Benedict College and the University of South Carolina are celebrating homecoming week this year with a series of events welcoming graduates back to campus and raising some money in the process.
Benedict kicked off its celebration Wednesday with a concert sponsored by its Student Government Association.
A welcome reception is scheduled for tonight at 7 at the Radisson Hotel. General admission is $40.
USC's festivities open at 6 p.m. today with Cockfest at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature fireworks; the university's mascot, Cocky; cheerleaders; and performances by the USC dance team, as well as several local bands.
Both schools have a series of events scheduled Friday.
Tammy Johns, Mrs. United States 2009 and a USC graduate, will serve as the grand marshal for the university's homecoming parade, which starts at 2 p.m. Friday.
The university noted, in a press release, that the steps of Longstreet Theatre, located at Sumter and Green streets, offer the best views of the dozen or so student-built floats, the cheerleaders and the marching band.
Here is a list of activities:
- The Carolina Alumni Association and the university will honor five alumni at a homecoming party and gala set to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Carolina Metropolitan Convention Center. Tickets, available at MyCarolina.org/homecoming, are $39.
- USC's Young Alumni Council and the Black Alumni Council will meet at the Carolina Ale House on Lady Street in the Vista from 7 to 9 p.m. That event is free.
Benedict's Friday events include:
- An 8:15 a.m. breakfast with students and alumni at the David H. Swinton Campus Center.
- The 15th Annual LeRoy Walker Invitational Golf Tournament, sponsored by Benedict's Athletics Department, starts at 7:30 a.m. at the LinRick Golf Course on Campground Road in Columbia.
- From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Benedict alumni have been invited to tour the campus and participate in Alumni Career Day.
- Benedict's Alumni Awards and State of the College luncheon is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel on Bush River Road. General admission is $40.
- A food and wine tasting program is scheduled at Southern Wine and Spirits of South Carolina from 5 to 7 p.m. on Richard Street. The event is invitation-only and limited to donors who contribute $10,000 or more to the school.
- A $45 per ticket jazz benefit is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel on Bush River Road, the same location where, three hours later, a Young Alumni Dance is scheduled. General admission for the dance is $20.
Benedict's schedule includes:
- An 8 a.m. President's Breakfast at the Swinton Campus Center, which is by invitation only for donors who have contributed at least $1,000
- A homecoming parade along Sumter Street from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- A $20 tailgating party at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium from noon to 2 p.m.
- The 2 p.m. football game between Benedict and Fort Valley State University. Advance tickets cost $25; game day tickets, $30.
- A 7:30 p.m. homecoming step show is scheduled at the HRC Arena. Tickets cost $15.
- Lakeside Band and The Delfonics headline a concert scheduled from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Radisson on Bush River Road. Reserved seating is $40, with general seating at $50.
USC's Saturday schedule includes:
- A game day celebration for alumni and their families at 4 p.m. at the National Guard Armory. Tickets cost $15 for Carolina Alumni Association members and $25 for nonmembers. Tickets for children 10 and younger cost $8.50.
- The Black Alumni Council's annual tailgate party at 5 p.m. at Bernie's on Bluff Road. Tickets are $10.
Many of USC's colleges and schools are hosting separate events, with details available at homecoming.sc.edu.
Benedict will hold a homecoming worship service at 11 a.m. Sunday at Antisdel Chapel on campus.
The school's gospel choir will headline a homecoming concert at Bible Way Church on Atlas Road at 6:30 p.m. That concert is free and open to the public.