Important Dates in USC Aiken History



  • The Aiken County Commission for Higher Education is created by the South Carolina General Assembly. Francis Townsend is named the first chairman.
  • The University of South Carolina Aiken is founded. The campus is housed in the historic Banksia mansion in downtown Aiken. Chris Sharp serves as the first director.



  •  Bill Casper is named the second Director of the Aiken campus.



  • Robert Penland is named chairman of the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education.



  • The campus receives accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees.
  • The first associate degrees were awarded in June 1968.
  • The South Carolina Legislature authorizes a bond issue to purchase a new site for USCA.



  • The Aiken County Commission for Higher Education purchases property from the Graniteville Company for a new campus location.



  • The first building on the new campus, the administration/classroom building, opens its doors to students. The Double Knot sculpture by Charles Perry is placed in the building's open courtyard.
  • A $400,000 gift from the Gregg-Graniteville Foundation and the Swint Foundation establishes the Gregg-Graniteville Library.  It was the largest contribution ever made to a library in the state at that time.



  • The USCA Alumni Association is founded, with Mike Graybill as the first president.



  •  The Gregg-Graniteville Library was completed in 1975.



  • The Student Activities Center opens its doors to students. It includes a gymnasium, bookstore and food services facilities.



  • USCA is fully accredited as a senior college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and given authority to award baccalaureate degrees.
  • The estate of Cecil and Virginia Etherredge provides a gift of $1.25 million to USCA, which is later used for construction of the Etherredge Center.



  • Classes are first held in the dedicated classroom building (now named the Humanities and Social Sciences Building).
  • Construction is completed on the Operations/Maintenance Building.



  • The Aiken Partnership, an affiliate of the USC Educational Foundation, is created to guide fundraising efforts for USCA, with C. Marshall Cain as the first chairman.



  • Chancellor Bill Casper announces his retirement.
  • Robert E. Alexander is named Chancellor of USCA.



      •  An addition to the Gregg-Graniteville Library is completed, doubling the size of the facility



      •  Pacer Downs opens to provide campus housing for USCA students.



      • The Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts was completed.



      • Opening night at the Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts features Metropolitan Opera star Roberta Peters.
      • Gasper L. Toole III is named the Chairman of the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education.
      • The historic Pickens-Salley House is given to USCA by Ronnie Bolton and moved to the campus.
      • USCA celebrates its silver anniversary.



      • The Academy for Lifelong Learning is established to offer educational opportunities to senior citizens in the area.
      • USCA's athletic programs join the Peach Belt Athletic Conference in the NCAA Division II.
      • The Sciences Building is dedicated.
      • The Children's Center was completed.



      • Local students and teachers enjoy the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center's new facility.



      • The Business and Education Building is completed.
      • USCA begins offering its first master's degree, in elementary education.



      • The DuPont Planetarium begins offering programs to local schools and the community.
      • The USCA campus expands to 453 acres through a donation/purchase from the Graniteville Company.



      • The estate of Vernon and Wava Ford creates a $1.25 million endowment for scholarships.



      • The Natatorium is added to the Student Activities Center.



      • USCA is listed in U.S. News & World Report's College Guide as a top three public liberal arts college in the Southeast.
      • Construction is completed on the Alan B. Miller School of Nursing Building.
      • The administration/classroom building was renamed the Robert E. Penland Administration and Classroom Building.
      • The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center was expanded by 30,000 square feet.



      •  Dr. Thomas L. Hallman is named the third Chancellor of USC Aiken.



      •  Robert Hernandez Baseball Stadium is dedicated.



      • Pacer Commons student housing complex is dedicated
      • USCA Golf Team wins NCAA Division II National Championship and repeats this accomplishment in 2005 and 2006.



      • The USCA Convocation Center is dedicated.



      • Pacer Crossings student housing complex, designed for freshmen, is dedicated.



      • USCA Chemistry Professor, Dr. Chad Leverette, named South Carolina Governor’s Professor of the Year.



      • USC Aiken celebrates its 50th anniversary.
      • Dr. Thomas Hallman announces his retirement at the 50th anniversary celebration.



      • Dr. Hallman retires.
      • Dr. Sandra Jordan becomes USC Aiken's fourth chancellor and the university's first female chancellor.



      • Investiture ceremony held officially installing Dr. Sandra Jordan as Chancellor