When Anthony and Gale DiGiorgio arrived at Winthrop in 1989, they worked in tandem to establish and nurture the Winthrop experience to be a time for engaged growth, enlightenment, and transformation in the lives of students. Each brought a wealth of academic experience to the Winthrop campus.
Anthony DiGiorgio began his presidency at Winthrop after serving the College of New Jersey for 19 years in a variety of faculty and administrative positions, including vice president for academic affairs.
In his more than two decades as Winthrop president, Dr. DiGiorgio led the college’s conversion to Winthrop University and its commitment to individual academic program accreditation. He has shepherded Winthrop’s growth from a regional college with a venerable history to a nationally recognized comprehensive university poised for national prominence. Today Winthrop is regularly rated among the top institutions of its kind, winning accolades for academic excellence, character development, commitment to diversity, student programming, sound fiscal management, and environmental achievements.
In addition to receiving numerous national accolades for overall institutional excellence, Winthrop, under DiGiorgio’s leadership, achieved recognition for its dedication to “Education by Design (pdf - 785.60 KB),” a concept that intertwines the planning, design, and expansion of campus facilities with the nature and character of Winthrop’s learning community. In addition to extensive adaptive re-use and renovation of Winthrop’s many historic buildings and spaces, new facilities added to the campus and its environs through this initiative have added immeasurably to the quality of life for all in the campus community. The new facilities include the Courtyard at Winthrop; the Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center; Leitner Wall; Winthrop Ballpark, Softball Complex, Memorial Tennis Courts, and Belk Track; Culp Chiller Plant, Owens Hall; Carroll Hall; Scholars Walk; Hardin Family Gardens; the Campus Center, itself, and almost 15 acres of land ensuring the university’s westward growth path for years to come.
During his tenure as President, DiGiorgio was a recognized educational leader in South Carolina and nationally. In addition, he has contributed his time and talents to scores of boards and commissions, including the Federal Reserve Board of Charlotte and the Board of Directors of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), among many others.
Gale DiGiorgio also played a distinctive role on the Winthrop campus and in the greater Rock Hill community. She served the campus and community as First Lady with sensitivity, style and grace. She was also an occasional instructor to undergraduate students and a mentor to student affairs professional staff. In addition, she was active as a community volunteer with a special emphasis on the well being of children. Her many areas of service included the City of Rock Hill's Commission for Children and Youth, the York County Alliance for Children, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Arts Council of York County, which awarded her with its highest volunteer award, the Ben Ardrey Volunteer Award, in 2005. In addition, she volunteered annually as a tutor with the outreach ministries of Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, served as the first female campaign chair of the Greater Rock Hill United Way, and served as chair of Communities in Schools, a national dropout-prevention program for Rock Hill and Fort Mill. She devoted countless volunteer hours to improve the quality of life on campus, in her church, the greater community, and her adopted state. Because of her accomplishments, the Division of Student Life created and annually awards the Gale N. DiGiorgio Woman of Achievement Award.
Before coming to Winthrop, Gale DiGiorgio had a long and distinguished career in higher education as a student affairs professional at the College of New Jersey and as Dean of Students at Arcadia University.
Upon Anthony DiGiorgio’s retirement from the presidency, the Board of Trustees conferred the titles of President Emeritus and First Lady Emeritus on the couple. The DiGiorgios continue to reside in Rock Hill. The DiGiorgio family includes two daughters, the elder of whom passed away in 2007, and three grandchildren.