entire ceremony. By the evening of May 3, there will be a link to the broadcast on the home page of our website: This live stream will begin about 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

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If You Are Bringing Children

Child Care

Due to limited capacity and licensing restrictions at the USC Aiken Child Care Center, the University will no longer be able to provide child care services during the graduation ceremony. If tickets are required to attend the graduation ceremony, children must have a ticket as well.

Baby Strollers

Baby strollers may not be taken in to the arena area of the Convocation Center since there is little space on the arena floor and because they create a hazard for other guests trying to reach their seats.

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Ceremony Etiquette

Food and Beverages

Food and beverages are strictly prohibited.

Noise Reduction

Please turn off your cellular phones and/or pagers. Cowbells, air horns, whistles, and other loud artificial noise makers are not allowed.

Families are asked to withhold applause or loud celebrations during the announcement of graduate names so that we don’t prevent any family’s ability to hear clearly, and to refrain from using any noise making items or from causing distractions that would prevent others from enjoying the ceremony. We’ll join together to congratulate all of the graduates collectively after all names have been read.

As a courtesy to other audience members, please be aware that sound reverberates in a gymnasium and that even the slightest noise is magnified.  Please keep movement to a minimum.

We respectfully ask that younger children not be brought to the ceremony at all since they can become restless and disruptive. Also, no baby strollers are permitted inside the Convocation Center.


Please do not to step into the aisle during the processional or recessional or rush across the stage in order to take photographs. The marshals will be instructed to send guests back to their seats if they attempt to do this. There will be a photographer taking photos of each graduate during the ceremony.

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Unable to Attend? No problem!

Letter to Your Graduate

Parents who are unable to attend may send their graduate a special letter or message through our Alumni Relations Office. Messages may be sent either through email ( or via US Postal Service using the following address :

USC Aiken
Pickens-Salley House
471 University Parkway
(your graduate's name)
Aiken, SC 29801

Unfortunately we will not be able to deliver items other than letters or cards. Please include your graduate's first name, last name, and middle initial and submit it to the Alumni Office by December 1st. If they will be attending the ceremony, we will make sure it is delivered on the day of Graduation.

Live Stream of Graduation Ceremony

Family and friends who are unable to attend the ceremony can still be part of the event by watching a live stream of the entire ceremony. By the evening of May 9, there will be a link to the broadcast on the home page of our website: This live stream will begin about 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

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During Commencement, professional photographers from Grad Images will take photographs throughout the evening. Multiple individual shots of graduates will be taken during the ceremony, which graduates will have the opportunity to purchase at a later date.  The Alumni Office is pleased to provide a complimentary photograph of graduate which will be mailed approximately 4 weeks after the ceremony/

Additional photos will be available for purchase online at


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Graduation Merchandise

The USC Aiken Bookstore, located in the Student Activities Center, has a number of Pacer and Graduation items available for purchase including: Diploma Frames, Desk Lamps, Desk Sets, Letter Sorters, Bookends, Desk Boxes, Paper Weights, Alumni Coffee Mugs, Alumni Decals, and USC Aiken clothing.

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