From Beak Flaps to a Bachelor’s Degree

During the final Commencement ceremony this past weekend, one biomedical engineering graduate was wearing slightly different footwear than those around her.

Sarah Sylvester ’23 donned the iconic Cocky feet during Saturday afternoon’s Commencement ceremony, revealing to her peers and the world that she portrayed the beloved mascot. You may have seen this video of her energizing the crowd and jumping upon the rostrum:

Her routine to “Also sprach Zarathustra,” the theme of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and the tune played before players’ entrances at Gamecock football games, has received over 2.5 million views on social media and counting. The video was also featured on ABC World News with David Muir — giving Sylvester and USC national attention.

Traditionally, the identity of Cocky is a closely guarded secret and not revealed until commencement day. The graduates wear the mascot’s feet as they walk across the stage and perform one last time as our favorite Gamecock.

You can read all about Sylvester’s journey as a student and Cocky in “Cocky: Out of the Box” on

Cover image by Madison Shull Photography

Forever To Thee.

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