Well known for its academic excellence, Winthrop continues to gain national recognition for its support of research and education initiatives. In 2010-11, the university garnered more than $7.8 million in federal funding to support biomedical research projects, provide academic support for students, and train educators and school administrators. Major grants awarded include:
Academic Success Center
With support from the $350,000 Focusing on Undergraduate Success (FOCUS) grant, University College established the Academic Success Center. The center offers students peer tutoring, individual/group study space and academic/time management skill development. Approximately 548 undergraduates utilized the center's services during the spring semester and more than 100 students during the summer sessions.
The Richard W. Riley College of Education will become a model for educator preparation with Network of Leaders for Equity, Achievement, and Development (NetLEAD). Funded by a five-year, $3.7 million U.S. Department of Education School Leadership Program grant, NetLEAD establishes a network to connect Winthrop with rural, high-need school districts and other educational agencies to offer continued professional development for teachers and improve student academic achievement in partner districts.
Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators
The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education won a major grant, $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation, to train math and science educators for high-need areas. WISE engages teacher candidates at Winthrop as well as transfer students from York Technical College, with support from the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement and seven high-need districts in six South Carolina counties.
As part of SC-INBRE (the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence), a network of academic institutions working to enhance biomedical research infrastructure, and SC-INBRE II, Winthrop netted $2.6 million in federal support from a $16 million grant to 10 S.C. universities and colleges. With these federal funds, Winthrop has worked to increase the number of faculty members and students conducting biomedical research.
Collaboration and service have been key components of Winthrop's educational mission since the university opened its doors. Winthrop has retained its commitment to service, teaching its students the value of forming community partnerships and giving back. Valuable partnerships in 2010-11 include:
Hunger Project and Community Garden
Winthrop focused on combating hunger with the York County Hunger Project, a service-learning initiative that involved serving meals to children and seniors; building art structures out of donated canned goods; and completing a six-mile hunger advocacy walk. Back the Pack, a project to collect/pack food for elementary schoolers, caught the attention of TV chef Giada De Laurentiis, who shot footage of the project for her Food Network show "Giada at Home" in spring 2011. Winthrop student organizations also worked with Rock Hill groups to plant the Rock Hill Educational Community Garden in February 2011.
Winthrop University Galleries' fall 2010 retrospective, "Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond," brought the late Winthrop educator's work to the Rock Hill community and into local classrooms. Fine arts faculty members Greg Schauble and Mark Hamilton designed an educational website to complement the exhibition. The permanent website contains art, S.C. history and general history components that Rock Hill District 3 K-12 teachers can work into their curriculum.
Winthrop Transition to College
Winthrop launched the WTC program in October 2010 to provide new opportunities for Rock Hill and Fort Mill high school students with intellectual disabilities. Funded by a $155,000, three-year College Transition Connection grant, WTC allows high school students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities to interact with their Winthrop peers in recreational and academic classes, work part-time jobs on campus, and participate in campus clubs and organizations.
Shakespeare Carolina at Winthrop
In July 2010, inventive classical theatre company Shakespeare Carolina and Winthrop's Department of Theatre and Dance formed a partnership, Shakespeare Carolina at Winthrop, to bring classical theatre to Rock Hill. Chris O'Neill, the theatre company's artistic director and the Department of Music's technical director, worked with theatre and dance faculty and students to produce versions of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" and "The Tempest" in summer 2011.
In 1886, David Bancroft Johnson successfully petitioned Boston philanthropist Robert C. Winthrop and the Peabody Fund for seed money to form a school for the training of teachers. This year the campus community commemorated Winthrop's 125 years as an educational leader in South Carolina with:
The 2010 Heritage Tree
Standing as a campus landmark for decades, Tillman Hall's Southern Magnolia became South Carolina's 2010 Heritage Tree. Each year, Trees, SC honors a different historic tree that evokes great community spirit.
The traditional welcome for freshmen, Convocation, ushered in Winthrop's 125th academic year. Keynote speaker Edward Lee '83, associate professor of history, looked back at the New South created during the era of Winthrop's birth when visionaries like David Bancroft Johnson focused on the future of the region.
