Class of 2017 Commencement Information

Graduation Gala (Thursday, May 4, 2017)

The Graduation Gala will be held on Thursday, May 4th from 6–9 pm at the Alumni Center (900 Senate Street). Graduates and one guest are admitted free of charge, and you may pick up your two complimentary tickets from Students Affairs beginning April 27th. Additional guest tickets are $25, (children are admitted for free) and will be available for purchase online (a processing fee applies) or at the door (checks payable to USC). Please know we will have LIMITED change so checks are preferable.

There is a parking garage attached to the Alumni Center, while it is not free, it is convenient!

Commencement (Friday, May 5, 2017) on the Historic USC Horseshoe

Graduates are to report no later than 8:00 am to Drayton Hall inside the College of Education (Wardlaw College), which is across from the Horseshoe on Sumter Street. A life-sized statue of a man on a horse is located at the entrance to Drayton Hall. It is important for you to be on time and in full regalia when you take your seat inside Drayton Hall so that you can receive instructions for lining up for the procession and participation in the Commencement ceremony.

See instructions below for inclement weather location for law graduation.

Commencement begins promptly at 9:00 am and will last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Immediately following Commencement, all graduates will assemble on the steps of McKissick Museum at the top of the Horseshoe for the class photo. Please inform your friends and family before Commencement so you will be able to be on time for any celebrations after the hooding!

Commencement Speaker

To be announced!

Parking Suggestions

The Pendleton Street Garage (entrance is on Bull Street) will be available for guests attending Commencement exercises. Guests may park at the metered spaces in the garage at no charge. Please do not park in reserved or handicapped spaces unless you have a permit to do so. Metered City of Columbia parking is available on the streets surrounding the Horseshoe, and those with handicapped license plates / placards may park at City of Columbia meters at no charge. Limited handicapped parking spaces are located behind many University buildings. The School of Law and the University of South Carolina are not liable for any parking fees or citations.

Disability Accommodations

If you have a guest that requires accommodations due to a disability, please email Heather Beatty in Student Affairs by Monday, May 1st. If your guest requires handicapped parking, please instruct them that any vehicle with handicapped license plates / placards may park at City of Columbia meters at no charge. Limited handicapped parking spaces are located behind many University buildings. For your convenience, you can drop your guest off behind McCutchen House (off of Pendleton Street) and then park your vehicle.


The closest restrooms available are located in the Russell House which is located on Greene Street, parallel to the Horseshoe. Law School staff will be on hand to direct guests in need of assistance to an accessible restroom close to the seating area.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, the USC Board of Trustees will notify local media outlets by 4 pm on Thursday, May 4th, if the decision is made to relocate from the Horseshoe. This decision will also be posted to the School of Law website. The Koger Center for the Arts, located at the intersection of Assembly and Greene Streets, will serve as the rain location for Commencement.

Law graduates are to report to the large rehearsal hall on the main level of the Koger Center for the Arts (corner of Assembly and Greene Streets) at 8:00 am in full regalia IF graduation is moved by the USC Board of Trustees. The class photo will be taken immediately following the hooding on the exterior steps of the Koger Center, Greene Street side.

Due to limited seating at the Koger Center, School of Law graduates will be provided ten guest tickets for admission to the Koger Center. Admission to the Koger Center is on a first come, first served basis. Guest tickets for admission to the ceremony will be distributed to the graduates beginning April 27th. Graduates may pick up inclement weather tickets from Student Affairs. The last day to pick up rain tickets is Wednesday, May 3rd. Overflow seating will be available in the School of Law Auditorium with a live video feed of the ceremony.

Municipal parking facilities are located within walking distance of the Koger Center (hourly and daylong rates apply). Limited handicapped spaces are located near the Koger Center for those with handicapped license plates / placards. A drop-off zone on the Assembly Street side of the building which is particularly helpful during inclement weather when guests can drop off and pick up passengers close to the doors. Parking is not permitted in the drop off zone.

Class Picture

The class picture will be taken immediately following Commencement on the steps of McKissick. The class picture will be available for download from the School of Law website.

For informational purposes, the class picture is not a venture of the USC School of Law or the University of South Carolina.

Commencement Timeline