ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University so far this year already has received more applications for the fall 2005 entering class than any year in its history, President Anthony J. DiGiorgio told York County Regional Chamber of Commerce members Wednesday.
With applications now topping the 4,000 mark, DiGiorgio said the 118-year-old institution may allow its entering freshman class to grow slightly this fall, but will continue to focus on being "right-sized for the kind of academic and residential experience we promise our students they will have. For now, that probably means 1,000 or so first-year students."
"Our first-year program is now residential by its very definition," DiGiorgio said, "which allows us to offer additional personal development experiences for our traditional-age students outside the classroom – and to emphasize in our residential settings habits that lead intentionally to greater academic and life success. Given the high degree of personal engagement that requires, we are really focusing on allowing our student body to grow only as we have the academic and student development facilities in place to serve them at the level we promise." Exceptions to on-campus residency for traditional-age first-year students will be allowed only if a student lives with parents within 50 miles of the campus or is married.
Over the past two academic years, Winthrop has been phasing in a newly designed set of inter-disciplinary courses created to give all Winthrop students a set of distinctive, cornerstone experiences before they begin studies in their respective majors. From their first day on campus, students are encouraged to think of themselves both as individuals and as future members of their respective professional and personal communities – and to develop the capacity to be leaders in both. The Winthrop approach, which spent eight years in development and piloting, is beginning to be promoted among prospective students as "The Winthrop Experience: Live. Learn. Lead."
Campus facilities are being designed to complement the academic and personal development programs, while also creating what will be a new pedestrian-friendly ‘heart of campus’ as Winthrop grows westward. Three buildings are already funded and scheduled for construction: the $24.9 million Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center, a new $21.9 million Campus Center, and a $4.6 million general use classroom addition to Bancroft Hall. All are part of Winthrop’s investment in Rock Hill’s revitalization of the "Textile Corridor" between the campus and downtown.
Winthrop this year was the only S.C. public university named by Consumer’s Digest as one of the top 50 "best values" in higher education in the nation.
For more information, contact Rebecca Masters, assistant to the president for public affairs, at 803/323-2225.