Medal of Honor
During this ninth year for Medal of Honor in the Arts, the most prestigious award presented by the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the university honored Joanne Lunt, emeritus professor of dance; Alf Ward, emeritus professor of art and design; and Hazel '69 and Murray Somerville, church musicians and music directors. The award also was bestowed posthumously on David Bancroft Johnson, recognizing his commitment to the arts program as part of his lasting legacy.
Teams of Distinction
The January Teams of Distinction ceremony, a unique way to honor 15 teams who achieved milestones in their sport, celebrated decades of Winthrop athletics. Hosted by the Athletics Hall of Fame committee, the event attracted nearly 300 to honor the selected former student-athletes. NCAA President Mark Emmert delivered the keynote address and emphasized that intercollegiate athletics is about providing talented and skilled student-athletes with the support to be successful in life.
Teaching students about other cultures is a Winthrop tradition dating back to the school's early days. Today's Winthrop experience focuses on turning students into global citizens who can navigate an interconnected world. Learn more about recent efforts:
Global Learning Initiative
As part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation process in 2011, Winthrop created an initiative to integrate global learning across the university's general education program. Called the Global Learning Initiative, it will help students develop global knowledge, attitudes and engagement. The five-year plan also will encourage study abroad experiences and provide for more cultural events that allow students to see different local, national and international cultures.
Nantong University Agreement
Winthrop and Nantong University officials signed a 10-year articulation agreement this spring to continue offering Chinese students a chance to earn a Winthrop degree in accounting. Winthrop professors travel twice a semester to China to teach a total of four courses per year to aid students in the transition. The first class of 27 students graduated in May with a bachelor's degree and 15 will stay to earn their M.B.A. degrees.
To create a more diverse student body, Winthrop encouraged growth in its international student enrollment. This fall, a record 180 students from 36 countries attended classes, while in the spring 200 students from 38 countries were on campus. The largest majority, 62 students, came from China, followed by Saudi Arabia and Canada. International Center officials encourage bringing a wide mixture of perspectives to campus to help Winthrop bridge cultural gaps among students.
Winthrop's beginnings came by way of a $1,500 donation from a generous Peabody Board of Directors, and the university's loyal alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students and donors continue that founding philanthropic spirit today as they provide transformational support through numerous contributions to a variety of endowments and scholarships.
During the 2010 calendar year, Winthrop was honored to receive the following gifts at the leadership level ($10,000 and above) in support of new or existing projects and funds. For more information about all the leadership gifts received, please view the Honor Roll of Contributors at www.winthropalumni.com/honorroll.
- The Richard W. Riley College of Education received an anonymous $600,000 gift designated to support local literacy programs. The donors, a Rock Hill couple, intend for the gift to enhance current literacy programs as well as support developing new literacy programs through curriculum and program development, student research assistance, and book and software purchases.
- Cecelia "Cece" Stewart '93 committed $250,000 to be split into two funds supporting Winthrop currently and in perpetuity. The first fund, the Cecelia Stewart Endowed Scholarship, will honor students who show academic promise and improvement over time, with first preference given to business majors. The second half of the gift is unrestricted, meaning the Winthrop community can use the gift to support priority projects immediately.
- A new scholarship will provide support for outstanding junior and senior history majors thanks to a $100,000 commitment from Larry Carroll and Vivian Moore Carroll '73. The Fred Hembree History Scholarship honors Larry's cousin, Fred Hembree '80. The Carrolls have challenged other donors to support the scholarship by promising to match gifts up to $50,000 per year over the next three years.
- Winthrop received nearly $1 million in scholarship support from two realized planned gifts. The Dr. E. Cooper Bell Scholarship will support students pursuing medical degrees through the pre-med program thanks to the more than $326,000 from the estate of Dr. Ella Cooper Bell '34. The Anne Moss Biggs Endowed Scholarship will provide scholarship support to students, with first preference given to non-traditional students, courtesy of the more than $600,000 gift from the estate of Anne Moss Biggs '35.
- Board of Trustees member Karl Folkens '78 established the Karl Folkens Scholarship for Study Abroad Opportunities through a gift of real estate. An active member of Winthrop's Model United Nations as a student, Folkens intends for the gift to provide scholarships and travel stipends to students who wish to study abroad but are not able to due to financial need.
