Welcome back, USC! Here are 5 new things you’ll spot on campus this fall

·2 min read
Tracy Glantz/tglantz@thestate.com

As University of South Carolina students flock back to Columbia for the new semester, there are five new things Gamecocks will notice this fall.


Michael Amiridis is USC’s 30th president. Amiridis began his new role in July after being chosen unanimously by the board of trustees. He previously served as chancellor for the University of Illinois Chicago, but before that, he had worked at USC for more than 20 years as a professor, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing and university provost.

The president completed his leadership team with J. Rex Tolliver as the new vice president for student affairs and Michelle Dodenhoff returning to the university as vice president for development.

Williams-Brice Stadium upgrades

Gamecock fans will also be greeted with bold new LED lights at William-Brice Stadium at the football season opener on Sept. 3. The garnet and white lights are only a piece of a series of renovations at the stadium.

Russell House makeover

Russell House, USC’s student union, received a makeover while students were away. Along with modernizing the building’s aesthetics — including flooring and furnishings — the building also has a display celebrating the union’s history and founders.

The union is now home to Gamecock Park, a revamped dining hall on the second floor. Open to all students, faculty and staff regardless of meal plan, it has seven stations ranging from sandwiches to international cuisine. Gamecock Park will have enough seating to accommodate nearly 300 people.

The bookstore in Russell House was updated, too, and now has a larger apparel section.


Gamecocks are invited to two new events this fall.

USC will take over the Columbia Fireflies’ home stadium Segra Park on Aug. 25. Amiridis, USC’s mascot Cocky, football players Jordan Burch and Austin Stogner and the women’s basketball team will be in attendance.

The university will host the Paint the Town Garnet and Black homecoming block party at the Five Points Mural Lot on Oct. 28. Attendees can look forward to food, live music, games and more.

Library collections

USC’s library collection expanded over the summer. Hootie & the Blowfish fan Rick Noble donated a boatload of the band’s memorabilia — including ticket stubs, T-shirts and an autographed guitar — to the university where the band was formed in 1986.

Cara Wilson-Granat gave USC approximately 100 cards and letters she received from Otto Frank, the father of famous diarist Anne Frank. The correspondences discuss antisemitism, racism and the civil rights movement.

These items are housed at the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library and the university’s Anne Frank Center, respectively.