Dear Friends,

What a wonderful week this has been. The USC baseball team has brought us a national championship, and they did it in stunning fashion. On Wednesday, thousands of fans welcomed home Coach Tanner and the team. Thursday, the Gamecock flag flew proudly on top of the Statehouse, and today there will be a parade down Columbia's Main Street.

This is not only a great moment in the life of the University, it's also a great boost for the entire state. All South Carolinians can take pride in that the University that bears the state's name has brought back this championship. The character that drove these student-athletes to persevere in the College World Series should be an inspiration to all of us. How exciting that in their fourth trip to the championship game, in the season of Coach Tanner's 1,000th career victory, the Gamecocks won the title in Rosenblatt Stadium's final year.

The team also captured another first place in Omaha, earning recognition for having the highest team GPA among the eight schools represented, and Michael Roth won the Gamecock individual award with a 3.82 GPA. Across Athletics, we are also celebrating our first place standing in the SEC 2010 Spring Academic Honor Roll. The University of South Carolina led the SEC with 109 student-athletes achieving GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

Our baseball victory demonstrates that excellence has become the expectation, not just the dream, at Carolina. In so many facets of student achievement, athletic performance, faculty and staff accomplishments, we are being recognized as one of the top universities in the nation. We look to sustain this momentum and build upon our successes to make all the University's constituents justifiably proud.

I look ahead to the fall semester and to welcoming our record freshman class in Columbia and throughout our eight campuses. For now, let's enjoy this glorious time, and honor our national championship team.

Go Gamecocks!

Harris Pastides
University of South Carolina

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