Athletics has long been central to Winthrop's campus life. The early days of field hockey, swimming and bicycling paved the way for the university's 17 championship-caliber Division I sports programs as well as more than 20 clubs and intramural sports teams. Student-athletes continue to give standout performances in their sport of choice, in the classroom and in the community. Athletic highlights in 2010-11 include:
Women's Tennis Championship
For the fourth-straight year the women's tennis team captured the Big South Conference championship, the program's ninth title in the last 10 years. The strong performance of Conference Player of the Year Yasmine Alkema helped lead the Lady Eagles to their most recent NCAA tournament appearance where they faced Vanderbilt University.
The 2010-11 academic year turned out to be a milestone year for student-athletes as they achieved the highest cumulative GPA in at least 15 years and compiled a 3.0 GPA for both the fall and spring semesters for the first time in school history. In addition, Winthrop had the highest percentage of student-athletes in the Big South Conference who earned recognition on the prestigious Presidential Honor Roll list for the 2010-11 academic year. The university placed 146 of its 239 student-athletes on the Presidential Honor Roll - one of five full-time conference members to have at least 50 percent on the list. The percentage is the highest ever for Winthrop and marks the first year since 2006 that the university's student-athletes have ranked at the top of the conference honor roll list.
For a third consecutive year, Winthrop Athletics won the Big South Conference Kallander Cup Challenge. The Kallander Cup was created in 2006 to engage student-athletes from all confernece schools in a year-long fundraising project for charity. This year, Winthrop earned the award for its efforts in collecting more than 1,200 pounds of soap and personal care products for Soap for Souls. Winthrop's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) also raised $425 which was used to purchase toiletries that were distributed to local charities and shelters. SAAC was honored with the award in 2009-10 for its efforts in gathering 2,400 pairs of shoes for Samaritan's Feet and in 2008-09 for performing 1,856 hours of community service.
From our humble beginnings in a borrowed one-room building in Columbia, S.C., Winthrop has grown into a 425-acre campus with contemporary facilities that maintain a traditional feel, creating environments for interactions among the campus community. Highlights of campus development in 2010-11 include:
DiGiorgio Campus Center
When the 128,000-square-foot DiGiorgio Center opened in August 2010, it brought the heart of Winthrop to Scholars Walk. It quickly became the epicenter of campus life, providing student organizations with space to plan, grow and hone their leadership skills, as well as offering the entire community a place to gather, relax and actively participate in the campus conversation. The center houses student life staff offices, a post office, and other hotspots such as the Winthrop University Bookstore, Dina's Place theatre, Markley's food court and Starbucks™.
Hardin Family Garden
Anchoring the south end of Scholars Walk is the Hardin Family Garden, completed in spring 2011, and made possible by the late Patricia "Patz" Carter '69 and her husband, Ray. The Carters' gift named the space for the Hardin family, individuals important to both Winthrop and Rock Hill. The garden boasts several water features, green spaces and two art installations, the "Winthrop Monolith," designed and built by fine arts faculty members Tom Stanley and Shaun Cassidy, and a tube formation created by art major Rebecca Jane Hooper. The design of the garden makes it a superb place for teaching and learning, as well as a destination that inspires conversation, reflection and dedication for excellence – all essential attributes of the Winthrop experience.
After a March 2010 fire destroyed the roof of Glenda Pittman and Charles Jerry Owens Hall, Winthrop's newest classroom building was out of commission for nine months. A January rededication ceremony welcomed the 32,000 square-foot facility back online.
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As a college founded to train teachers, Winthrop has sought to engage its students with memorable lessons to draw on for a lifetime. In today's classes, that could mean collaborating with a professor on a research project, participating in a service-learning project or helping craft public art. Here are some of this year's highlights:
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognized Winthrop in the spring for its exemplary community service programs in 2009-10. This is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement. Winthrop earned high marks for three efforts: the York County Hunger project to collect and provide meals for needy children, seniors and area emergency agencies; a Potato Drop where students bagged 40,000 potatoes to distribute to food pantries and soup kitchens; and a Students in Free Enterprise initiative which focused on helping high school students with financial literacy, ethics, life skills and entrepreneurship.
