Pomp, Pancakes, and Pride

Posted on June 5, 2024 by Marketing and Communications
Marketing and Communications

President Jo Bonner serving Pancakes data-lightbox='featured'
Pancakes with the President has become a much-anticipated highlight of finals week.

THERE’S PLENTY OF POMP and circumstance during Commencement, and not just the timeless composition by Sir
Edward Elgar. The regalia. The ceremonial mace held by the Faculty Senate president. Our new graduates moving their mortarboard tassels from the right to the left after the conferring of degrees.

The entire ceremony is steeped in tradition, and it’s one of my favorite events. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to shake each graduate’s hand and celebrate with them the culmination of years of diligence and sacrifice.

Many of our graduates participate in a relatively new tradition — the decorating of their mortarboards. I especially get a kick out of seeing our Jaguar spirit buttons incorporated.

In this edition of South Magazine, we pay tribute to beloved traditions, other experiences that connect us and the yearly rhythms of living on the Gulf Coast.

For a university just 61 years old,  we’re quite good at creating and celebrating new customs. 

In my interactions with thousands of high school students each year, I proudly offer this truth: The University of South Alabama is big enough to offer all the things a large institution can offer, but small enough — and young enough — to be nimble. At South, you build the traditions.

Our students are the force behind the Battle for the Belt, Junk the Jungle and the annual Oozeball tournament.

Recent additions to the USA calendar include the Jaguar Senior Medallion Awards, which recognize some of the best and brightest of our graduating seniors, along with Pancakes with the President, which gives University leadership an opportunity to serve our students a late-night breakfast during finals week.

A Night Honoring Healers celebrates our USA Health care team and partners, while for nearly two decades the Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards gala has recognized the accomplishments of our alumni and friends.

Altogether, these are some of the things that make us uniquely South. And together, we will continue finding new ways to show what it means to be a Jaguar.

Jo Bonner

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