COLUMBIA, SC – A new chapter of leadership has begun today for the University of South Carolina after the formal installation of President Michael Amiridis during a moving ceremony at the University’s Koger Center in Columbia, SC.
Dr. Amiridis was officially named the university’s 30th president back in January of 2022. He began his official duties in July.
“I am honored and humbled to serve as 30th president of the historic and excellent University of South Carolina. Thank you to all who have shared their congratulations and support on the occasion of my Investiture today”, he posted on Twitter after today’s ceremony.
Special guests participating in the investiture ceremony included South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster; Archbishop Elpidophoros of America who offered the invocation; Mark Becker, President of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities; and Robert Jones, Chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and vice president of the University of Illinois System.
In his speech, Amiridis outlined his vision for the university and highlighted the role of higher education in finding novel solutions to local and global challenges.
“I aspire for USC to be known nationally and internationally as one of the cradles of academic innovation of our times”, Amiridis said. “We will demonstrate the ability and willingness to innovate in all our operations -innovate in the way we teach and mentor students inside and outside the classroom; innovate in our research and scholarship efforts; and innovate in the way we finance and conduct our operations”.
Since beginning at USC, Amiridis has prioritized enhancements to the student experience, hosting a day-long event last fall where hundreds of students shared their thoughts on the future of the university. He has also placed a renewed emphasis on high-impact research, including in the health sciences, and supporting innovative academic offerings that position students for future career success.
Prior to his tenure as President of USC, Amiridis served as chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), which he had successfully led since 2015. Prior to his leadership at UIC, Amiridis spent more than two decades on the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus, serving as a professor, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, and the university’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost before leaving for Chicago.
As provost from 2009 to 2015, he worked alongside former university President Harry Pastides.
Amiridis, 60, was born in Kavala, Greece and was recognized by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as a Great Immigrant in 2022. He earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 1985 and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991.
He and his wife, Ero Aggelopoulou-Amiridis (MS, ’97, PhD, ’11), have two children, Aspasia (BS, ’19) and Dimitri (BS, ‘22).