Preparing for Graduation

For December Graduates

Tickets are not required for the December Ceremony, but each student must complete a Graduate Update Form in order to participate in the ceremony. You must complete the form and return it to the Alumni Office in the Alumni House (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 Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House). You must complete the Graduate Update Form and present the form in person.

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 2019 T-shirt, a special gift and one year membership to the Alumni Association. To participate, complete the form below and bring both the form and your donation to the Alumni Relations Office in the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House).

Graduate Update Form

On Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m., the University will host the Senior Celebration Brunch in the Convocation Center North Practice Gym.

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 Alumni House (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 Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House) on the USC Aiken campus; the address is 471 University Parkway, Aiken, South Carolina 29801.

On Thursday, December 12, 2019 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 Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 803-641-3411.

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.

The Graduation Ceremony


There is one area of the parking lot designated "by invitation only" for members of the Platform Party.

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.

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 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.

If a member of your party needs a sign language interpreter for hearing impairment reasons, please contact Ahmed Samaha, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 803-641-3411. A request must be made by November 15, 2019 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 showing location of hearing impaired seating

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 December 12, 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.

Parents who are unable to attend may also send their graduate a special letter or message through our Office of Parent and Family Relations.

Parents who are unable to attend may send their graduate a special letter or message through our Office of Parent and Family Relations

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 Office of Parents and Family Relations by December 5, 2019. If they will be attending the ceremony, we will make sure it is delivered on the day of graduation. Submissions after that date are not guaranteed to be delivered.

Families can email the message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send via US Postal Service to:

Parent and Family Relations
Your graduate’s name
USC Aiken SAC Room 158
471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC  29801 

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.

During Convocation, 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