It is not every day the president of the United States stops by for a visit.

South Carolina State University is making sure all the details are accounted for and ready for President Joe Biden’s visit on Friday morning. He’ll address S.C. State’s graduates.

Security will be tight around the city and on campus during the president’s visit.

“We are indeed beefing up security and working with the Secret Service to secure the campus,” S.C. State spokesman Sam Watson said. “Certain areas on and around the campus will not be accessible to the public.”

“Campus access will be limited to the Magnolia Street gate, and only ticket holders and approved guests will be allowed on the campus,” Watson said. “There will be metal detectors and other screening technology involved.”

Watson said a public advisory will be sent out regarding the details closer to the president’s visit.

Traffic flow around and near campus will also most likely be adjusted. Details about how traffic will be affected are pending, Watson said.

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Because the president is expected to arrive just before and depart immediately after graduation, the university does not have any other special events planned.

“Since President Biden confirmed his visit last week, numerous members of S.C. State’s administration, faculty and staff have been working closely with the White House advance team to ready the campus for his arrival,” Watson said. “Much of the work has been done by our facilities management and public safety teams.”

“The process has necessitated the relocation of athletic practices and games, adjustments to parking and campus entrances, additions to the commencement program, changes to the layout of Smith-Hamilton-Middleton Memorial Center, and coordination between various departments,” Watson said.

“The White House advance team has been extremely informative and accommodating in guiding us through the requirements and staffing for President Biden’s visit,” Watson continued. “We want to make this an unforgettable event for our graduates and their families.

“They have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges to make this day possible. President Biden’s willingness to give them his time and attention is greatly appreciated.”

Outside of security, Watson said the university is sprucing up its grounds.

“The campus grounds crews have been working diligently since last week to prepare for graduation,” he said.

Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said the county is ready to assist the city, S.C. State and the Secret Service with any county resources in any way needed for Biden’s arrival.

The sheriff’s office and emergency services have been notified and are ready to help when called upon to do so.

“We will fully support South Carolina State,” Young said. “Whatever they need, we will be willing to work with them.”

Young noted Biden’s visit is a big deal.

“Thankfully, the president saw fit to come to Orangeburg County and be a part of the graduation festivities,” Young said. “Anytime a figure of his stature comes to the county, it puts a spotlight on us and we are taking advantage of that as we try to recruit industries and individuals to call Orangeburg County their home.”

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