Winthrop's first three McNair Scholars graduated in December and another 10 in May out of an inaugural class of 25. The scholarships, named for the late astronaut Ronald McNair of Lake City, S.C., go to students who are first-generation college or come from low-income families and who want to attend graduate school. As part of the program, the scholars worked on individual summer research projects with a faculty member and then presented their findings at a conference to McNair Scholars at other schools. Winthrop scholars captured three of 21 awards.
Sculpture students learned firsthand about public art as they created a series of decorated poles to display in downtown Rock Hill. Another class worked with the Rock Hill Bike Club and the city of Rock Hill to fashion creative bike racks for downtown and Cherry Road. Those efforts, coupled with a partnership for students to organize and display their works at the first downtown Muse Fest, demonstrated how creative partnerships can flourish.
Winthrop's reputation as one of the best universities of its kind is not by accident. It was built over the course of 125 years thanks to the countless achievements at the university level and by dedicated faculty and staff. The 2010-11 year was no different. Continue reading to view the year's impressive accomplishments.
- Full reaccreditation was awarded by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Resolutions celebrating the 125th anniversary were presented by the S.C. General Assembly and the city of Rock Hill.
- Pinnacle Awards recognized five College of Business Administration alumni and business leaders for their contributions to the university and the community. Honorees were Bob Breakfield, Larry Carroll, Larry Durham '80, '87, Mike Forrest '98 and Bob Thompson.
- Second Liberty Tree initiative was granted to illuminate the role freedom of expression plays in creative works. Winthrop was only one of two institutions nationally to earn a second grant.
- Addition of women's lacrosse team to the university's Division I sports program was approved by the Winthrop University Board of Trustees.
- Education Trust praised Winthrop as a national leader in consistently showing high rates of graduation success among minority populations.
- The Winthrop Poll continued to receive national and international news coverage for each of the three administered polls. The long-term survey initiative gauges attitudes of South Carolina residents and the South.
- New programs formed as part of the Readiness Winthrop initiative, a cross-campus effort to review and refine the university's mission and resources, included a Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Other new programs included five-year master's programs in social work and business administration; music theatre as a concentration; legal studies as an academic option; and a sustainability minor and a sustainable business concentration.
- Shaun Cassidy, associate professor of fine arts, was honored with the 2011 Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award.
- Karen Kedrowski, chair of the Department of Political Science and director of the Global Learning Initiative, was named the 2011 Distinguished Professor of the Year. Assistant Professor of Economics Laura Ullrich earned the 2011 Outstanding Junior Professor of the Year Award. Shaun Cassidy, associate professor of fine arts, was honored with the 2011 Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award, while Janet Gray, an associate professor of theatre, received the James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching.
- Stevie Chepko, chair of the Department of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance, was honored with the prestigious Joy of Effort Award at the national convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
- Heather Evans-Anderson, assistant professor of biology, received a $419,115 grant from the National Institutes of Health to aid her ongoing research on cardiac myocyte, or muscle cell, proliferation.
- Janet Gray, associate professor of theatre, received the James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching.
- Mark Hamilton, associate professor of fine arts, won the Expression category and was the winner of the Calumer Prize for the Best Image Taken on Film in the Renaissance Photography competition in London, England. Hamilton's "Introspection" was selected from more than 4,500 entries.
- Haney Howell, associate professor of mass communication, received the S.C. Broadcasters Association's Honorary Lifetime Membership Award.
- Karen Kedrowski, chair of the Department of Political Science and director of the Global Learning Initiative, was named the 2011 Distinguished Professor of the Year.
- Carol Marchel was named the recipient of the Bank of America Endowed Professorship for the Richard W. Riley College of Education.
- Padmini Patwardhan, associate professor of mass communication, was selected as the newest Thompson Scholar.
- Jason Silverman, professor of history, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Ellison Capers Palmer Jr. Professorship.
- Tom Stanley, chair of the Department of Fine Arts, earned the 2010 S.C. Art Education Association Higher Education Level Award.
- Gary Stone, professor of economics, was the winner of a national service award given jointly by the National Association of Economic Education and Council for Economic Education. In addition, Stone was selected as the William H. Grier Professor for the College of Business Administration.
- Laura Ullrich, assistant professor of economics, earned the 2011 Outstanding Junior Professor of the Year Award.