To my fellow Gamecocks,
As my time at Carolina comes to a close, I am reminded of all the great memories we have made together. The past four years have been full of excitement, growth and reflection.
From starting off as a freshman in Columbia Hall to completing my term as your student body president and looking towards graduation in a little over a month, I am overcome with emotion and joy.
Although the world is in a different place than we all expected at the moment, I am thankful for all of the memories we share and lean on the fact that no one or nothing can take away our bond as one Gamecock Family… one Gamecock Nation.
From watching our men’s basketball team make it to the Final Four my freshman year, to our women’s basketball team winning the national championship and excelling at the highest level every year, to our football team beating UGA between the hedges, to watching our students' research help save lives and being ranked number one nationally in so many areas, we have a lot to be proud of.
Running for student body president was one of the most exciting times of my life. Building a campaign team that believed in my vision of making Carolina a better, more inclusive and welcoming place was incredible, but getting to interact with so many of you throughout that process was truly inspiring.
I always said, “It’s not a big deal to be student body president. It’s a big deal to have completed the term having done what you promised you would, while facing adversity well.”
As I reflect on my term, I am confident that we were able to do what we promised, but that doesn’t mean mistakes weren’t made. I am so thankful to have learned from you, to have listened to your concerns and to, in some small way, have helped to make Carolina a better place.
I am proud of the many accomplishments we made together this year. We made our parking more efficient and accessible, we were able to bring underrepresented groups to the decision making process, we renovated much needed space in our library so we can learn in the best environment, we welcomed a new university president and a new university provost — our first African American one in our history, at that — and we stood strong when times were tough.
There was no shortage of crises and stress this year, but the late nights, early mornings and long days paid off. I am so thankful to my incredible team, to our senate, our staff, our faculty, board of trustees and alumni for all they have given to me. The University of South Carolina has given more to me than I can ever give back.
As I start the next chapter of my life as an alum and move on from my undergraduate studies, I will remember you all and Carolina with love and respect. Carolina will always be my home.
Forever To Thee,
Luke A. Rankin Jr.